Is having the intent to influence or change an individual justifiable?
I ask this question because I often have the desire to provide insight to others in attempt to help them recognize things outside of the lens they’ve grown accustom to seeing through.
Is this unacceptable, acceptable or subjective?
This is a very serious question, being that the influence or change of an individual is required for any change (whether it be positive or negative) in the way our world currently operates.
That is all for now! If you need to me to elaborate on anything I’ve said, let me know. If anything I’ve said has gotten you gears turnin’, please take a moment to share your thoughts. Thanks, peeps!
“I’m possessed by an endless desire to challenge myself & others- to act in a way that enlightens the sheep, as well as the dreamer.”
There’s no law (even some hazy moral one) against sharing your opinions or insight. I don’t tend to offer much advice unless asked for it. If not asked i might just ask a few questions intended for getting the person thinking.
Put your wisdom out there and maybe sometimes it will be appreciated. Just avoid sounding like you’re preaching because no one likes that.
Indeed! I go about things in the same manner, just needed someone that wasn’t me to keep me on track. I often attempt to share my dreams of changing the world with my father and it usually turns into an argument about if whether or not you can change people and if it’s possible to do in a way that’s morally acceptable. It seems to be far too easy for my father to mistake helping someone open their mind for the equivalent of tyranny, control or a yearn for power. His way of thinking tends to get my mind all out of order.
I needed someone else’s perspective to balance out mine, so thanks you for the insight Ellie!
It can be. For me it’s according to whether they seem willing to assimilate anything. I think standing for what you sense is right is an obligation of being alive even if it creates chaos. You have to do what you feel moved to do, whether it’s being an abrasive activist or keeping to your self. Who knows if your wisdom is on point? Very little is yes or no, we have to feel it out.
I think you should give the people you love what they need to become the best people they can be, in their own time and on their own terms. Instead of trying to change them, try to bring out the best in them, try to see in them the great mysterious creative beauty of everything, which they are representing so perfectly and uniquely, and then somehow reflect that back at them with as little bias as possible in a way they can understand it….
Context matters. I am not sure I can answer your question in very general terms, and as a very competitive person I have my problems with arguing, but I will try.
First, you need to understand that the only person you can ever control is [you]. Second, you need to be fully aware of your motivations. That caring about and desire to exert influence or control over another’s values, beliefs and behaviors can come from a place of pride or selfishness, rather than wisdom.
I assume most everyone thinks their belief system is the correct one, or at least one among many correct ones, and that other belief systems are either less correct or flat out wrong. This applies to you as a self-appointed teacher, and it also applies to the person you’re attempting to change. I wouldn’t give my opinion to someone unless they were genuinely interested in it. There is a very fine line between teaching and arguing. Your objective should not be to convince the other person in real time, but just to lay out the facts for them and let them do what they want with them. People need introspection to reflect on their beliefs and change their mind, at least based on my experiences; you insisting is only going to reinforce their resistance, due to cognitive biases and whatnot.
I also think it’s very important to get to know the other person’s values. If they don’t value integrity and scientific evidence, it won’t matter that you post a thousand meta-analyses explaining how GMOs are perfectly safe for human consumption, they’ll just end up saying that all scientists (except those that support their confirmation bias, regardless of their incompetence *cough* Seralini *cough*) are corrupted and Spirit Science knows better. Someone whose #1 value is pleasure or selfishness is not going to turn vegan over arguments of compassion, especially as morality is a very subjective concept that has no grounds in “objective reality” (whatever that means). [Not to say that we as a species can’t reasonably agree on a certain code of ethics, but morality is very much a human construct, that you don’t see in the animal world (chimpanzees, our closest relatives, sometimes indulge in cannibalism, for example).] Then, you need to understand how the other person’s past experiences relate to the subject. If she’s been raped by patriarchal figures during her infancy, it can be somewhat understandable that she became a feminazi. Finally, be sure that you’re both talking about the same thing. Ask him what his definition of “god” is, for example. Sometimes you’ll be surprised to find out that his being pantheistic is pretty close to your agnostic atheism.
One last thing: remember that some people just don’t want to change. Be the glitch you want to see in the matrix, but acknowledge and accept the fact that the blue pill is still an option.
Further reading: look into epistemology. Type ‘street epistemology’ on YouTube for some video examples.
I notice the more I try to change people, the more polarized they become against me usually. Or they don’t really hear what I’m saying, and merely superficially agree to it, selectively attend to certain things, and ignore other things that don’t fit into their worldview. You can’t really talk someone into changing. You can provide all the evidence you want but usually it will only produce superficial change at best.
The only reason I don’t really try to change people that much anymore is because I know it doesn’t work after trying over and over again to do it. All I did was run my head into a wall.
I think you help others to change the most by changing yourself, as fucking cliche as it sounds. Lead by example. Also, getting over your own ego/conditioning helps other people to transmute their own, because a lot of our issues are collective issues, and when you heal them in yourself you make it easier for others- especially if it’s other family members who share the same conditioning as you. And most of the flaws and lack of awareness people have is due to their conditioning.
yet I STILL keep doing it. Most people’s minds are completely made up and you cannot shift their perspective by arguing with them, yet I still argue with my fucking dad a lot. I see how he is directly causing a lot of his issues, I want to help him, but he is stuck in his perceptions.
