Recognizing Cognitive Dissonance

I’m afraid that many people conflate being kind and accepting of others with accepting their ideas, opinions, and actions. Everything newsworthy, our problems, and all things political have lately been boiled down into a binary viewpoint. Either you agree or you don’t (you hater), which is it?

In my humble opinion, this oversimplified process is primarily inspired by intellectual laziness. The rest is a militant form of ‘virtue signaling’. Virtue signaling is also a product of laziness but holds an element of insecurity that can’t be overlooked.

If two kids are discussing the outdoor temperature and one is reading a Fahrenheit scale and the other is reading Celsius, their numbers are going to be WAY off. They might argue all day long to no avail. That’s why adults add defining factors beyond the binary numerical findings to avoid confusion.
Incidentally, the kids could be both factually correct or one or both could even have read their thermometer incorrectly. To find out takes a little effort and analysis.

Why then do intelligent, decent, adults accept and project an “either/or” opinion on anything?
As adults, you would think they have noticed that all real-life situations have many, if not hundreds, of variables.
Those who insist, or infer, that any disagreement with their personal perception is ‘hateful’, because their ‘facts’ sound and feel so ‘good’, also have another problem besides their enforced ‘virtue signaling’. It’s called ‘cognitive dissonance’. Yes, it is a mental condition, and everyone might be wise to understand it.

People who have cognitive dissonance are those who don’t want any disruption to their over-simplified ‘feel good’ world view. They have internalized it and any reevaluation, even when presented with new mitigating information, is just too upsetting. IMHO, they’re also lazy. Deconstructing such an internalized opinion is hard, not to mention, humbling. Instead, people like that must make “square pegs fit into round holes” in order to maintain what has become “their essence”.
To do that, people with cognitive dissonance make it their mission to dismiss and vilify all assaults on their comfortable conclusions. They use vague one-size-fits all terms like ‘mean’ or ‘nice’ and turn any honest discussion quickly into a complaint of an assault on themselves. Instead of explaining their views, the discussion is turned immediately to the topic of the other person’s bad manners or ‘unfair’, possibly racist or inhumane, intentions.
Why wouldn’t they passionately defend themselves, after all, they have defined their own ‘goodness’ {their own human value} through “group think” acceptance and feeling ‘good’ about themselves by using a childlike oversimplified template of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It’s an easy-peasy process for those who crave validation.

This brings me to my initial point. I’m struggling with some ideas often presented. They’re over-simplified and seem not to have been thought through.
Some are:

“Respect and love everyone.”

Does that mean I should respect and love Vladimir Putin?

“Black Lives Matter”

Duh, we know that. Who are you talking to exactly? Oh, all those ‘bad people’ who are everywhere. I get it.

“Dogs are better people than people.”

Well, some are, and some aren’t still most of them are loyal, brave, and loving BUT would you put them “in charge” of anything? Give me a break. {BTW-People are predominantly all those things too.}

And the worst are suggestions that we must agree and embrace all people’s ideas and actions in order to be “inclusive”.

No, we don’t. We should be kind and decent to each other without giving up our values and betraying other virtues in the process.

As this is an opinion piece, spare me the “You don’t have a Psychology degree.” or ” You’re mean.” comments. I don’t define myself through the filter of my own or other people’s opinions because all of those are (and should be) subject to change. (No cognitive dissonance here. lol)

News Flash…Good character has concrete parameters and isn’t a matter of opinion.
Have a nice day y’all!

Haibun Monday: Look up!- An Imagined Storm

Today I want you to write about a time you looked up and saw. . .something. If nothing comes to mind, then look up now. What do you see? Write a haibun about it.

