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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

When Others Don't Share Your Worldview


**Hollings Therapy, LLC disavows violence associated with the matters discussed herein.


The is-ought problem


Niccolò Machiavelli is credited with having stated, “The gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation.”


Two things come to mind when considering the philosopher’s proclamation. First, I think of a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) approach to demandingness.


Given this perspective, I understand that use of words like should, must, and ought can function as a way of rigidly insisting that other people have little choice other than to follow the path a person prescribes. Second, I think of the is-ought problem introduced by philosopher David Hume.


Using this irrational belief structure, a person attempts to derive an ought from an is. As an example, person X observes the occurrence of violence within the world (is) and unproductively demands that things ought to not be that way (ought).


Because person X’s rigid terms of service for life will undoubtedly be violated, as not everyone in the world choses to adopt person X’s moral principle, person X’s unhelpful belief will lead to a self-disturbingly miserable experience (e.g., anger, tightness in the chest, and denouncing others on social media).


Personal anecdote


To qualify this matter, forgive me an anecdote. I once had a longtime friend who repeatedly disturbed herself with unfavorable beliefs about a number of sociopolitical matters.


Unlike me, who tends to be more clown-pilled in this regard (amused by absurd circumstances), she expended a significant amount of her time, efforts, and behavior towards violating the is-ought problem. Moreover, her behavior began to impact her physical health (e.g., high blood pressure).


As an example, she angered herself with beliefs about people who mocked inconsistencies with diversity, equity, inclusivity, and access rhetoric. Because I share information about my psychotherapeutic perspective with people in my personal and professional life, she was familiar with the pillars of REBT.


However, rather than taking personal responsibility and accountability for the unpleasant consequences of her unaccommodating beliefs, my friend would rather engage in bitching, whining, moaning, and complaining about various issues. Such is the path for many people.


As I grew weary with her repetitive venting, I eventually asked my friend what it was she was demanding of the world. Her reply was something along the lines of, “I just want everyone to be nice to each other, is that too much to ask?” Actually, yes it is.


You see, the problem wasn’t that my friend was merely asking that a global populous share in her worldview, she was demanding that they should adopt no other option than to be courteous to one another. It was do as she demanding or nothing else!


Regarding such an unreasonable standard, I appreciate what Canadian professor Gad Saad has stated by remarking that such reasoning isn’t a “realistic, adult position to take. That makes you a three-year-old living in Unicornia, utopia. That’s not how an adult thinks.”


From a Machiavellian perspective, the gulf between how my friend believed people should live and how they do live was so wide that she neglected what is actually done for what she demanded should be done, thus she learned the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation.


Conway the Machine


To further illustrate this matter, I consider the worldview regarding a member of Griselda Records. On his second studio album God Don’t Make Mistakes, rapper Conway the Machine (“Conway”) released a song called “Piano Love.” Lyrics include the following:


Hood niggas still eat the ramen noodles (hah)

That load cost an extra five if I got it to you (cash)

We the mob, you violate that, I gotta shoot you

Send some rockets through you, hollow tips poppin’ to you (boom, boom, boom, boom)

Griselda keep winnin’, you don’t know how to stop it, do you? (ha)

In the end, I’m gon’ be on top, as usual (I’ma be on top, nigga)


Conway expresses his perspective concerning success, despite presumably having come from a meager socioeconomic background. Use of demandingness is reflected in the declaration, “I gotta shoot you.” Here, “gotta” is a should statement.


The premise is that violation of Conway’s rigid terms of service will undoubtedly result in gun violence. Here’s how his logical form is unraveled:


Major premise: I can’t stand disrespectful people who violate my rules.


Minor premise: People who violate my rules gotta be shot.


Conclusion: Therefore, I can’t stand disrespectful people who gotta be shot.


This is precisely the sort of worldview that is at odds with my once-longtime friend’s perspective. She rigidly demanded that everyone should be nice to one another while Conway apparently believes in violence as a means to an end—which may be viewed as mean and not nice.


Group worldviews


Peering deeper into Machiavelli’s gulf regarding how one should live and how one does live, the result of competing worldviews is on full display to the world. Rigid perspectives of such large proportions unfortunately result in regional-destruction rather than regional-preservation.


For instance, on September 14, 2023, I posted a blog entry entitled War is Coming, pondering the potential for World War III (WWIII) and stating:


Because I practice unconditional life-acceptance, I don’t disturb myself about matters which are beyond my control or influence. Therefore, my assumptions about WWIII don’t cause fear within me.


Moreover, I don’t allow my beliefs about my fellow U.S. citizens or the state of our nation in decline to cause me needless suffering. I can tolerate and accept what simply is, and without demanding that it ought to be any other way.


In Ukraine, groups A and B had been at war since February 24, 2022—over a year and a half by the time I submitted the post. On October 7, 2023, groups Y and Z then engaged in conflict that has since resulted in a declaration of war.


I imagine that if those involved with indirect and direct conflict associated with groups A, B, Y, or Z were asked about their moral principles regarding their enemies, reasonable arguments could be made to justify violence. Assuredly, the United States (U.S.) uses similar justification for bloodshed.


When others don’t share your worldview, and people aren’t willing to adopt a three-year-old approach to the world whereby which everyone will be nice to each other, conflict will inevitably arise. Make no mistake, my observation isn’t meant to minimize the matter.


Rather, I’m speaking truth. Instead of concerning myself with an irrational belief about how my prescriptions of the world ought to be agreed upon by others, I’m merely describing what is.


You see, there are people in the world with fluffy delusions of peace and harmony, like my former friend. Then, there are people like Conway who will “send some rockets through you,” though not only related to bullets, “boom, boom, boom, boom.”


Groups A and B, as well as Y and Z, understand this reality all too well. Meanwhile, there are citizens within the U.S. who are vying for power of the presidency and chomping at the bit to bring forth more bloodshed.


Regarding this matter, I maintain a different perspective than people like Nikki Haley who recently stated of Ukraine, “This is a war about freedom, and it’s one we have to win. A win for Ukraine is a win for all of us, because tyrants tell us exactly what they’re gonna do.”


Here, Haley’s claim that “we have to win” is synonymous with stating that “we must win.” Setting aside the fact that the U.S. has yet to openly declare itself a party to the war (“we”), Haley’s irrational worldview is that the U.S. must win in order to defeat who she calls a “tyrant.”


I think it’s revealing when Haley cautions that “tyrants tell us exactly what they’re gonna do,” as she recently stated of Israel, “This is not just an attack on Israel; this is an attack on America, because they hate us just as much,” as she called for Benjamin Netanyahu to “finish them [Hamas]!”


Noteworthy, Maya Angelou invited people to consider that when individuals show you who they are, believe them the first time. I believe a tyrant whose mouth smacks for bloodshed and who ostensibly incites violence upon the world stage.


Conclusion


I can endure the fact that people don’t share my worldview. There are people like my old friend who mentally reside in Unicornia, people like Conway who obey the street code, and people Like Haley who apparently hunger for massacres.


Despite these different perspectives, I keep in mind Machiavelli’s pronouncement and Hume’s dilemma. Ultimately, I don’t want to neglect what is actually done for what I believe should be done, because I understand that the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation is to ignore the is-ought problem.


Perhaps you’ve been overwhelmed by your beliefs about current events unraveling across the globe. While I won’t lie by inviting you to delude yourself with a one-way ticket to Unicornia, I may be able to help you tolerate and accept what is so that you get better by challenging your ought narratives, rather than simply feeling better through use of escapism.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW



References:


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