Cognitive dissonance is the origin of this blog’s title, and refers to the discomfort one experiences when attempting to reconcile two opposing ideas in one’s head, like trying to be both an optimist and a pessimist at once.
The reason I chose this title is because the ability to entertain an idea without necessarily accepting it is integral to surviving in modern society. If we didn’t try to understand one another, we’d all be in big trouble. It is my fervent hope that everyone who reads this will make a wholehearted attempt at understanding an idea they do not agree with.
If you’re an atheist, try understanding the bliss of God’s presence. If you’re religious, try understanding the liberation of a godless universe. Both sensations appear dangerous, and could very well result in cognitive dissonance. It would definitely take you out of your comfort zone.
And so what? Should you live inside your bubble, insulated from opposing viewpoints? Should you learn to agree with yourself to such an extent that opposing viewpoints drive you into fits of rage?
Take my advice: try to entertain an idea or a concept directly opposed to the one you cleave to. The results may not make you change your mind, or even feel remotely tolerable, but you’ll learn to accept diversity. Also, you’ll cause your mind to grow. And that’s never a bad thing.
Happy Easter, or whatever holiday you prefer to celebrate.