Merriam-Webster provides this definition of the word Context: “the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs: environment, setting”, and this is how I’m using the word.
Context for Living
Each of you has accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and experiences that lead to the decisions you make. Like the water a fish swims in, you are most of the time not conscious of this body of influence on your life. This is your context for living.
People are creatures of habit, and habits of thought are some of the most powerful and controlling influences in our lives. We react to outside events in predictable ways, automatically, without conscious consideration much of the time. These habits of thought lead to the choices you make and these automatic choices are the way your context for living expresses itself in your life.
My intent is to describe a context for living that can lead to decisions creating a better life and a better world. Like a mosaic, the context I will describe becomes clear only as we add more pieces to the image and step back to see the “interrelated conditions” as a single whole.
Habits can be modified, and you are capable of modifying the habits that impact your life.
Context is highly relevant in another way – shared context. When we share knowledge and experiences with another person, meaning having that knowledge and experience in common, we have the ability to relate to that other person in ways not possible without a shared context. Language and culture are the most common shared contexts. Lacking shared language, we are unable to communicate with others. Failing to understand the cultural context of another, we are often hard-pressed to understand their choices and reactions. Language itself is colored by the underlying cultural context the language evolved in.
Within a person’s context for living, some elements are very supportive of choices that result in long-term benefit to the individual, family and society. Some elements are highly destructive of those ends. I seek to shine a light on both. The only true freedom of choice is fully, factually, informed freedom of choice. With the awareness the perspective I describe can bring, individuals are able to make better choices to the benefit of all.