Satellite technology, CT scans, psychometric tests and artificial intelligence- We may have made a lot of advancements in technology and other spheres of human life, but this has not prevented our world from being any less unpredictable. In fact, on close observation one would realize that the human experience was much more predictable earlier.
One element that makes our world so unpredictable is the very nature of mankind.
Extremely intelligent animals by biology, we have a lot of processes and stimuli affecting the way we think and act and there is no sure shot way to predict what a person would do next. As much as a person is conversing with the world, the person is also constantly conversing with him/herself and that makes it dicey in certain situations. While indicators such as facial expressions and bodily movements are good for you to ascertain the intensity of your interaction, there is a high chance that you do not know how much the situation would actually escalate. This is especially true in times where gun violence, political instability and fluid ideological change is becoming increasingly common and plays a huge role in shaping the perspectives, opinions and behaviors of communities and individuals.
Therefore, as great as it is to have the ability to extract yourself out of a dicey situation, it is ever so more important to avoid getting into one at all. The law does protect you against excessive violence that is life threatening, but it does not protect you from aggression.
Most people have very specific trigger points, but humanity as a whole is sensitive to certain universal trigger points. These are 6 of them:
All of these trigger points are such that they are not inherently good or evil. They are just as they are- they exist not to be defined but so that we can continuously define and redefine them. But all of them have been responsible for untold misery in the human and individual scale. If you think about each of them in silent contemplation or discuss this with some close circles, you will realize that much of the conflict that goes on today revolves around these issues.
You might ask: Why are certain points like crime and slavery not on the list?
As mentioned before, the list above is quite neutral. No one would dispute that religion, politics and racism causes conflict. However, war, morality and sexuality is also included in this list because if you would think about it, none of these are inherently evil or good either.
War was necessary for survival until humans learned to co exist. Morality can be either good or bad depending on the situation. Sexuality is pretty much an order of nature.
Crime and slavery is very much a human phenomenon and no sane person would say that slavery serves a positive purpose.
Racism exists on many levels and we all are inherently racist to varying degrees. We have learned to accept people with differences and that has been attained through hard fought battles against slavery, apartheid, racial segregation and finally racism- all overthrown by the power of legislations and public opinion after the efforts of the likes of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and countless others across the centuries.
Our unpredictability adds a particularly dangerous element to any conversation about the above topics. Most of us are influenced by emotions, and after a certain point they become capable of overpowering reasoning and common sense. You do not know to what extent the other person would go to engage you in a heated debate, enforce his/her opinions on you and whether the person is willing to use verbal or physical violence. The person could be armed even, and that’s never a safe situation.
Thus, the best policy despite your individual opinion is to always avoid getting into conversations about the points above. The longer and deeper you enter the conversation, the greater the probability of you offending the other person and greater the chance of distress and trouble. Be courteous, decline to engage in further discussion and carry on with your business.
If you wish to discuss any of the above at all, you must ensure that your company is friendly and well known to you.
At the very least, you know you’ll be safe.
On a final note, despite all the thoughts and ideas above, as a modern human you have the responsibility to stand up to everything that threatens human progress and individual freedom, even if there is the possibility of violence.