Two things happened this week that led me to write this blog post about beliefs. So let me start with those influences ...
Following their invasion of the Capitol building what surprised me most was the justification for the action by apparently ordinary people. Especially the belief expressed by one woman that, "Trump is the only one who can save us."
Firstly I couldn't work out what he was saving her from. She never said, at least to the camera. Secondly, that she honestly believed he was the only person who could. If she really believed it then it was almost a deification of Trump as her saviour. Alternatively was it just a soundbite phrase that she used without really thinking about what it meant?
The other piece to camera would have been funny if it wasn't so sad, yet it was so encouraging. The young woman who was maced and expressed her indignation (or was it bewilderment?) that the police didn't realise it was a revolution.
What struck me about that, was her belief in the American system she was espousing to overturn. That somehow she would be safe having a revolution in the USA. Did she really not understand what the phrase, "We're having a revolution" actually meant in the context of what was happening around her?
The New Year also got me implementing my business plans and one thing for me was cleaning all the old files off my computer. In the process, I came across some rough notes that I wrote in 2014 for a blog post on limiting beliefs and inspirational quotes that never got off the ground. So, maybe the time had come to update those thoughts and publish.
Inspirational or thought-provoking quotes and sayings abound on social media. It is easy to be a lazy thinker and just accept them as pearls of wisdom one should follow. In my 2014 notes, I had started with one such quote without a reference for who had said it.
"Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts". When I first re-read this I thought, "Oh yes, that is certainly powerful" and I got an emotional response. I hadn't written down who said it or in what context. I was thinking about beliefs and doubts in terms of building a business.
Six years down the line I finally looked up who said this. It was Francis Bosworth, an early 20th Century Evangelist. He said it in the context of people doubting their Faith!
He had an agenda to strengthen belief in the Christian message. He justified it in the following sentence: "Otherwise you'll doubt your beliefs". Now, having found that out, I accept that exploring deeper into that particular quotation is complicated by the context of religious faith which is not the subject of my blog post.
I'm using it as an example of checking out the context of a quote before accepting and incorporating its message. We all have quotes, famous or personal, floating around our head which might benefit from a little challenge. Maybe sometimes we should doubt our beliefs and we may find ourselves learning something new.
Here are some other quotes gleaned from Google about beliefs that may resonate with you or affect your choices:
- "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" - Voltaire
- "Whether you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right" - Henry Ford
- "It's easier to believe than to doubt" - Evertt D Martin
- "The truth is whatever people will believe" - Robert Ailes. Fox News
- "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" - J F Kennedy
- "Every thing you can imagine is real". - Picasso
- "Belief is a pecular thing: We tend to put more store in a belief we like than a fact we hate" - Stephen Tobolowski
- "The distance is great from the firm belief to the realization from concrete experience" - Isabella I
- "One person with a belief is equal to ninety-nine who only have interests" - John Stuart Mill
- "DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR TRUST IN ROOT VEGETABLES. WHAT THINGS SEEM TO BE MAY NOT BE WHAT THEY ARE" - Death, Discworld, Terry Pratchett
I'm pretty sure the choices here reflect my own biases. Do you have others you would add?
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