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  • Casper Killens

AND, what a powerful word it is!

It seems to me (personal opinion) there is a rise in all-or-nothing thinking. The idea that only one thing/way/thought can be "right" which also lends to it being "right" for "everyone" because YOU think it is dangerous. And very little in the world can fall into the simplistic binary view of a zero and a one. All-or-nothing thinking leaves little room for perspective and can lead one to discount the lived experiences of others (among other things).

I'll share some personal life examples here, a sprinkle of vulnerability. To provide a visual queue to the use of and in this post, it will be in all caps when showing where it is being used for nuance. I believed myself to be dumb in the classroom setting for so long that I almost chose not to pursue college, AND I now hold five college degrees, including a Master’s in Adult Education and Training, graduating with a 4.0. My father is black and my mother white, making me bi-racial, AND I have made racist comments, comparisons, etc., based on my training and experience. My grandmother was a very loving person who enjoyed sharing her joy of baking, AND she is a person who couldn't care less if a person of a different race suffered. I currently train people in the science, practices, and execution of living a congruent life, AND I still struggle at times in my own life.

Where in your life can you institute the addition of AND to provide yourself the opportunity to view the lived experience and perspective of others? A friendship: Person A’s behavior frustrates me when they don’t put the object in the place I prefer, AND they are so thoughtful and loving toward me. A shopping transaction: Sales associate seemed less friendly than I would prefer, AND they were very knowledgeable and helpful with my decision-making process for this purchase. Best friend: BF has corrected me about using a word or phrase around them and how it makes them feel, AND I don’t like how their ‘correction’ makes me feel. Family member: FM jokes about groups of people that are funny to them AND disparages other humans simply trying to exist in this world. I ask you to be kind: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” - Brad Meltzer

Prolonged all-or-nothing thinking will wire your brain to believe there is only one way to do or think about something. Likewise, one can find themselves sitting in an echo chamber of life surrounded only by people who think and act exactly as they do. If that is what you want, feel free to continue AND understand that the world will not support that for long. One thing is for sure; change will happen; it is one of the few constants.

Some of the above examples can also lead to uncovering an ethical dilemma. Maybe that will be the next topic. If you are interested in a post about moral dilemmas, drop a comment to let me know.

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4 Comments


sharaliscanales13
Apr 11, 2023

Ethical/Moral Dilemmas-my life at work! Let's hear it :)

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Casper Killens
Apr 12, 2023
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David Cotti
David Cotti
Apr 11, 2023

Dropping this comment like it's hot! I would love for you to post about moral dilemmas. From the window I weep in sadness for the wall.

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Casper Killens
Apr 11, 2023
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I’ll get right on that, good news, life has provided many personal examples and some I have used in the past as part of training analysts.

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