A few weeks ago the first evidence was found to bolster something called “inflation.” This isn’t Jimmy Carter’s inflation, no siree. This is cosmology inflation, a short period of time (less than a nano-second!) in which the entire universe suddenly grew much faster than normal. Physicists had to invent inflation in order to explain a few things that just don’t add up otherwise.
What’s intriguing to this student of behavior is that they aren’t afraid to reach back in time, to the very beginning. They can never “know” for sure, but they can try. Using tools at their disposal and paying close attention to those things they can observe, they try to reconstruct the past in order to better understand the present.
Can we do the same thing for behavior? I mean, what if we went back in time and tried to find the very first spark of prejudice. Whether it was someone pre-judging a woman trying to do a “man’s” job, or someone with light / dark skin, or perhaps someone who was ugly or crippled in some way. Whatever it was, there had to be a first event. What was it that caused it to cascade through time, even up to the present?
And what if, what if we were able to be present at that moment and say “Hey, dudes…” (We would say it like that because it would help us fit in better.) “Dudes, you shouldn’t do that thing (the word prejudice wouldn’t be around yet!). “Why?” the dudes would retort.
You shouldn’t do that thing because it’s not nice to that person. It might hurt us in the short run. And in the long run there’s going to be wars and laws and a world of hurt for many just because of prejudice. So let’s not do it. Okay?
And in the perfect world people then would have stopped doing it. We would have grown up in a world where prejudice didn’t exist. If you were back at that moment, could you persuade others to choose the right path? Would you have the tools necessary to prove your point?
Or maybe, like cosmological inflation, no matter how ugly it may be, it’s something that simply has to exist. Or does it?