Think like a Heretic

The tree shapes the forest
... as the forest shapes the tree.

The macro affects the micro.

The micro affects the macro.

Both are true in various cases, a rational person will agree. But what if we generally assume one over the other?

Those who assume the macro is the driving force, that it runs roughshod over the micro as a matter of routine, exhibit a deterministic worldview:

The past has momentum and there's nothing you can do to stop it.

Those who assume the micro is the driving force, since the macro is simply an aggregate of the micro, emphasise freedom of choice:

The ship is steered in the present; the past is but a fading wake (which shows only where we've steered in an earlier present).

It is probably unhealthy to swing too dramatically in either direction. Going full macro will blind you to any purpose in being. Going full micro will have you watching "The Secret" on repeat.

But we're human. We will adopt one assumption as our favoured pet and receive plenty of confirmation bias in return — whichever we choose. So, which side is it healthier to err on?

If you can agree that both affect each other to any degree, it follows that the worldview which places an emphasis on your own abilities is healthier. Not only for yourself (the micro), but for the world at large (the macro).

One is far less likely to put up with abuse, no matter how institutionalized, if they assume the micro refusals will make all the difference eventually.

One is far more likely to "know their place" and comply to get along if they assume the micro refusal will go unnoticed and not add up to anything in the end.

Which tendency do you suppose is healthier?

The heretic's choice is obvious.