Thursday, February 23, 2017

You're Not Objective - and Neither Am I!

Each of us has a perspective on life. We have shaping factors that season and flavor how we see life and our understanding of how things should be. When individuals own that truth and factor it into their conversations and debates, it is helpful in establishing the absolute necessity of learning to listen and appreciate the viewpoints of others as we all seek to establish a society defined by truth and beauty. Most people, however, struggle to achieve this kind of balance.

Such balance is difficult to realize when one derives comfort and benefit from the way things are or systems that benefit oneself while causing discomfort or outright harm to others. As a younger man, I used to become highly annoyed when I was surrounded by people who were part of a system that was skewed and benefitted them as much as it hurt me, only to be chided, "Be objective Sam!" That kind of thinking infuriates me now.

We must do the hard work of not only considering the perspective of others but the painful work of recognizing when our own perspectives might actually be biased and prejudiced. Make the efforts in your conversations, debates and dialogs to consider the possibility that your perspective might be more than a viewpoint but might actually be an ingrained opinion that bears recosderation.

If persons of your perspective outnumber the ones of a differing point of view, be especially careful to be considerate and reflective.  The effort might actually promote understanding, progress and healing in an era where shouting and bashing are drowning out our hopes for reason and unity to reign amidst our immense diversity.

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