A quick but really unsavory progression for you:

When presented with evidence that contradicts something you previously held to be true, you instantly enter a state of cognitive dissonance.

**Cognitive dissonance is a theory of human motivation that asserts that it is psychologically uncomfortable to hold contradictory cognitions. The theory is that dissonance, being unpleasant, motivates a person to change his cognition, attitude, or behavior.

Next up, you go through a process of deciding if the evidence warrants a change of position on the subject and if the evidence is strong enough, you would be wise to change your position. However, if the contradictory evidence challenges something in which you have vested your entire life’s meaning then, most likely, you will be subjected to cognitive bias.

**A cognitive bias is a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering, or other cognitive process, often occurring as a result of holding onto one’s preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information.

And finally, if you have so thoroughly convinced yourself that the evidence presented is not personally acceptable to you, then you unwisely end up in the arena of confirmation bias.

**Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.

So the question is this: will you choose to grow as a human being and become more intelligent and learn as much as you can in your lifetime, never being afraid to admit when you are wrong, thus becoming a fountain of knowledge from which future generations can draw understanding thereby leaving this world in a better condition than the one it was in when you entered it?

As Isaac Asimov stated, β€œThe most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…’”

Choose wisely. πŸ™‚

Why you’re special.

Do you know why you’re so special?

Because out of the estimated 8 million species of animals currently in existence on this planet, which is also estimated to only be 10% of the total species yet to be discovered, your brain has the amazing ability to ask “why?”. You don’t have to settle for the life of a bird and fly south each winter because of instinct; you don’t have to settle for the life of a well trained dog that does what it’s told because it gets a treat; you don’t even have to settle for a life scared of fire because you think it’s magic or evil spirits. You can ask “why?”.

And not just that, you can discover the answer! You can discover why stars look like pinheads of light in the night sky with your own eye using geometry and trigonometry and quantum physics! You can share these adventures with others by learning different languages and cultures! You can do SO much in your life all because you have the innate ability to ask “why?”.

But this growth…this potential for amazing discoveries will only happen if you make the choice to ask that question. It will only happen when you challenge everything you’ve ever been taught as a child and discover for yourself whether evidence exists to support those pre-existing teachings. So ask!

Ask why the earth is spherical.

Ask why it takes light only 1 second to travel 186,000 miles.

Ask why the eastern and western hemispheres of this planet are slowly spreading apart from each other making the Atlantic Ocean a little wider every day; and then ask if there is evidence that they were ever touching!

Just ask “why?”!

And then watch as the wonders of this amazing universe make other parts of your amazing brain start to ask more questions and more questions until you finally realize that you will never, EVER, be able to learn it all.

But, if you can learn to work with others and not disparage or hate them for their beliefs, or the color of their skin, or the mistakes their parents or their parents’ parents made; if you choose to move past the age-old cry for damnation or torture or killing of those who may not think or believe or love the way you do; if you can also take these precepts and teach them to others, THEN…you can live a life knowing that those who continue after you are gone will take up the quest of asking “why?” which will break new ground in science and art and music and diversity and, and, and!…and that is the absolute BEST legacy anyone could possibly ever leave behind.

More on that later, 0

I simply don’t fit in most crowds.

I was raised in a Pentecostal family. I was taught how to speak in tongues and pray in the spirit and I actually led a little boy in the sinner’s prayer one time. (1st “More on that later.”) My family was actually pretty awesome most of the time. My dad was the most stalwart and loyal individual I ever met. I’m pretty sure I get my stubbornness from him. πŸ˜‡ And he also taught me to never give up which is also why I don’t quit unless I am forced to do so.

Then my family went on a missions trip to the Philippines which was epic! We went to help local churches have more exciting music and I did a bunch of volunteer work along the way as well. (2nd More on that later.)

Then I went to eighth grade and high school at Lexington Academy in Farmers Branch, Texas. During that time I also went on two missions trips to help out communities who didn’t get everything that most people get in large cities. (3rd More on that later.)

Then I went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I helped out with local community outreach programs during my time there. (4th More on that later.) And it was in this time that I started learning about other viewpoints about life. This was the beginning of my shedding the old skin of religion.

Then I joined the Navy after 9/11 and did eight years, six months, and twenty-eight days of service, with four years, eleven months, and eighteen days of sea time. When our ship needed a search and rescue swimmer, I volunteered so I could help save lives. (5th More on that later.)

Then came back to Dallas to finish my music degree because that’s something I promised my dad I would do but he died of leukemia. (6th More on that later.)

Then I found my now ex-wife in the last semester of my college career and we fell in love. Then we got married. Then we made a baby. While she was recovering from giving birth, I changed my work schedule so that she wouldn’t lose any students because I’m kind of a big deal and can also teach piano lessons. (7th More on that later.)

Then I was a dad! (8th More on that later.)

Then I started audio engineering school at MediaTech Institute and did that for a year and a half. (9th More on that later.) I want to create teaching programs for those communities that don’t get access to other types of music education, and that’s something that every culture in the world can have, and I want to learn from them so that this community called Earth can exchange ideas and inspirations for future generations of our species.

Then I got my first corporate gig at EY. In my second year I was promoted but I never got to enjoy the fruits of my labor because the doctors found a golf ball sized tumor in my brain. When they were doing a biopsy on the mass they nicked a blood vessel causing a brain bleed which caused me to stroke out. (10th More on that later.)

Then my ex-wife divorced me because she thought I was going to die so she sued me and tried to get full custody of our daughter. (11th More on that later.)

Then I did six weeks of Proton Therapy at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and then six months of chemotherapy which caused all of my hair to fall out. (Which is actually kind of funny because I’ve been shaving my head since my junior year of college.) (12th More on that later.)

Then I learned how to drive again so I could be able to pick up my daughter from school since I always wanted to have a kid that I could pick up from school. (13th More on that later.)

Then I started volunteering with Team Rubicon and have done two deployments with them on Operation Amberjack after a hurricane destroyed that part of Florida. (14th More on that later.)

And now I am studying to become an EMT so that I can help people who need immediate medical assistance.

Anyone else catching a theme here? πŸ€”

And all of this experience just shows me that I have so much more to learn but it’s difficult to relate with others who are more concerned with the latest trend or gossip or reality TV or etc… there is life to be lived and everyone else on the planet doesn’t realize it. Quite frustrating. And that’s why…

I don’t fit.