Our Paradigm Paralysis

Paradigm- The Oxford English Dictionary defines the basic meaning of the term paradigm as “a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model”.[1] The historian of science Thomas Kuhn gave it its contemporary meaning when he adopted the word to refer to the set of practices that define a scientific discipline at any particular period of time. In his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Kuhn defines a scientific paradigm as: “universally recognized scientific achievements that, for a time, provide model problems and solutions for a community of practitioners,[2]~ Wikipedia

The late Steven R. Covey once wrote a book entitled “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. In it he introduced us to the concept and need for Paradigm (Our paradigm is the way we assume things are. It is what we believe is truth based on or backgrounds, teachings, environmental influences and our experiences.) Shift by telling the story of his experience in a subway when a father came onto the platform where he was sitting with his two young boys who were misbehaving. Covey, who was trying to concentrate on an article he was writing, became annoyed at the father who just sat there expressionless doing nothing. When he asked the father to please do something about his son’s behavior, the man looked at Covey and said, “We just came from the hospital where their mother has died. They didn’t know how to react and I don’t either.

It seems I ruffled a feather or two with my DeMintia piece the other day. In making my point on the “Fairy Tale” nature of Senator Jim DeMint’s response to Putin’s NYT op-ed, it seems I exposed opposing paradigms that must be understood if we are to save our country. If what I just said sounds overly dramatic to you then you and I are operating from two very distinctly different sets of paradigms…which is all well and good UNLESS we are seeking any level of relationship with one another…which might be as writer and reader, parent and child, husband and wife, master and slave or freedom-fighter and freedom-fighter!

In the exact same way the relationship between Covey and the Father shifted instantly and powerfully on that subway platform, a titanic Paradigm Shift will occur with us because it has to…in order for us to come together. And this will most like never happen as long as you are experiencing an abundance of the very freedoms I am fighting to save!

There would be no incentive for you to rally to my cause because I haven’t given you a reason to personally relate to it…yet. You can only roll your eyes and ask me to please get my kids under control. 😉

But how is it that one set of Americans with exactly the same access to news and world reports sees their America so differently from the other set exposed to the exact same stimuli? I believe this is largely a result of our seeing the world we want to see first, and needing to see second.

Our “environmental influences and experiences” determine our wants and needs. If I, as a man who was raised in a very healthy and nurturing environment reach out to help you, the woman raised in a broken home abused by her father, we are more than likely to experience very serious challenges in our relationship…which now brings Trust onto the table doesn’t it?

Finally, I would like to introduce a third party to our discussion on relationships, experiences, wants, needs and trust. I will let you fill in the blank by answering the question, “Who is the biggest stake-holder in our lives?” I will only add to that one more question. “What if they are playing chess while we’re just learning checkers?” 

My favorite Liberal couldn’t wait for me to read a speech that Robin Williams had given which someone had posted on her Face Book wall. Supposedly Williams gave this passionate rant on the virtues of our American values while knocking multiculturalism…in essence saying, “America…love her or leave her”! The only problem was…Robin Williams never uttered these words! WOW! Talk about a Paradigm Shift!!! She embraced these values as long as they were held by her favorite fellow Liberal! She is operating in a Left (Liberal) versus Right (Conservative) paradigm while I am in the Right versus Wrong one!

The moral of the story is this. You and I are family. We were meant to be together on this earth. There is a third party who needs to keep us apart in order to reign over us. They do this by controlling the chess board. By maintaining the paradigm of Left versus Right when it is only about Right versus Wrong! In the very same way, they attempt to control in the physical sense what was meant for the eternal. That is until we realize our destiny…our Independence Day! !


Chip Murray: Wide Awake

About Chip Murray

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8 Responses to Our Paradigm Paralysis

  1. Lisa Douglas says:

    With respect here Right vs Wrong – it sounds so very simple yet it’s extremely hard given the ‘paradigm’ you speak of. When I read DeMint’s piece, then your take on his piece – I reread his piece. I still side with DeMint’s paradigm of America for I believe, with all my heart and soul, she can be returned to her glory – but not before Americans get a handle on the ‘right vs wrong’ you speak about. But, as your use of Covey highlights, both men were ‘right’… aka right vs wrong is ‘not so very simple’.

    I am often pushed into the ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ thought. As I read of your ‘third party’ that wants to keep us apart – the hard truth is that no one can reign over us unless we allow them to co-opt our way of thinking and reasoning. It’s easy to co-opt us based on our backgrounds; experiences; teachings, selfishness, etc. b/c we’ve lost the only teaching that matters – aka the one from God Almighty. That said, we will even disagree with what is written there.

