By Rev. Kurt Condra
I've never been a fan of competitive reality TV -- the shows where people get "voted off the island." But Wired magazine's review of "The Circle" on Netflix intrigued me. Now, I'm hooked.
Contestants are isolated in single apartments -- their only interactions are with other players via a voice-activated social media platform. They deal with challenges we all face: a comforting routine ends; an expectation is dashed; someone we trust fails us; we lose any ally.
What I find most fascinating is how tightly most players hold to their perceptions. They all know the rules change from day to day. They know their competitors may be "catfishing" (fabricating online identities). Still, we witness each player filtering data in support of their version of truth.
It's our human nature. Changing our minds is hard. It requires questioning what we "know." It can evoke feelings of fear, anger or anxiety. It means living with uncertainty. That's why Moses and the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years. It takes time and perseverance to overcome enslavement to false ideas and enter the promised land, free to fulfill our highest potential.
In these polarized times, I believe the ability to hold our own perspectives lightly and the willingness to walk in another's shoes, is the most extraordinary blessing we can offer. It may not be easy, but it's entirely doable. And provided we don't take ourselves too seriously, it can be both joyful and healing.