“I find your abundance of conservatism to be disturbing”, said he, which is all that I needed to start my train of thoughts.
One of the ways of defining conservatism is as, “The tendency to resist new experiences’.
I guess conservatism is more or less the exact opposite of being a liberal. I understand this classification is based on beliefs rather than on personal tastes. On second thought, to draw such a fine line of classification is wrong because, if you think about it, it depends on both to an extent. Let’s move on and see.
One way of defining conservatism, as far as I can see, is as the fear to come out of your comfort zone. This brings us to the question of when does one’s comfort zone get fully established? Is there even such a thing as fully established comfort zone?
It is not like you define your comfort zone at a certain age. It keeps on growing. You definitely will be comfortable doing something now which you were not comfortable doing, say, five years back. So this “new thing” is within your comfort zone now, when once, it wasn’t.
This means that sticking to one’s comfort zone makes him do things and take decisions based on his life’s experiences he has gathered so far, which, I hope you will agree, is not a bad thing.
In this perspective, not being conservative, is to be lenient in growing your comfort zone. Let things into your CZ without too much of resistance and experimenting. However, that depends on the methods in your CZ, that you use to grow your CZ. Let’s sit back and see what all methods we use to grow it.
The first and foremost, I would say, would be “need”. When you absolutely need something, you would try any means to achieve it, thereby bringing all that you tried under your CZ. I believe this is the sudden and fastest way of growing it. Of course, I’m not talking about the same need again and again, but new needs.
The second one would be “curiosity”. This, as far as I can think of, won’t be sudden. You are not driven by the “need” for getting something done here. You are simply trying to quench your personal thirst. In this process, I think the basic nature of humans would be to shield themselves from as much harm and hurt as possible. Which means you are going to take it nice and slow while experimenting, unless, to get hurt or be harmed is already in your CZ.
The third one would be being an “extrovert”. Of course, this would very well classify as being crazy as well, but what I mean here is the “why not?” attitude.
In a broad and general manner of classifying the methods we depend upon in order to extend our CZ, I believe the above three covers pretty much everything. However, you might have noticed that the above three things, more or less, is beyond a person’s control. All these three things depend upon the fundamental, inborn differences that human beings have, where they were born and how they were brought up, their surroundings and circumstances in life. These will be different for almost everyone on God’s green Earth and hence, everyone’s CZ and the pace of its growth will be different.
Now, coming back to the definition of conservatism, even though one of the definitions that I gave for it is the fear of coming out of one’s comfort zone, that is not the only obstacle to not being a conservative. I did not mean ‘obstacle’ in a negative sense there.
Being conservative will definitely have something to do with one’s belief as well – Religion and parents’, teachers’, families’ and friends’ teachings. When this sinks in a person, he takes for granted the meaning of certain things. I mean, that is what belief is about, isn’t it? “Believe your mom when she tells you chocolates are bad for your teeth”. You respect and love her so much that you take her word for it. Is that something to be blamed for? I don’t think so. All you have t make sure is that you be really careful in selecting the people whom you are going to respect and love the most. Most of us already have these priorities set.
So, if a person is a disbeliever, it is that much easier for him to become a liberal. But does this mean that that is THE path to be followed? You have your beliefs and I have mine. Let’s respect each other for that. Peace. Coffee?
Coming to the point of the entire article, did he take all these things into consideration when he said he was disturbed by my conservatism? Is being conservative a wrong thing? His circumstances might have been different where he was born and bought up from mine. So I say everyone won’t be like you. Take it easy and give me chances. I’m sure I’ll expand my CZ, even though it might be a bit slow.