Principles are Magnetic
Principles are magnetic; only they attract those who share them. Sound principles that have been settled on carefully and logically are the most powerful such magnet, attracting the like-minded and the truth seekers alike because they don’t rely on propaganda to deceive. They speak for themselves and aren’t afraid of genuine scrutiny. After all, it was genuine scrutiny that revealed the truth that created them in the first place.
All living things are drawn to what they can rely on, what they can trust to ensure their survival and the survival of what and who is most important to them. We all seek the most reliable, repeatable, or intuitive means to achieve the ends of survival and happiness available to us. And once we find a means we believe in, we keep going to that source until it lets us down or until we find a better means we hadn’t discovered or understood before. Or, as human beings, we invent new means and help to move the whole world forward.
This leads to a constant quest for better means for satisfying needs and wants and for increasingly deep truth because only true solutions will satisfy us, while counterfeits will continue to leave us thirsty.
Deception can be a powerful force in nature. The angler fish has a built-in lure it uses to trick its prey; the venus flytrap and the leaf fish lure insects and small fish to feed on with their deceptive appearance. In fact, most, if not all, living things are subject to deception and can be tricked into believing a mirage is an oasis in the desert, a lamp is the sun, or that a knock-off is the real thing. This is why, as humans, we are susceptible to falling for the intentional deception of propaganda.
As life has become increasingly fast-paced and we have found ourselves in a hamster wheel where we can’t seem to catch up, reliance on minimal data to make snap judgements has become one of the tools of modern survival. In too many cases, superficiality and immediate gratification have replaced deeper meaning, more fulfilling relationships, and sustained happiness as deliberation is increasingly replaced by impulse.
Sometimes, we get lucky and these snap judgements lead to optimal long-term outcomes because, for all the flaws of making snap judgements on limited data, the brain is an incredibly powerful supercomputer that can operate on a very high level when it isn’t being deceived. It can even spot and avoid deception when it is truly operating at peak performance.
For this reason, in order for inauthenticity to thrive, it must inherit or create a world full of confusion, mixed messages, emotions, and distractions. These obstacles serve to “gum up” the inner workings of the mind and strip it of its efficiency, leaving it more vulnerable to deception.
This is why, when we find ourselves fed up with the awful results of falling for deception and we finally slow down long enough to reconsider our assumptions, we enter into a deeper search for a firmer grasp on the truth. Human intuition is extremely powerful and must not be dismissed lightly, so we must be unafraid to pursue the truth we discover, to question it and put it to very rigorous tests, and advocate for it with others so that we and they can continue to test it. This is how we find viable alternatives or confirmation that we are already on the right track.
While we may not always be as inviting or productive as we would like when we advocate for what we believe in, it is important to keep these two goals in mind when we decide how to communicate our ideas so as not to prevent an avenue for open dialogue and exploration.
Since we have landed on these ideas through careful, deliberate, and extensive scrutiny, they have earned their place. The honesty with which we discovered them and share them proves extremely attractive to people who are on a similar quest for something reliable, even if we don’t fully agree. A genuine quest for truth attracts other truth-seekers. Watering down your message and being dishonest with yourself only attracts other dishonest people. They are being dishonest with themselves and with you for any number of reasons, just as you are if you water down your message.
Principles are magnetic. Sound principles that have been settled on carefully and logically are the most powerful such magnet. They speak for themselves and aren’t afraid of genuine scrutiny. After all, they were borne of genuine scrutiny in the first place. As Thomas Paine said, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.”