Hindsightfulness - Learn from mistakes without even making them.
Looking back proves we are unaware of all of the wrongs we uphold today so uncover and undo them.
There are "wrongs" we can't see. How do I know? Just look to the past. What would you see? You would see wrongs that
persisted for years, decades, and centuries. You would see, for instance, a generation that claimed to be sophisticated,
but that denied women the right to vote until 1911. The generation that didn't see females as equals was the same
generation that planted the seeds of the Information Age. How sophisticated is that? We mock previous generations because
we're supposedly so much more sophisticated leading us to believe we wouldn't make the same mistakes, yet if our relatively
sophisticated ancestors could not see what was starring right at them why should we conclude we're any different?
We can sneer at our ancestors and mumble "They knew better." That's true. They were much more sophisticated than
previous generations and were, therefore, better equiped, but they too did nothing. What went wrong? Why do wrongs
persist for so long? I don't think the majority of our ancestors allowed them to, they just didn't see them, they weren't even
aware of the, in this case, inequity. So if the problem isn't maliciousness, what is it?
The problem lies in the power of the status quo. The majority of citizens of dominant nations are addicted to the status quo. It
makes injustice, oppression, and behaviours like borishness and holiganism invisble. Psychologists call this tendency, i.e. believing
that the way "this" is is the way it should be, injunctification. The status quo preys on that little virtuous voice inside us that
says "If it's good for the masses it must be good for me" or "Can't upset the status quo 'cause then chaos would rein." It's
also the perception that doing the things the status quo says are good must make you good too yet even has you recycle, run for charity,
volunteer, crowd fund, go to church, donate often, and bake cakes for shut-ins, you're probably making life unnecessarily difficult
for others because you just can see the forest for the trees.
If we don't reject the cultural and social milieu presented by the status quo, future generations will shake their heads and
mock us for our foolishness. Let's be clear, our goal isn't to impress future generations. Our goal is to relieve people from
carrying unnecessary burdens that the status quo prevents us – the majority of citizens in dominant nations – from recognizing.
Also, by righting any wrongs we will be stopping the same foolishness (not acting responsibly and caringly), that burdened us
with this malaise because past generations didn't. Each generation creates its own burdens so we don't need any more heaped
on us from the past.
Perhaps you think that Hindsightfulness is just another name for "learning from the past" or, worse yet, a misguided version
of just hindsight. While Hindsightfulness depends on hindsight, it is different, and the only learning from the past is that humans
consistently, generation after generation, follow the status quo and miss the unfair treatment of fellow humans. Hindsightfulness
is like search and rescue work for things that haven't yet been reported missing. You know they're out there, but so far they
remain unreported, but you search because you are convinced there are victims that need help.
Look at it this way: typically only after death, injury, or disaster do we admit we should have been aware of the cause because, in
hindsight, it was obvious, and we even had the knowledge to handle it before it was out of control. Typically then we only handle the
cause of the incident and promise to be vigilant for similar conditions from now on. This is the scope of hindsight and learning from
the past. It is ad hoc. We say things like "sure it's too bad that poor disabled boy was shot by the police, but they must have had a good
reason" instead of petitioning and protesting for better selection, training, and accountability of police officers, or saying "yes it's sad that
company laid off all those new employees, but they must have had a good reason" instead of boycotting and demanding business
owners, executives, and controlling shareholders be held personally accountable and not be permitted to hide behind "the
corporation". If these incidents sound far-fetched and abstract, just wait. It's inevitable that something similar will happen to you
or a loved one and when it does no one following the status quo will come to your rescue, in fact they won't even see you or your misery.
Hindsightfulness is believing, through hindsight, we are now – right now – ignoring significant issues while simultaneously
foolishly thinking everything is just as it should be. After that we then need to rigorously rethink everything so we can identify
these, so far, hidden, wrong and harmful behaviours and ideas, and then, after that, swiftly handle them.
And then, after you understand Hindsightfulness and are practicing it, you can act on its corollary: introspection. Sit down and
ask yourself "what's behaviours do I exhibit and what ideas do I champion that have become so natural and ingrained that I am no
longer aware of, but if I was I would be ashamed of?"
Another idea of Kevin Stumpf • 1 Cor 15:58 • 2014Dec24