“You’ll Catch Your Death . . .”

A favourite saying of the pre-baby boomer generation, tended to be followed by “Wrap up warm”.

There seems to have been sone idea that cold – by itself – was responsible for many ‘seasonal’ diseases.

The very name ‘common cold’ (the result of a coronavirus infection) reinforces this idea that diseases are caused or spread by ‘cold’.

Because people ‘catch cold’ when the weather is cold. the idea one ‘causes’ the other is a logical connection which rapidly becomes a ‘belief’ in the absence of further understanding.

The more this belief is repeated, the more it, and the conditioning that goes with it, spreads.

Up until quite recently when additional understanding of the causes of disease grew, people fully believed the previous logic – after all “it stands to reason” as the saying goes.

In the same way the Earth is flat, and the Sun revolves around the Earth were ‘reasonable’ and ‘logical’ assumptions of their time.

Essentially, we are very ‘simple’ creatures. We look at the world around us and what is going on superficially. We draw conclusions from what seems to us to be ‘obvious’. We like to come up with quick ‘answers’ for any situation.

What’s happening is our primitive brain is kicking in, looking for a quick ‘fight or fight’ response – an ‘urgent’ decision – because that’s what we used to have to do in most situations.

Seven seconds

Seven seconds is the time it takes for us to come up with a ‘first impression’ about someone

Seven seconds is the time it takes for us to decide whether we’re going to read beyond the ‘headline’

Seven seconds is the time it takes for us to dismiss or engage with pretty much anything

Seven seconds – or less – is how long it takes for our ‘primitive logic’ to kick in and make a decision from which we start to establish our belief about something.

Fortunately, in most cases, the higher levels of our brains, the subconscious and conscious, then take over and we consider the situation in more detail.

We question our primary decision, we compare it with those personal ‘truths’ or beliefs we have already established and then we reinforce it, dismiss it, or amend it to fit in with our existing belief framework.

If however, we don’t have any existing beliefs that relate to this ‘new’ information then we are inclined to take this initial decision on board, whether ‘for’ or ‘against’, as the basis for a new belief and truth set.

Then, unless we subscribe to the idea ‘changing our mind’ is allowed, it ‘sticks’ and is used as part of the belief set against which future first impressions are compared.

This is where ‘problems’ arise with truth and belief and the so-called ‘facts’ that support them.

The thing is that none of these, nor the concepts of, good and bad, right and wrong and other binary decision options have any basis in reality.

There is no universal ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or any of the others. They are all a matter of personal belief and personal choice.

No-one could ever have persuaded Hitler he was ‘wrong’ because as far as he was concerned, he fully believed he was ‘right’ – and he persuaded most of the German population to agree with him at the time.

It may be difficult to understand this even though on a day to day basis you and I are continually coping with other people not understanding or taking on board our ideas.

Think about it, it happens all the time. Some people just cannot grasp where you (or I) are ‘coming from’!

They cite ‘evidence’ we are ‘wrong’, we show evidence we are ‘right’ and unless very lucky, or persuasive’ we get nowhere. It’s called an argument.

You see, the whole idea of ‘evidence’ is pointless, especially in the face of a hard-wired belief.

Just because there is ‘no evidence’ for a particular idea being true or that something exists, it doesn’t mean the idea is untrue or whatever it is doesn’t exist.

The reverse is the same. The presence of evidence for something doesn’t mean it is ‘real’.

There is always ‘evidence’ for and against – read up any Court case.

Then there are ‘facts’, closely related to ‘truths’, and both based on evidence. The subtle difference between a fact and a truth is that the latter is ‘personal’ whereas a fact is supposed to be something which is universally ‘true’ – or facts are ‘hard’ and truths are ‘soft’.

The point of all this is twofold.

First, you and I make up our own minds what is true or false, what is good or bad, right or wrong and so on. We create our own framework of belief and faith.

Second, what you or I believe and have faith in is nothing to do with anyone else, and what they believe and have faith in is none of our business either.

But how do we help others by sharing our beliefs or what is true for us . . .?

We don’t.

We cannot ‘help’ others, only they can.

FINO –‘Feel invited, not obligated’ is a phrase used by the Brave Thinking Institute – it says ‘Here, this is what I think, If you’re interested we’ll have a conversation, if not, then I wish you well.’