Wanting Less is Empathy in Action

Beliefs are a set of ideas. Wikipedia defines "A meme (rhyming with "cream") is a set of ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. We use our beliefs to triage incoming information into acceptable and unacceptable, deal with the one, trashcan the other. Each of our individual webs of belief is malliable. New sets of ideas, memes like 'want less', can outflank our cultural blinders and carry, their message to the forfront of our attention, making 'want less' the veil we triage events through. Beliving is seeing.

How is the big question, how to outflank a worldview, how? In the article 'Why Changing Somebody’s Mind, or Yours, is Hard to Do' Psycology Today uses self-affirmation research which seems to support the idea that the less threatened we feel, the more flexible our opinions are likely to be. By letting the conversation first concentrate on self-affirmation for/by all participants leads, they say, to an opening where new sets of ideas can slip through our perceptual defences.

George Carlin in his autobiography 'Last Words' shows and explains how humor also opens a pathway through our cultural blinders whereby a new set of ideas, a meme, can, Trojan Horse style, be accepted and then become part of the perceptual filter itself.

'Cool' would work. If, through peer pressure, it became cool to 'want less', to have less, to comsume the least, then our 'want less' meme might have its shot. Wanting less will be 'cool' when empathy for our fellow earthlings outshines bling. There is still a chance humans could change from the self-serving short-sighted greedy pigs we mostly are now into an empathetic member of the living earth. The Vagas odds are real long, but not zero. Wanting less is empathy in action.