How Important is Evidence?
Show me how or why this works. That’s what I think about anything in my life. I’m an educator. I teach English as a foreign language in a Japanese university, and I’m always asking, “Why does this work?” or “How does this work?” I do action research, which is basically conducting studies in your classroom environment with your students as the participants. I try different things, testing my hypotheses, and when I get positive results, I always ask the question, “Why?” Sure I can see that getting students to make specific language learning goals increases their motivation to learn English, but I do not know why it does. So, I am compelled to learn more about cognition and the way the brain processes language. I’m even thinking about getting a PhD. in neurolinguistics. I want to fully understand how the brain works with regard to learning a second language.
Although this curiosity and thirst for knowledge and desire for evidence works wonderfully in my profession as an educator, it causes some discomfort in my personal life. I find it difficult to have faith in the things that do not lend themselves easily to evidence; for example, the existence of god or a higher power. I want to believe there is something greater than this out there. I want to believe that I am Source and that life is bigger than just what I see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. That learning about the world through a series of experiments in which I test my various hypotheses is not the only way to learn. However, I cannot trust faith. I want to have faith, and when I do make a decision based on or allow myself to have faith, I almost always doubt it.
Sometimes relying on what is tangible and what is plausible or falsifiable can act as a crutch keeping you from taking risks or trying new things. On an intellectual level, I understand this. My reliance on evidence and the natural world is keeping me from experiencing other possibilities. If I loved myself, I would embrace the parts of myself that are romantic, and crave magic, and know there is more out there than just the physical world. I want to know my spiritual side. I want to fully commit to it, but my scientific side, the careful part of myself holds me back.
There is also of course the fear of being made a fool of. I’m afraid that if I fully embrace my spirituality and declare to everyone in my life that I believe in Source energy, that I believe that there is so much more out there than what I can see with my physical eyes and touch with my corporal hands, I will be laughed at, ostracized and dismissed. I don’t want people to lose respect for me. I don’t want people to speak of me in hushed tones behind closed doors.
So I’m left with the question, the one that I have committed myself to asking every time I had to make a decision big or small and that is “What would someone who loved themselves do?” and the answer is:
“Be true to yourself. Be honest about your misgivings while at the same time forthcoming about your willingness to learn using different tools. Don’t declare anything until you are absolutely certain, but don’t hide what you are doing. Believe that the people who love you will accept you no matter what you do because they love you for who you are not what you do. Believe and trust that others who will love you for who you are will come into your life once you embrace the part of you that is spiritual and that knows you are Source. Do what feels good to you, and don’t worry what others think. Be a fool. It is better than living a lie. It is better than abandoning yourself. Take it one day at a time, don’t rush it.”
And so I shall.
May you find the courage to be yourself every day no matter what.
I hope you’ll share your thoughts on this topic. I look forward to hearing from you.