The Human Element

Several years ago I noticed something about myself. I am an extremist. When I learn something new, I become consumed by the knowledge and begin to see the new truth in every situation. For example, if I purchase a new vehicle, I suddenly see that vehicle everywhere I go.

One of my passions is psychology. As a result, I have read a lot of books on the subject and was surprised to learn that I am not alone in my extremism. It appears, from what I have read, to be an invasive characteristic of the human condition. Many people, after discovering a life changing truth, are desperate to share their truth with others; however, their precious truth gets lost in extremism. This is loudly exemplified as a result of the advent of social media. Web sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, allow us to look back over the thoughts that others have shared and easily identify a pattern of extremism. The problem is that we are more likely to identify other people’s extremes, while ignoring our own. This is possibly because we are very good at justifying our own extremes.

I am not proposing that we stamp out extremism. Being single minded and focused is a good thing. For example, as Christians, we should be consumed by things relating to God; however, we must be careful not to focus on only one facet of God. Doing so results in our particular “candy stick” truth loosing it’s effectiveness (friends role their eyes and say, “there they go again…”) and God being ignored. I believe this principle applies to every aspect of life, not just Christians.

I challenge you to scroll through the last few months of your posts (for those not using social media, your only hope is to ask a painfully honest friend 😉). Can you identify your “candy stick”? I am not saying that your cause is not noble. I am saying if you feel your cause is noble, be cautious that it is not lost in your extremism. We are all prone to extremism but, strangely, we rarely tolerate it in others. Don’t be the intolerable extreme.


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