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Closing ourselves to the present means excluding ourselves from the new future

I recently witnessed a situation in a local supermarket that exemplifies that mental, emotional, and psychological closure that, by keeping us locked in the present, prevents us from seeing the new future and, therefore, connecting with that future. That is, we consciously or not exclude ourselves from the emerging reality.

It turns out that a couple, already elderly and clearly newly arrived in the country, chose a package of meat, and then asked to speak to someone at the supermarket. A few minutes later, an employee who spoke the couple's language arrived. Then, the new immigrant told the employee that the meat was “badly cut.” For this reason, she added that she and her husband offered to “teach” how the meat should be cut.

In the minds of these people, the way they were accustomed to seeing meat cut, that is, the “normal” way, must be the only proper way to cut meat. Any other way of doing it was “wrong.” Even worse, anyone who did not cut the meat the way they (the newcomers) expected was, at best, an ignoramus who should be properly educated.

The supermarket employee, clearly understanding the psychological and cultural reasons that motivated the attitude of the couple in question, patiently explained to them that this is how meat was sold in that supermarket, that the cuts of meat were not bad, that the local butchers were not they needed to be educated, and that there were specialized butcher shops where they could buy the cuts they wanted.

This example reveals a highly prevalent psychological and existential attitude in our society in which clinging and sticking to the past (more specifically, the past that one knows and lived) is considered the best and, in many cases, the only strategy when encountering a reality. different from that past and for which one is not prepared.

Obviously, the example of a new immigrant couple shopping in a supermarket in their new country and expecting to find exactly what they saw in supermarkets in their home country is a superficial and irrelevant example. However, the attitude of intransigence toward the new future and the intense (and harmful) desire to perpetuate the past and repeat the present are not.

After all, just as this couple demanded that the meat be cut the way they wanted and considered any alternative “bad,” a similar attitude is seen in social, political, and religious groups who consider their “truth” (please note quotes) to be the only and authentic one and that any other option is something “bad” that must be eliminated or modified.

Intransigence can often be detrimental when it prevents individuals, organizations, or societies from adapting and embracing a better future.

Both the history of humanity and recent news in the media justify without a doubt that this is exactly what often happened and still happens in relationships between human beings. However, one thing is a trivial disagreement about “badly cut” meat, and another thing is a disagreement that endangers all humanity.

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