Love’s the only engine of survival?

The Leonard Cohen fans will recognise the title of this post. It’s in response to a comment (one of several very useful ones) left underneath “How Little We Learn” (greetings to pedantry!)

Johnnie Moore says in part “Love creates space for reflection and the possibility of growth.”

And that’s really important, imho. It’s about the difference between narcissism (brittle, demanding affirmation from others and self, at the cost of reality) and a love that admits fallibility – from fatigue, lack of smarts and just good old fashioned human limitations (I once did a not-very-good Youtube video that involved me reading out a truly brilliant essay by Samuel Johnson called “What have ye done?”)

And we are trained (as Kathryn Schulz points out in this Ted talk) to hate error – if we admit “I don’t know” (hat-tip Leavergirl) or “I was wrong” – we get no points at school. And – in my experience – other people, who are unable/unwilling to admit their own errors, get very very nervous around you if you are willing to admit your own.

I don’t know if they’re jealous, or they are afraid that a precedent is being set. Or if they are historians of Chinese communism and know just how damaging a criticism/self-criticism session can be? I suspect a mix of options one and two, with three a distant third.

What are other people’s experience of this? What happens when you say “I don’t know” or “I was wrong”?

And if love is as important at Johnnie and Leonard and Dwight think, how do we cultivate that love – of ourselves and each other (and our species and of ALL species?)

PS I have a bunch of other posts to put up – including film reviews/explorations of “Contagion” and “In Time”, but I LOVE the fact that so many smart people are chucking in really good thoughts on this question of “willingness/ability to see error” – I wanna keep this going!!

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About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
This entry was posted in a little self-knowledge, activism, competence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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