Standing still

I work in Hamburg St Pauli, not far from the Bismarck statue, which towers above the city. The statue appears so sublime because it is built on an artificially created hill and has a large base so that the statue appears even higher and more impressive. Recently I learned that a Nazi bunker was built under the hill, which still contains a lot of historical material and fascist propaganda.

Even without the reference to the bunker, the statue is heavily criticized, because under closer inspection, Bismarck was no longer the nice guy who deserves such a statue by today’s standards.

And so we see in these days all over the world how statues are dismantled, street names are renamed and institutes are newly renamed. We all know that opinions and world views can change. This is not always a bad thing either. For example, I am very happy that I questioned my former dream job as a child again (I wanted to wrap presents at perfumeries, all day long preferably).

And yes, when it comes to job wishes, hairstyles or favorite colors, we somehow allow ourselves this change of opinion every now and then. However, when we have an idea about heroes or criminals, we think we’ve eaten the absolute truth and are not willing to back away from it. We even start to defend the opinion.

Could it be that our world view about real heroes and sole criminals can also change? And what actually changes an opinion?

It was interesting for me to learn that it can be a decision to consider several points of view as my own. And I noticed that it didn’t mean that you had to give up the old point of view completely. It just opened up the possibility for me to discover a much more “helpful” one among the many viewpoints. One that could take me further after all.

One thing I can say at this point: What didn’t help me was to condemn myself for rethinking. Look into the world and it is exactly what we do with each other. Sometimes we simply don’t know why we once fought for an opinion that no longer feels right today. Maybe we have more information than before, or have learned something new, so that the old viewpoint is no longer helpful for us. Is it then time for punishment or conviction? One of the most apt sayings I have ever heard is “when you know better you do better”. It truly makes it clear that it is about evolvement and responsibility, not punishment. This applies to me, to Bismarck and also to the criminal from the newspaper.

I believe we would set a good example if we could value the willingness to question. “I could be wrong” is a very courageous state of affairs. And it is vulnerable to take a moment to step back from our so “right” point of view.

Do you want to learn how to tear down statues in your consciousness? Get in touch with me and I introduce you to the Avatar tools.

Truth is relative to the point of view from which it is perceived.

Harry Palmer, Author of the Avatar Materials
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