Much of human history is peppered with a notion that when we don’t understand the unknown, we become defensive, fearful and hesitant. Granted the opposite is also true; we can become bold, curious and willing to take a chance. There’s a dichotomy between assumptions and reactions. The sentiments in the plaque attest to these notions. Just where you straddle this dichotomous line depends on how you define yourself.
A commencement address given a few years ago might shed some light on my post. It was delivered by Tim Minchin, an alum of the University of Western Australia. His career path is one created by an awareness for all things sentient. Minchin reminds me of my own college journey in liberal arts; I found such great value in what and how you feel in terms of art, music, literature, philosophy and all those disciplines of study that pre-dated this notion that mindfulness and empathy and emotional intelligence are somehow new constructs of our modern, western world.
In his comments, his last 3 points made in impression of sorts:
#7) define yourself with what you love, not what you hate; #9) respect people with less power than you, and #9) don’t rush…
Are you leaning more to one side or the other of that dichotomous line…?