Finding Focus with Matriarchal Storytelling 

We are living in an age of sophistry. People honestly think arguments expand rather than constrict. The chains of debates are a mere misdirection used to eat away everyone's time and resources so that we can do everything else under the sun save the one thing we need to do. We can establish fake pecking orders, hold on to children vendettas and turn everyday people into monsters to be destroyed because they didn't applaud your ill-conceived arguments that benefit no one.Arguments are filler. They do not progress and people always find another excuse to hold on to their lies.

I hear and read sophistry all the time as those propagandist congratulate themselves for coming up with well-packaged lies. Have experience in a certain area, and people will dismiss whatever evidence displeases their theories by claiming the anecdotal isn't evidence. If that is true, then police never have to take another report ever again -- you got beaten and mugged, you say? Sorry, that's anecdotal evidence.

We can confirm and refute the anecdotal very easily. We can document and record it, but even then, people will still find all sorts of dishonest arguments to clog up progress just so they can do anything except the one thing of value that they need to do.

They will play every dirty trick in the book: create a bogus pecking order where they paper crown themselves to be the smartest and most moral of them all, and then dismiss objectors with their patronizing bad acting, pretending to show compassion and open-mindedness, when the bottom line is they reject all truths to hold on to their lies, which is the epitome of evil.

It is a all a rigged game. They don't want to do anything of value, but then they don't want anyone else to do anything of value, so they distract them with their devious little feints so they aren't revealed for the immoral manipulators that they really are.

Present verified facts to them, and then watch the games begin: they question the veracity of those facts, claiming it is all relative. If they cannot do that, then they try to spin the facts to suit their lies. Some always use a positive spin, while other use a negative. If that fails, they will stoop to making up facts that allegedly disprove the verified fact in question. They will slander and malign those who verified the facts and then throw a temper tantrum as they stick to their lies.

These are the people with chocolate icing on their faces, denying they ate the cake and should the contents of their bellies and surveillance footage catch them, they will try to deflect attention away from the facts by arguing about something g else, never admitting they lied.

They live for engaging people in debates. The longer they argue, the more "dirt" and intelligence they can gather on others to either throw their comments in their face -- or learn their thinking patterns to adjust their sophistry to better control or manipulate the person later on.

I saw the games as a psych student and a journalist, but I also saw it as an educator. I saw students with a million advantages and opportunities blow it all as they refused to a learn a thing. They thought mimicry, modelling, and memorization would help them fake looking smart, and were livid when it didn't work with me. Facts suddenly became my uninformed opinion. Assignments and tests were always too hard and they would whine and complain to students who had focus and did the one thing they had to do -- learn.

I remember one class I taught where one such student bitterly complained about how unreasonably tough and heartless I was for failing her on a major assignment -- never mind that I allowed students to *vet their drafts* with me for over a month. She showed another student her paper filled with my red ink before asking what mark she got.

"105%" she replied as she not only vetted her assignment with me beforehand, but got all the bonus marks as well.

The failing student could have also gotten 105% if she focussed on the one thing she needed to do, but as she was too busy focussing on irrelevant details and not on the actual goal, she promptly sabotaged herself.

If she did not like my personality, she missed the point. My personality is none of her business. I allowed all students the same chance for an easy mark, whether or not I liked them or not. I was not paid to like students. I was paid to teach and shepherd a group of students from the side of ignorance to the side of mastery. I am not there to entertain, dazzle, gossip, befriend, enable, appease, meddle, judge, or influence.

Study and learn, and if I am not clear, ask me until we break down that wall of ignorance.

Learning is child's play, but only if you understand the goal is to learn.

But in an age of sophistry, everything goes except the truth. People gossip and brag when they should just focus on the goal of being constructive instead of pretending to be someone to envy.

Yet Patriarchal Storytelling has led many who confuse sophistry with intelligence astray because it allows for but a single point of view -- it is the style with an inherent Confirmation Bias built into it. We must take the point of view at face and assume what is presented is the truth.

