Why People Do What They Do

by Christopher Lovejoy on December 29, 2018

Why do people do what they do? At the request of someone I know, of someone who has difficulty reading large quantities of material at a time, I have agreed to answer this question, with the stipulation that I “fit the answer on one page, in 250 words or less.” The essay that follows is precisely 250 words in length.

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Why do people do what they do?

I will tweak this question slightly to make it more personal and begin here: why do we do what we do? We do what we do because we care about what we do, giving and sharing what we can when we can.

By way of contrast, why do people do what they do? The answer is breathtakingly simple: because they don’t know any better, or, if they do know better, they’re too afraid or proud to act on it.

Act on what? Act on what they know to be true.

The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard outlined a quick, indirect way to access truth: “there are two ways to be fooled: believing what is not true and … refusing to accept what is true.”

This perennial insight exposes two common lies about truth: “truth is whatever I feel it to be in the absence of evidence” and “truth is whatever I wish it to be in spite of evidence to the contrary.”

Those who take advantage of others use this insight to get others to believe a lie or to tell a lie so big that it cannot be taken as false or … to get others to ignore, dismiss, avoid, or bypass what is true.

Again, people do what they do because they don’t know any better, or, if they do know better, they’re too afraid or proud to act on what they know to be true, sacrificing truth to fear and pride.

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The coming year of 2019 will be a year of truth seeking, truth finding, and truth telling on a mass scale, involving many millions of people, and revolving around a core set of values and themes that will push said millions to call into question everything they ever thought they knew.

Truth be told, this will not at all be a pleasant process, yet it will be a necessary one to clear the rot and make way for a new and fresh set of assumptions about the future of life and love on this planet. For justice to be done, it must also be seen, even this means going through Hell.

Perhaps a clear vision in 2020 will be humanity’s reward for finding its way through.

Speaking of justice, Søren Kierkegaard wrote something rather apropos for our times and for the coming push to have truth and reconciliation prevail: “the truth is a trap: you cannot get it without it getting you; you cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you.”

In the USA, it is said that military tribunals are ready to take on tens of thousands of sealed indictments, and that law enforcement operations are standing at the ready to make the mass arrests; perhaps we can all take heart that justice will be served, if not swiftly, then surely.

In the coming year of illumination, an ever growing swell of humanity will be held captive to and by all manner of truth on all dimensions ~ personal, interpersonal, transpersonal, and impersonal. Let’s just say that when the SHTF, most people will not be running for cover.

May the new year find you and yours in the wholesome pursuit of collective redemption.

For myself, I shall endeavor to find my flow in truth at peace with bliss through grace.

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A preview of my published work can be found here.

An outline of my masterwork in progress can be found here.

A listing of my posts on this site can be found here.

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