There is a growing trend in our society to accept whatever someone else believes, regardless of whether it fits any measurable realities.
I recently watched random interviews conducted on a college campus, asking students if it’s okay to believe you are a different race, gender, age, and height then with which you were born.
For the most part, the students interviewed said that it was fine so long as you were happy as an individual.
The one area most of the students objected about was claiming you were 6 feet 4 inches if in reality you were 5 feet 9 inches.
What’s the problem with believing in something that is not reality?
We could look at all kinds of practical reasons as to why it would create problems. You might hit your head on a door-frame if you refuse to believe you are the height you are.
It wouldn’t be fair to the other students if you decide you are in first grade when you are in reality an adult with an adult’s normal intelligence.
You might have some difficulty assimilating the full life and appearance of a different race, unless you are a talented actor with a fantastic makeup artist working with you.
I could believe that I am fully Native-American and then I could demand that I receive full scholarships to college programs. When asked to prove the reality of my claims, I could say it doesn’t matter the way I was born because I feel and identify as a Native-American. I may receive my scholarship, but wouldn’t my personal preference be denying the reality of authentic Native-Americans?
I could be a soldier and demand I deserve a Purple Heart because I believe that I feel as brave as the soldiers who have earned them, and in my heart, I believe I have taken a thousand bullets for the protection of others. I could be rewarded a Purple Heart, but wouldn’t that award be at the expense of the reality of those who truly earned and suffered in order to acquire theirs?
There may not be anything inherently wrong with believing you are something you are not, but we must ask ourselves, “What is at the root of this desire to be something you are not?” Does it not imply that the person has rejected part of who they are — that there is self-hate lurking within?
Perhaps instead of trying to readjust reality to fit someone else’s denials, we should begin asking the hard questions: “What is it about being tall you like? Why do you want to believe you are taller than reality would measure?” In the same way, we could ask, “Why do you want to believe you are a specific race? Why don’t you want to be the race you are? Is there something you dislike about the race you are?”
In other words, there are deeper issues at stake in wanting to ignore or redefine reality.
We do society and the individual a disservice when we are unwilling to view things clearly and to clarify the real issues at stake.
I have a friend who has an amazing gift of humor and quick wit. I love being around her! There have been times I have wished I had her same level of humor and quick wit. I recently heard a speaker say that if you are envying someone else, it means you don’t know who you are. As a Christian, I believe we were all created with a very special and unique purpose. Who I am will look different than others, but this doesn’t make me less valuable. It also isn’t healthy for me to say that I am my friend, just because I like the way she looks, talks, quips, and laughs. For me to deny the reality of who I am is to deny my own value and uniqueness.
When we ignore reality in preference to an individual’s personal interpretations, we absolve the very tenets upon which true justice can operate and prevail.
For example, what if a person kills someone and decides it’s okay because it is helping them “transcend to a better universe”? (They are redefining the reality of murder.)
What if a highschool student cheats on a paper but tells the teacher they believe that it’s not cheating: “It’s just equalizing opportunity for everyone by giving every student access to the same information/intelligence?”
What if an employee on the job makes a measurable engineering mistake and as a result, the wrong capacity generator is used and some people lose their lives in the resultant accident? When the employer fires the employee, the employee then says, “I didn’t do anything wrong. To me, this generator is the same as the other generator. Who are you to limit my freedom as a designer/engineer?”
Society cannot function long-term within the instability of ignoring reality to please an individual’s personal preferences. When the individual is promoted above the well-being of the vast majority, there is reason for concern.
When personal preferences take precedence over measurable reality, there is reason for concern.
An individual can believe what they want, but when it comes to forcing society to adjust to match your own “created reality,” then are we not infringing on the functionality of society and therefore ignoring the rights of the greater majority?
Society cannot accommodate the “personal interpreted-realities” of individuals and sustain a viable structure. It is society’s “job” to acknowledge measurable realities and to uphold that criteria for the well-being of the whole.