Opinion: Cognitive Resonance

by Paul Edmunds

It might turn out that the opposite is true.

We prefer to see ourselves as deeply concerned with the fate of the planet and her residents. We would love to see a diverse, flourishing world around us; we may even entertain the possibility that we are of nature and not external to it. We would believe that how we consume, travel and invest are small blind spots set against a larger background of this concern. In our critical reflection, this is where we concede to a little cognitive dissonance: where there is tension between what we believe and how we act.

But, I would suggest, figure and ground have been inverted. It is in fact our beliefs which don’t accord with our actions. For the most part we concern ourselves with getting what we want, when we want, as cheaply as possible. What we do in the world is most of what we are; it is our beliefs which are the aberration. Our ‘blind spots’ eclipse our vision.

What if the opposite was true?

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