TED Talk – Politics moral roots


I’ve just watched this TED talk by Jonathan Haidt by way of a post on Wired and it has moved me sufficiently to stick it up here.

He talks about how our innate personality and our upbringing give us a certain way of looking at the world. He splits us into liberals or conservatives; whether we’re more open to change and looking out for the little guy at the risk of chaos, or whether we appreciate that to create the order for the many a little tough love is going to be needed and the few may end up suffering. He says how its important to step outside the thinking that either is “right” (taking the red pill and stepping out of the moral matrix) and both are essential parts of the whole. A fairly common way of looking at things but he has graphs!

This resonated with my reasons for meditating. I’ve always had a liberal outlook. I’ve always wanted to look out for the little guy but that’s felt awkward and I’ve judged myself for it. It’s easy to say “always look at both sides of the argument” but you are always going to have an emotional response that pushes you one way or the other, and I guess I hope that through meditating I can sit with that emotional response – the sacred pause  – until I can act in a skilful way rather than re-acting skilfully and possibly making the situation worst.

A world with a lot less judgements in it, both internal and external, sounds like a jolly nice place to be.

May all beings be happy.