Many authors have twisted the style by having an unreliable narrator, such as Agatha Christie did with *The Murder of Roger Ackroyd*, yet such narrators are often used to hide the truth from readers, meaning the reader still must follow the narrator, even when it is down the obvious wrong path.  

But the unreliable narrator shows the weakness of the Patriarchal style: we must follow. We must accept the narrator's truisms and assumptions without question. If he is the protagonist and the point of his existence to show up the girl in high school who turned him down for a date because she honestly had no romantic feelings for him, we must cheer the protagonist and see her as a villain.

We may think the Patriarchal gives us a single focus, but when the focus is on something trivial or misguided, we, in fact lose sight of the truth.

The Matriarchal style is about comparisons. We are given multiple perspectives and we are in a better position to see a big picture to find the right focus. We gather enough grains to be able to weigh them and study them, allowing the reader to focus.

The Patriarchal encourages reader passivity while the Matriarchal encourages an active and engaged reader who must weigh the grains and become connected with the story in a new way.

We learn our perceptions can deceive us. We do not hear sound the way it is as our minds must trick our conscious selves. Those who are pessimists judge what they perceive differently than the optimists and realists. It is not truth or reality a pessimist sees, but his mere interpretation of them. He is always primed to find things to justify him not questioning his own perceptions.

With the Matriarchal, we begin to process information in different ways, challenging and questioning our perceptions. We learn to question the motives of characters and see them in *various* lights as other characters will have different opinions, depending on their own personal filters and lenses.

We also learn that we are not made to know everything. We can present a single event through multiple perspectives. We think we know everything there is to know -- until another character with vital information tells us the one grain that focuses our attention to the truth. Our initial interpretations are found wanting; we now must revise our hypothesis, bringing the necessary humility while we learn to focus on the one thing we need to see.

In the Matriarchal style, the protagonist who is obsessed with punishing those who rejected him is now in the hot seat: if you are that vindictive to a complete stranger after all these years, then the object of your desire was wise in staying away from you. You are not entitled to choose a mate the way you can choose an item on a restaurant menu. Who knows what would have happened to her if she angered you if you two shared a roof and had children in the equation. We no longer cheer that protagonist blindly: we expand our view to see why others behaved the way they did toward him.

The Matriarchal style gives us one more lesson to learn the Focus of Infinity: that the more we lie to ourselves, the less of the truth we can see. We learn to let go of the traditional thought patterns we formed from ignorance, fear, mimicry, and habit. We learn to see characters from different angles. We do not have to downplay the negative traits and actions or elevate the positive ones. We can see people as nuanced and complex beings. 

We are not bogged by filler emotions of misdirection such as jealousy and vindictiveness in the Matriarchal style as these feelings take us down the wrong path. The surprises come from revealing more grains to the reader. It turns the story into a pointillism picture: judge too soon and your theories are proven wrong. It is a way to keep ourselves from getting too full of ourselves: we are shown that reaction and reflection are not inter-changeable and that feeling a story is more rewarding then pigeonholing the characters before you finish reading. Keep an open mind and heart and you begin to see the big picture as well as the purpose -- the one thing you need to see to put all the grains together.

The Matriarchal is about compassionate reading that allows emotionality to guide the intellectual. It is not about feigning superiority with others, but making oneself a kinder and braver person with every reading. We are not there to judge and then think up the reasons why we are justified in our closed-mindedness or why we must accept our perceptions without question. It is about letting go of the petty and distracting emotions that impede our visions and focus to embrace stories that show us a chorus of different people living their lives with others. We find facts and then come up with the theory to test, not come up with a self-serving theories as we make those facts fit into it and then Never bothering to test the theory.

It is an extraordinary, yet simple way to weaving stories. These tales nurture our souls as it shows the untapped kindness slumbering in our hearts waiting to be unleashed -- but only if we are brave enough to use love and truth to unlock it. The Focus of Infinity is not one that confuses us with endless arguments and debates -- it is the method of gathering truths as we begin to see the bigger picture to find the one thing we must do to learn, grow, change, and most importantly, feel at peace with ourselves as we strive for a better world.