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Conditioning: Wrapping up history and moving into the “now” (#283)

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The last few posts have given you a perspective of history which shows that there is sometimes more to it than meets the eye; that there are often different ways, viewpoints, angles and perspective from which to view the world around us in which we have grown up.

This has a direct impact on our conditioning.  Sometimes our interpretation of the world around us is correct.  Sometimes it is incorrect, and sometimes it is incomplete.  I personally believe that human nature makes it so that most people’s views (anywhere in the world) tend to always be incomplete (at least to some extent) instead of incorrect or correct.   Unless we are walking encyclopedias (and few people are), none of us can ever hold “complete views” regarding everything.   But some people’s views are more “incomplete” than others.

Here in Canada, as someone who has lived a large chunk of his life living between both cultures (since the age of three), I personally believe that Anglophones and Francophones are not immune from having incomplete views of the others’ respective realities.

The historic perspective I provided you in the past posts (that from the perspective of Francophones from outside Québec) is a prime examples.  It is a historic perspective which is lost on many Francophones inside Québec, and many Anglophones outside Québec.   Yet, if more people had taken such a perspective into account when considering information they already were aware of, many of the past points of political friction between Anglophones and Francophones could have been averted.  Furthermore, many future points of friction could also likely be averted.  A bit of “humbleness” towards past events is not a bad thing (and the point of view I presented — that of Francophones outside Québec — provides more than its fair share of humbleness for all to consider from all sides).

These incomplete views do not stem from deep rooted prejudice (stemming from a lack of not willing to budge), nor is it racism – but it is rather a question of having been conditioned into believe we already have the complete picture, and that there is no need to go digging deeper, when the reality is sometime quite the opposite.

This conditioning comes from

  • our media,
  • our news,
  • our education system,
  • from a language barrier,
  • very often from geography and long distances which prevent face-to-face interaction, and
  • from the imprints left on us from others around us who themselves have been conditionedinto believing they should relay the same notions to others.

It is a repetitive cycle (but one which can, should, and is steadily being broken).

In post #275, I stated that (at the risk of overgeneralizing) for unilingual Anglophones, I believe that their single one largest conditioning fault is believing that most aspects of Québec society are exposed to all the same things that Canada’s Anglophone society is exposed to – and thus they are more often than not “just like Canadian Anglophones”, but speak French.

Again, at the risk of overgeneralizing, in post #275 I stated that for many Francophones, I believe that their single one largest conditioning fault is not being aware of what is happening in the rest of Canada or in the minds of Anglophone Canadians across the country (but believing they understand what is happening elsewhere in Canada) – especially in a province-to-province-to-province context (within various Anglophone provinces themselves), or at a street-level context (in various different regions of Canada).

I also stated that when examined separately (on a Francophone versus Anglophone basis), both of these two conditioning contexts give rise to very distinct angles from which to view the notion of the Two Solitudes. 

In the next post I will provide concrete examples of how this cycle of conditioning plays itself out on a daily basis.



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