The What and Who of Meandering About

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Of Biases and Assumptions


Let's start here...
Biases and assumptions, we all have them. To say otherwise would be disingenuous and unhelpful. They are the lenses through which we learn to see and experience the world. Our first set of biases and assumptions are given to us by those closest to us and are shaped by our own limited experiences. As we grow and change, our biases and assumptions shift as well. However, they remain impacted by our oringinal set as well as our still very limited experience. We never have a full picture of how the world really is no matter how old we are or how broad our experiences.

The danger of our biases and assumptions rests not in having them, but in not doing the hard work of acknowledging  their existence, naming them for what they are, and allowing them to be challenged. Unacknowledged, unnamed, and unchallenged biases and assumptions can lead to false binaries and dangerous black and white thinking in a technicolor world. This then becomes the breeding ground for misunderstanding, fear, discord, and hatred. 

It is hard, unending, and often uncomfortable work to acknowledge, name, and challenge our biases and assumptions. However, it is necessary. We are seeing the fruit of the alternative in our current culture of division and tribalism. The wisest among us do this hard work daily and have learned how to suspend their own biases and assumptions and hold their tongue as they learn about others. May we all pursue such wisdom and honor each other's experiences along the way.


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