This is an interesting question. In order to give my own answer i won’t read any comments so sorry if i restate anything already said. Personally, trying to see it from the most outside view, “change” is all that there is. Our world is an ever changing biosphere in itself. I believe that the driving force of life is evolution or change which is seen in everything right down to ourselves as we grow and advance in our lives. Therefore i would say yes that having the intent to influence or change someone can be justifiable. Your parents/family/society did it to you as you grew up and learned the “ropes” so to speak. Their intent was well placed, which i would say is justifiable. However this also could mean that there are ways in which you, me, and everyone else can be influenced “negatively” or “unjustifiably” by some event or person in your life. In the end I would say both of these are the same and just two sides of a coin that is the nature of our lives. Although you could argue either way, saying what I have stated, or that it isn’t right to impose on others lives, it will happen regardless. So I would say that as long as your influence that you wish to impose is with the intent to spread the most good and understanding and as wide scale as possible (without violence), then it is relatively just. Which brings an interesting idea for me that ultimately we need the negatives in the world to show what “we shouldn’t do” or helps our society advance morally. With that logic you could almost argue that we needed a character like Hitler to show us what the dark side looks like, and maybe that did some good by instilling in the world a distaste for such disregard for life. Not that I support that sort of thing but once one goes so far philosophically good and bad dissolve and become just a label.
On a less philosophical note, I would say that I constantly try to influence and change not only myself but other people also. But I don’t try to change who people are so to speak, but maybe just bring their attention casually to “rabbit holes” or to where the lines blur on certain subjects. The best you can do is try to step outside of yourself and see that even our own views are just one perspective, and try to show others this also. If this could happen on a wide enough scale we would have world peace in minutes….maybe haha. maybe not. But it couldn’t hurt.
Living without influencing others is impossible, we all do it all the time. But if you ask if it is okay to intentionally influence others, I would say: sure go ahead. Just out of curiosity, how do you plan to influence others? And for what reasons?
I wonder, why are you trying to change them? Would you feel more comfortable if they were different? What feeling or other desire births the desire to actively influence?
Some will want your input and appreciate it. Some will not. Those who do not want to change or are not ready to would find someone trying to shift them abrasive or draining. Also I’ve noticed when I try to influence friends (generally bc I find their suffering difficult to watch and feel in myself) some of them will enjoy my input and encouragement but never take any of it to heart. That dynamic is draining for me and ultimately creates distance with me and the person.
I know what you’re going through. I had the same thought where I was working. There was a woman who was facing some issues at her home. I gave her some advice which “I” thought might help her. She didn’t take my advice and I guess she is suffering in her own way.
The point is this…you cannot change or influence anything if you do it directly. You need to keep an open mind and “observe” all the experiences from afar. Once you start observing your environment like this, you’d know what to do next and how to do it.
Best of luck
My whole view on this has been entirely mangled due to a recent situation. My mother was sharing her views on drugs, politics, marriage- all very touchy subjects. I was entirely a part of this conversation and did not butt into anything. Anyways, when I mentioned my views in a very calm and respectful manner, my mother and her husband full on verbally attacked me. They said I was criticizing her, simply because I stated my views which differed from her’s. At no point did I try to compare our views or state either was better. In fact, I did very clearly state that all in all it’s just a matter of opinion, there is absolutely no need to get upset. “You have your views, I have mine- let’s please leave it at that.” It went on for nearly an hour.. Being shouted at, insulted, degraded and at one point my mother’s husband got in my face and said this, “You wanna be pickin’ your fuckin’ teeth of the floor little boy? Get the fuck up!” While sitting down with my legs crossed, I clearly and calmly said, “No. I want peace.” He backed away, confused as to why he resulted to conflict- but he’d do it again if he were heated enough. I sat there for a good 20 minutes as that continued to ramble, while I sit silently, trying to figure out just why they’re so hostile..
My conclusion: There are those who you can’t even say a word to without their hostility shining. I’ll save my words for those who care.
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Well here’s another lens through which we can view this one in. What it sounds like is very similar to the philosophical problem of the the drowning child/dog in the pond. Very briefly, you’re walking down the road and see a child/dog (whatever) drowning in a pond. It would be easy for you to save them, because the water is very shallow. You can either choose to wade in and save the child or not, and that’s the crux of the problem. One school of thought days that of course you should save them, because you can. The opposite school of thought days that unless you actually pushed them you’re perfectly morally okay to let them drown, because inaction doesn’t imply responsibility the way action does. So back to the question, I’m the same way that one school of thought days that it’s not your responsibility to save them, it’s not your responsibility to alert them to manipulation/influence. They are their own person with their own thoughts and ideas, and what you may see quite play my as manipulation, they may see as just them living their lives. Personally, I am not responsible for anyone else’s conciousness, and I don’t believe anyone else should have a huge stake in mine. If you convince someone to jump off of a bridge, even though you know you have influence over them and they do it, I still see that as their decision. When you begin down the road of the moral implications of manipulating someone, immediately ypure feeding your own ego. You’re more powerful and willful than they are, would it be right to play with this toy? It’s easy for people to say they were manipulated, because most people don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions, and it’s easy to forget that they are another human being making their own decisions. Anyway I hope this helped add another slant on things, take care all.