Life has been so confusing and unusual in recent times hasn’t it? Wondering what or who to believe, what’s ok and not ok and what the future holds for all of us can feel like a minefield and have us treading cautiously or not daring to move at all. That’s not a great place to be but what should we do?
Not that I’m a conspiracy theorist really but it does feel as though we are allowed to know only certain aspects of what’s actually going on in the world (not all of the world by any means) even though it’s important and affects us. What we’re offered is often dumbed down and changes frequently or we get mixed messaging which can cause doubt, fear and uncertainty which can in turn create confusion, chaos and, potentially, conflict.
As a result, I always do my best to remain neutral when engaging with the world in general, recognising that we will never have the full picture of what’s happening. By neutral, I mean that I prefer to avoid judgment, comparison and blame and that has been developed through the work that we do. Some may believe it’s important to have a specific stance or clear opinion, but I feel that’s not always possible for me for the reasons above.
So my approach is, wherever possible, to meet everyone where they are, take things at face value, seek understanding and feel what is true for me rather than make assumptions and think I ‘know’ something or someone. I’ve learned from experience to push the pause button.
This can be a challenge at times, particularly when major events unfold whether locally, nationally or internationally which seem unfair and beyond anyone’s understanding and when we don’t know what source of information to turn to or trust in the best of times.
We all have a unique sphere of awareness and knowledge of the world, built over time in line with whatever and whoever has influenced us most. That awareness underpins our beliefs which can be flawed depending on the quality of those influences in fact, in combination, they establish the biases that we project on to our world.
Add into the mix our unconscious, cognitive biases (200+), and one in particular, the confirmation bias which has us only paying attention to something which we already believe to be true, despite evidence to the contrary, whatever the source. In other words, everyone has their own, unique ‘bias-sphere’ when it comes to perspective (I heard this term on a radio program recently and love it because it so apt!)
No wonder we are left confused, unable to tell who or what is offering us the truth of any situation. The information source itself is often biased and so is our perception of the world and everything in it; what chance do any of us have of keeping up or having a valid stance, opinion or true understanding about anything?
This is an unusual article for me, and I have been more aware of this situation due to events over the last few months. I think if we could all regularly reflect on and question our views, challenge our perspective, suspend judgment and adapt our view of the world it would make a big difference both to us and to our relationship with others.