I catch others and myself all the time falling into the false-dichotomy trap. We want to label a food as good or bad, a behavior as good or bad, a political party as good or bad, a worldview as good or bad, a person as good or bad. But nothing exists in an unchanged vacuum. It has a context. And that context changes everything. And the landscape of context is ever-shifting as well, from moment to moment, not just epoch to epoch.
People rave about some plant-based nutrition program; but many people would legitimately die from anaphylactic response following such a diet.
People hold up on a pedestal their eating of fruits and veggies, not paying attention to the fact that even these can throw blood sugar all over the place. Never mind that most people I’ve coached are woefully inadequate on protein intake.
People lambaste an entire group. Right. Not ONE thing they’ve done is helpful? And not one member has a shred of redeemable traits? Ok.
We could go down the list. People, ideologies, groups. Do they really do ONLY good or ALL bad? I don’t think superlative hyperbole and lack of nuance is doing us any favors.
So, what question should we ask?
How about, “are these combined factors productive toward the outcome I desire?”
That leaves open for us the capacity to question the status quo and unshackle ourselves from mindlessly following a given organization or individual. Then, we can utilized benefits from whatever source and accurately and honestly criticize the shortcomings of our favorites.
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