We like to think of ourselves as rational thinkers, coming to objective conclusions about the world around us. Truth be told, study after study has demonstrated that we are much better at rationalizing, telling ourselves “rational lies”, than we are at objective observation and accurate assessment. We tend to hang out with folks that agree with us, that don’t rock our boat and like to avoid the mental discomfort (cognitive dissonance) we feel when we are confronted with evidence that contradicts our world view or self-image.
This process is known as “motivated reasoning” and is a “justification strategy” to deal with unflattering or upsetting data. All of which is okay, we are all flawed human beings, as long as we retain a bit of humility and remain aware that our opinions are just that, opinions, and not the Ten Commandments.
Accept that you often “think” and feel the way you do basically because you want to, because it is comfortable and known and familiar and NOT necessarily because it’s the holy writ or the “only way” or the “one right way”. Travel a lot and you will be amazed at the number of ways we humans have chosen to order our society; think and believe and yes, be happy doing so.
It’s okay for others to have their point of view and that just makes them different, NOT wrong. And even if they are wrong, that is a long, long way from making them bad people. Practice Tolerance and Acceptance, Release and Forgiveness. I realized a long time ago that I didn’t have to have an opinion on every topic and became quite comfortable saying “I don’t know”.
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.” – Eagles, ‘Already Gone’
“Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy
“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too” – Voltaire
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Henri Bergson
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier