Seeing Growth as a Process
without focusing on stigmatization of those delayed
Several trends have led me to think about the topic of this article. The first, and most practical, is the ongoing effort to advance the artificial life form (ai) to human emotional intelligence. To that end, I have gone so far as to suggest that we are not necessarily correct in our fundamental definitional distinction between organic and inorganic, living and non-living. That distinction is just another one of our series of ongoing efforts to convice ourselves that we are better than others.
Another issue is the demographic changes we are experiencing in our contemporary world, with the inevitable shift to a "majority minority" population in the western world. This inevitable shift may be the cause of the ongoing racial and ethnic battles we are witnessing in the streets of our cities today. The previously held ides that members of minority groups tend to be intellectually, spiritually, or physically underdeveloped must be re-evaluated.
The third issue relates to the ongoing cultural wars, pitting "Science v God". We see in science a very clear understanding of child development and human physiology, but very little equivalence in the literature for human spiritual developemental stages.
I do recognize, even in my own life, that we each are on our own timetable with regards to different areas of decvelopment. However, I strongly believe that it is incorrect to assume that any individual or group of individuals is inherently incapable of either "catching up" in an area of development, or making up for permanent developmental disabilities with technological or alternative means.
I will advance a couple of arguments here to advocate that is in each of our self-interests, never to underestimate our adversaries by assuming that they are inherently inferior to us in any way. Such a mindset is an invitation for complacency, and a fuel for conflict, as we incite anger and violence in those we offend.
Below, as an example in child development, we see the "normal" milestones we expect from infants, and their timetables. Yet, other children, even possibly those of different cultures, may experience alternative developmental schedules:
A moral argument against stigmatizing children who are delayed is that, ultimately, after birth, we are presumed to be on a competitive race where the finish line is death itself. So, as related in an old adage, there really should be no rush to the finish line.
I would suggest that the same is true regarding spiritual development. It is not a widely discussed belief that the stages of spiritual development, most closely relatable to "emotional intelligence", is also set in fixed milestones. Yet, there is plenty of literature to that effect, such as the table below:
The real problem we have in our society are, on the one hand, those who profit from ideas that suggest to people that their fundamental problems are permanent and unsolvable; that traumas do not heal; and that identifying classifications are permanent barriers from attaining goals and dreams; and on the other hand, those who are not willing or ready to be free and take the effort to make their dreams come true.
Ultimately, I still prefer natural rather that medical solutions to my physical limitations or injuries. Yet, I believe that someday, as we progress in the introduction of ai in our society, and our medical techniques to incorporate ai into our human bodies, we may someday even blur the lines of these distinctions.
Ultimately, it does involve the progression of our individual development processes.
About The Author
Samir M Goradia is curator of the website pistov.com