    Today, people live by their own codes/interpretations and therein lies the problem – period. There are no more universal truths and until that time re-establishes itself, we will continue to live in varied paradigms – fighting the left, the right, the middle; and among ourselves, all to no end.

    While some fight for our freedoms and some take them for granted, the two paths can not – will not – cross under the ‘right vs wrong’ banner for just like Covey, they come from two different realities making it impossible to understand each other until – it’s too late to take back what was done or said etc, and even then, I fear its only a temporary alignment with another’s reality.

    Our true ‘Independence Day’ comes when we let go and let God. That doesn’t mean we sit back and watch – it means we keep our eyes and hearts on God and we amplify Jesus in our own words, works and deeds…. But alas, even that is easier said than done.

  2. shutupnsing says:

    “As I read of your ‘third party’ that wants to keep us apart – the hard truth is that no one can reign over us unless we allow them to co-opt our way of thinking and reasoning.” – There are some who would argue that this has already happened…through first our schools, and then our pop culture. It’s not as complicated as we have made it…by turning Truth into a million “subjective” impostors. We were “Exceptional” once. The ONLY thing “exceptional” about us now is our stunning rate of decline!

  3. Paul Laux says:

    Mr. Chipo,
    So true. Left versus right is an easy groove to slip into based on any paradigm that defines us. On that great final day when the history of mankind is terminated in a nano second, the only thing that will matter is truth versus a lie. Jesus Christ said, “I am The Way, The TRUTH and The Life, no one comes to The Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Mankind breeds lies that lock people in false paradigms. That accomplished chess player, the father of lies, loves to see men encased and suffocating in false paradigm. Multitudes are shackled in lies these days, courtesy of pride, ego, apathy and a lack of due diligence of life. Because our hearts are not inclined to truth, endless effort is necessary seeking it out. I am intimately aware of my long string of lies, the darkness of my heart and the stench of my false righteousness. I have given that over to the One who is The Truth and He is building me a brand new paradigm. In it, I find great comfort and assurance and am getting better at discerning the truth from a lie with no regard to former paradigm association.

  4. ◄Dave► says:

    You are half way there, Chip. You have escaped the political Left vs. Right paradigm, which the oligarchs have used to keep us at each other’s throats, instead of their own. Yet, you continue to cling to your own underlying judgmental paradigm of Right vs. Wrong. These are woefully subjective terms. Who gets to define them? We all think we are right, and that those disagreeing with us are wrong. Attempting to promote one’s worldview with such terms, seems to me to be the height of folly. You can collect followers who agree with you; but you will just unnecessarily alienate those closed minds who do not.

    In the spirit of trying to find common ground for creating the titanic paradigm shift of which you speak, let’s explore an alternative that is not subjective, and in my opinion is the real fundamental question of our time. It boils down to the age-old struggle between individualists desiring freedom, and authoritarians desiring benevolent rulers. Are we still independent self-sufficient and self-governing people; or are we now content to be well managed sheeple?

    Are we still a Constitutional republic, consisting of sovereign individuals, with natural rights to life, Liberty, property, and to be left the hell alone by officious busybodies, to live our individual lives as we choose to live them, responsible only for ourselves and loved ones? Or are we a mob rule democracy, consisting of a collective of authoritarian altruists, within which the individual is an insignificant cog, expected to complacently sacrifice self for the good of society, which can and does use government coercion to regulate individual behavior, redistribute wealth, and enforce compliance with authority?

    I beseech you to suspend judgment, and step outside of your morality play, long enough to honestly consider the wisdom of engaging in this battle for Liberty under this entirely secular ‘individual freedom vs. collective tyranny’ banner. We may not agree on what is right and what is wrong; but surely we can agree that we don’t want that determined by the bureaucracy in Sodom by the Potomac. I know it sends you ’round the bend every time I mention the word ‘altruism,’ because it has a positive connotation in your worldview. Please, please, please do me the favor of reading Ayn Rand’s quotes on the subject here:


    …you may continue to disagree with us; but at least you will finally understand what I mean when I employ the term. 🙂 ◄Dave►

  5. Chip Murray says:

    Half way, half empty, half full…who really knows? Thanks for weighing in brotha Dave! I’m not sure what you mean by my “morality play”, but if by that term you are referring to my subscription to the very solid tenets of OUR Judeo-Christian heritage, then I am guilty as charged. I am more than familiar…I am an admirer of Ayn Rand, delighted to learn from her wisdom but obligated to follow my heart. Your combining authoritarian with the word altruists doesn’t “send me ‘round the bend” as much as it perplexes me. Possessing an “unselfish concern for others” is a very Christian-like quality and the very foundation of philanthropy. These are qualities that emanate from the heart. The forced philanthropy of “redistribution” emanates from Tyranny. We’ve allowed the simple to become complicated because WE have spliced Truth into countless “subjective” shadows without substance Dave. I know you struggle with this one, but the Founders did not wallpaper the Republic with their “Trust in God” on a careless whim.

