Believer preacher or fanatic? What are you?
Updated: Jul 6, 2018
What are you?
I have altered my position on different issues and approaches. New information, experiences, or influences were responsible. For example, on political doctrines, as a youngster, I believed that socialism or its more extreme form of communism could solve most of the problems of the world. Many incidents like the collapse of the USSR and China’s move to capitalism changed my position. Capitalism was also not the panacea. I think most of us evolve and go on similar journeys.
Over the past few years, I have noticed a hardening of positions by me and many of my friends and colleagues. That includes resistance to receiving or accepting new information that challenge what we believe. We seem to be taking one of three positions; the believer, the preacher or the fanatic.
No one is a fanatic on everything. These positions vary on specific issues or aspects whether they be immigration, GMOs, bitcoin or climate change.
· Believers are strong in their faith but not bothered about what others do.
· Preachers not only believe strongly in something but want to shift others also to their point of view. They don’t necessarily believe others are wrong but just that what they consider right are better.
· Fanatics go few steps further and believe that everyone else is wrong and need to be changed to their point of view, if necessary by persuasion or by force.
When I started looking at my own positions regarding different things it was uncomfortable. I am a believer in certain values, a preacher in some of my professional approaches, and a fanatic about few things like the social responsibility of creative writers. So what?
With the hardening of positions that I see around us on many issues, these simple labels help me to recognize where I stand on different matters and ask why am I there? That really helps me to understand my biases and prejudices and to look at data and points of view that are contrary to mine.
It is tough but I find it worth doing. What do you think?
I would like to know your views on how you feel giving some thought to this. Most people are not happy to admit being fanatics on anything. But in reality that may be the case. Definitely that seems to be the case. And many of the fanatics seem to be unaware of it.