Let's talk about the famous astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei. Galileo is an important example of someone who stood by their conviction not to only prove a point or support their ego, but rather because he knew his findings were significant as the evidence was irrefutable. The evidence presented in 1633 by Galileo was contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church that the Earth was the center of the universe.
Galileo knew the teaching of his time were inaccurate, making it hard for him to remain silent on the issue. As you could imagine, Galileo's position did not go over too well with the church and the final order was handed down - a paradigm we see today when the "system" is working against the great thinkers of the given time.
“We order that by a public edict the book of Dialogues of Galileo Galilei be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.”
Galileo spent the remainder of his life serving house arrest for his outward spoken evidence that the church was wrong - stating Earth is not the center of the universe. Many believe the consequences could have easily been avoided but Galileo believed his actions were the right actions for the greater good. Standing by his conviction and making the sacrifice proved worth while 300 years later when the church finally acknowledged Galileo's science to be accurate. Although largely debated, Galileo remained Catholic up until his death in 1644.
Situations like the one described above are often barriers to happiness and our ability to obtain full confidence in our beliefs. Societal norms, misinformed perceptions and 'opinions' sometimes skew reality and ultimately, discount the beliefs that go against mainstream. There are countless times in history we could hold us as examples, beyond Galileo, which would support the importance of paying attention to those who have ideas 'misaligned' with what we have believed to be true. The significance of this realization is emphasized by the impact man can have on one another if we opened our minds, thought objectively and supported those with differing views a chance to state their case without fearing negative ramifications. Many could (and do) argue that from this perspective, society as we know it has not advanced far enough from the time of Galileo's existence. We often exhibit behaviors that don't align with what science tells us - we often subscribe to the marketing without conducting our own research. At present, their are nearly daily conversations about differing view-points that seem 'outlandish' because they do not fit the prescribed plot-line. Let's face it, money is at stake in almost every scenario.
It took me a while to understand the importance of history. History has a profound ability to accurately predict the future of the human condition when observed closely. Many of the philisophical problems faced in the 1600's remain problems today - perhaps in a different form. This could be attributed to the human condition itself - the way in which we think, interact, form values and behave - part of a blueprint our all mighty creator intended. What happened to Galileo is not the only instance of someone going against the common belief, later to be found true. We must consider all beliefs, educate ourselves and formulate our own fact-based beliefs, especially when large sums of money is at stake. I am not sure about you, but I would say Galileo died a happy man, standing his ground for the greater good - something he could be proud of and something that has had a lasting impression on what we know to be true even up until today.
Use the brain god gave you, teach others and inspire the world.