Out of nowhere, an extremely close clap of thunder shook my bones. It was the kind that crackled as it dissipated.
Four pairs of bewildered, less than 5-year-old, eyes looked up examining my face for my reaction. Keenly aware of my role as an interpreter and guardian, I smiled and said, “Whoa guy! What do you think those angels dropped this time?”.
A cacophony, almost as intense as the thunder, surrounded me with suggestions:
“A bowling ball!”
“I think it’s a statue that gots tipped over!”
“It’s a bookcase one of them was climbing on! I heard papers falling like when I did that!”
“Oh no it’s not. It sounds just like my Daddy’s hammer smashing a window when Mommy locks him out!”
Luckily, not a moment later, a series of quick flashes changed the subject until the same child, who was just exposing sensitive family business, spoke again,
“Yep. I was right! There’s Mommy’s shooting our fireworks back at Daddy!”

Seedlings grow on a promise
Spring’s hopeful bounty
Fated to weather some storms

[The fireworks and hammer are fictitious but the reaction of children when startled and their humorous tendency to expose and embellish stories about their parents during my family daycare years, are quite true.]

Six Sentence Story- A Bit of a Backfire


The ‘word of the day’ was ‘confetti‘.

Ms. Benedetti had taught first grade for just two years and with all her modern fresh-out-of-university techniques, the one she implemented from her own early schooling, created the most enthusiasm.

The kids loved the comical sound of this particular new word and used it in entertaining ways throughout the day.

When someone accidentally dumped the classroom pencil sharpener all over the carpet, the whole class rose to their feet shouting “CONFETTI!”

At recess, when springtime breezes rained crabapple blossoms above the playground, this young teacher’s class danced in a circle shouting “Confetti!” while waving their arms.

Just before dismissal, Ms. Benedetti often inspected the children’s desks for tidiness (something also left over from her own ancient school experience) but today, she was about to be lampooned because when she leaned over one child a shout rang directly in her ear, “I see Ms. Benedetti confetti!” and that child was pointing to dandruff all over her sweater.

Blogtober- Laugh Out Loud- Day 4

I took a high school ‘mini course’ about comedy years ago. Yes, the high school I went to was an excellent one. As seniors, we were allowed to elect courses for our English classes after we each took one quarter on Critical Analysis Writing.
The realization that comedy and tragedy were often separated by a very thin line, always stuck with me.
Across the many years of child family day care, we had a lot of fun. Sometimes, we had some real funnies. Here’s a true tale that fits squarely into that comic/tragic realm.

My husband has his own happy little Christmas Tradition. As Christmas grows close, he likes to sit in our vehicle, after dark, and listen to Christmas Carols while having a few beers. If its snowing, that makes it all the better.
One night, he got his perfect wish and enjoyed his solitary Christmas tribute while stashing his beers in a snowbank beside the truck keeping them icy cold. It was snowing so, when he policed the area before coming indoors, he overlooked a beer.
The next day, a 5, 6, and 7, year old went out beyond our driveway to slide in the brand new snow on my delightfully hilly backyard.
When they came in for cocoa, they were giggling wildly and I smelled a strong odor of beer!
This was that kind of day care moment when your heart stops.
Come to find out, they hadn’t drank any beer but had found the beer and poked at it with a shovel. It was close to frozen and when they punctured it, the beer had sprung a pressurized fountain of foamy spray covering them head to toe.

Imagine the fun I had explaining that reeking odor of beer on the children to their parents!
Just so you know, they ALL laughed out loud.

Poetics: Outside looking in… Haunted Houses

For this Poetics Prompt I want us to be voyeurs, peeping through windows and doors of a house One that has no family connections, no memories of our own to call upon .

See the source image

Every town should have a haunted house,
It’s a requirement of Nature.
A kid’s rite of passage.

There must be porches and sunken cellarways,
Tattered curtains that filter shadows,
And always an attic.

Daring boys, in front of girls, ensures them company.
Tiptoes after dark with widened eyes,
As cobwebs ensnare the brave.

The ‘nothing’ inside holds a static charge,
Lonely walls, crowd any investigator,
And the wind does the rest.

A final dash and leap for your life
Licenses the survivors to conjure
Any tale they want- rumored ripples.

No police report of missing children needed.
Yet, year after year, they’ll grow in numbers
Until, the property is razed.

Every town should have a haunted house.
It’s a requirement of Nature.
And, all kids’ rite of passage.