  6. ◄Dave► says:

    Thanks for the reply, Chip. If and when you bother to read Ayn Rand’s quotes as requested, you will no longer be perplexed; because we do not define altruism as “unselfish concern for others.” You are free to ‘trust in God,’ I have no desire whatever to interfere with such; what you are not free to do, is enforce the dogma associated with your particular faith on others who do not share it.

    Although it is being bred out of us at an alarming rate, America was founded and predominately populated for its first hundred years, by rugged individualists of pioneering stock. Yet, among our Founders, there were authoritarians advocating a stronger central government, to rule over our fledgling nation. Some even desired to crown George Washington as our first reining monarch. Others, with more faith in clergy than kings, would have preferred to establish a national religion, as our ruling authority. Fortunately, mindful of what they and their forefathers had endured to escape these twin tyrannies, a strong majority rejected both out of hand, and established our grand experiment in self-government, without authoritarian rulers of any stripe.

    Under the banner of Liberty, our Founding Fathers carefully studied the famous thinkers of the Enlightenment, and followed their sage advice. Sovereignty remained with the unbound free individual, and our Constitutional republic was, by design, extremely limited in its powers, none of which permitted it to tax or interfere in the daily lives of its individual citizens (just try to imagine what that must have been like). All social compacts, rules for behavior, and police powers remained with the State and local governments, which had constituted the federation we called our Union.

    Thus, it is fair to say that at our nation’s inception, political thought was divided between individualists yearning to remain free, and authoritarians desiring benevolent rulers. The authoritarians were further divided into two camps; the monarchists and the religionists. Most of our Founders were once loyal subjects of King George, and revered George Washington like no other. A good many were also pious god-fearing men, of one sect or another. Yet, with the heady Enlightenment notions of Liberty and natural rights in the ascendency, it was the right time and place to try voluntary self-rule, of law rather than men, by free sovereign individuals, who bowed to no potentate.

    So, they wisely chose the third ‘Liberty camp,’ as having the more compelling agenda, for fashioning a national Union as a Constitutional republic, with a strictly limited government, which could not be used to impose the will of anyone (or any group) on another, including that of a majority on a minority. As designed, regardless what modern authoritarian collectivists / altruists choose to think, or how noble attempting it might sometimes make them feel, our exceptional society has no business trampling on minority rights with the coercive power of government, for any reason whatever. Ever!

    It is important to keep in mind that the ultimate minority is a single individual. It wouldn’t matter if 99% of Americans disagreed with his lifestyle choices; as long as he was doing no harm to others, it is none of their business, and most particularly none of the government’s business. Note also, that even the pious recognized the wisdom of leaving the issue of promoting moral dogma to the pulpits, in exchange for the higher value of freedom to choose their own church, without interference or favoritism by the secular state.

    In today’s political spectrum, the monarchists have been replaced by the Marxists. Otherwise, is there any chance we could return to the above political paradigm of our Founders? We might lose some of the more dogmatic Christian fundamentalists; but I think we could more than make up for them by attracting more swing voters, who fear them and their agenda, more than they fear the Marxists and theirs. Thus, we could completely escape the Left Right paradigm, and focus on individual Liberty as the goal. ◄Dave►

  7. ◄Dave► says:

    I just stumbled upon an interesting 3 part series for your consideration, Chip:

    “Why Christians Make Great Libertarians” (Pt. 1)
    “Rejecting Earthly Authority” (Pt. 2)
    “Christians Forbidden To Correct Sinners By Force” (Pt. 3)

    I rather liked one old quote in the final article:

    “The third century church father John Chrysostom fervently denounced the authorities of his day – and had no desire to take their place.

    “Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force,” he said. “It is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion.”

    That works for me; how about you? It seems to have worked for the pious among our Founders, too; for they created no Federal mechanism for forcing sinners to behave. 😉 ◄Dave►

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