The Science Behind Acceptance

Topic: The Science Behind Acceptance

Core Tenet #4 reminds us that the scientific method is one of the best tools at our disposal when learning about the Universe. Along with obvious things like hadron colliders, cancer research, and drug development, science has also been delving into the reasons behind certain common human behaviors. It seems that many of the things people do, even some things that just piss you off, have a scientific reason behind them. If we know why something happens, we are well on our way to correcting it, so that hopefully people will not be so dumb or so awful at each other in the future.

This is also a wonderful perspective to have when you are somehow affected by another person’s idiocy: there is a reason for this, we may someday find a cure, and I do not have to try to fix it because that is not my job. Somebody else is already working on curbing stupidity in humans. You can focus your energies on more productive things and just let the dumb roll off your back. Science has also confirmed the best way to address negativity in various forms so that it does not harsh our carefully-cultivated mellow: Maintaining an optimistic and grateful attitude no matter what life throws at you, and responding to non-physical attacks by not attacking back. (Also, learn the meaning of the word “attack.” Nobody is treading on you, sweetie.)

The best thing about behavioral science is that, once you know the reasons behind the actions, it becomes easier to accept people as they are. Humans are reactionary; they react to internal and external stimuli according to their character and cultural background. If there is negative internal stimuli, usually some kind of fear, the reaction is usually also negative, and we are learning more about those internal stimuli and where they come from. It is also easier to accept people from vastly different backgrounds when you understand the science behind how their upbringing shaped their character. By Mindfully and deliberately forming relationships with diverse individuals, we can learn more about the human experience and even learn something about ourselves. This means befriending people of different ethnicities, gay and trans people, and people of different ages or stages of life. It also means asking respectful questions to better understand another’s perspective through their life experience.

Core Tenet #4 also encourages you to be curious about the Universe and come up with your own scientific experiments. Play around with magnets and gravity. Put cornstarch paste on a speaker. Make a baby carrot explode in the microwave. See what happens when you try to train your dog to open the fridge. You can re-create a thermal inversion with half a glass of ice water and the smoke from a joint. Can you think of any other scientific experiments you can conduct?


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