In my own few we live in the age of polemics. I want to take a moment here to say what I mean exactly when I use the word ‘polemics’. I course, I take from the most trusted source of information Wikipedia. ( I am being slightly sarcastic, well perhaps sardonic is a better word)
Polemic – a form of dispute, wherein the main efforts of the disputing parties are aimed at establishing the superiority of their own points of view regarding an issue. Unlike debate, which may seek common ground between two parties, a polemic is intended to establish the supremacy of a single point of view by refuting an opposing point of view. Polemic usually addresses serious matters of religious, philosophical, political, or scientific importance, and is often written to dispute or refute a widely accepted position.
In the media there is a war going on between the Right and the Left, between the conservatives and the liberals, between the radicals, fundamentalist conservatives and moderates, pro choice. I can go on endlessly. This is only expected when sensationalism dictates I feel in many ways what gets aired, how it gets aired. Its a sound business model – stir people up to direct them into some action (voting or buys a certain product). Its simple and affective. Of course we are all a part of this, by we I mean me too. it appears to me that so much of what we do is determined in many ways by this battle for supremacy between ideologies.
My theory on things is this, due to the Internet and other technology physical boundaries that once clearly designated where one ideology, one culture, one thought, one myth, one religion rained supreme, have been rendered ineffective. After the physical clash of cultures in the last century, now in a way that is a bit more removed than before our ideologies are clashing more so than they ever had.I think a clear example of this is the Islamophobia issue that the United States on a whole is dealing with despite of course an impressive list of many famous Muslim Americans. (You can check out a list: here)
But the reason I am writing this post is to remind us all that not everything can be labelled definitively. That there are shades of grey. Also to remind everyone of the power of words! I wanted in this post to list a quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan and then perhaps in a later post on some examples of how I feel polemics, labeling and DoubleSpeak all to easily divides us into an arguing rabble.
The more wise one becomes, the more one is able to contradict one’s own ideas. The less wisdom one has, the more one holds to one’s own ideas. In the wisest person there is willingness to submit to others. And the most foolish person is always ready to stand firm to support his own ideas. The reason is that the wise person can easily give up his thought; the foolish holds on to it. That is why he does not become wise because he sticks to his own ideas. That is why he does not progress.