I Nominate Beliefs
What we believe is the most powerful option of all. Norman Cousins
A lot is being written recently about what matters. I am writing about what I believe matters most. I want to suggest that beliefs are at least one of the most important ingredients of what happens in the world. Beliefs become behavior, and behavior must rank high in what matters. Someone could say that everything matters or that only one thing matters, whatever that might be. But of course, what matters to that someone is the result of what they believe.
What the world population does (their behavior) is determined by what the world population believes. The behavior of certain world populations (ISIS, religious fanatics, political radicals, some media pundits, white supremacists, NRA spokespersons, etc.) is all based on strongly held beliefs. Open-mindedness is no where to be found. It is said that beliefs are the ties that bind you and blind you.
Your beliefs are cause maps that you impose on the world after which you “see” what you have already imposed. Karl Wieck.
This quote explains our subjective software of the mind. Although all beliefs are tentative by dictionary definition, human beliefs are not all tentative. They vary in certainty: a continuum of tentative to dogmatic. Somewhere on the continuum are passive believers, who don’t think about what they believe. And because most people are not often fully aware of what they believe, bringing passive believers to awareness will be difficult. Bringing dogmatic believers to awareness may be impossible. (Full awareness includes knowing the consequences for humanity and the planet). This has been a goal of much of my writing in the last 15 years.
There are probably other nominations for what matters most. For example, global warming because it might affect the future of the planet we live on. However, I would suggest that what humans decide and do about global warming matters more; which brings us back to beliefs and behaviors.
Beliefs and behavior matter because they have consequences, sometimes serious consequences. The good news is that the most powerful option of all, what we believe, lies within each of us.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph W, Emerson