What would happen if people would let go of their preconceived ideas when analyzing a new thought, idea or thing?
I know we all have our own ideas and experiences that act as a filter through which we see everything else. Kind of like a filter in front of the lens on a camera, it changes how we will see the image when the picture is taken. The same is true with our preconceived notions and how they affect the way we will see an idea. And this is especially true for new ideas.
What if we could train ourselves to look at new ideas without that filter? To look at the pros and cons of an idea with a more open mind before dismissing it? Of course, preconceived ideas and experiences can be a good thing. If I jump off my roof and break my leg, I will most likely think about that experience if someone were to say “hey, we should go up on the roof and jump off.” That’s where it can be good. That’s not being stupid, especially if you’ve already done it and it turned out not so great. That’s not really what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about hearing or seeing something or an idea and skewing what it could become based on your biased view and not really seeing the idea for what it really is.
What got me thinking about this was a commenter on one of my posts – How can we change anything? The person basically missed the whole point of the post which was enacting change in things that you don’t like, whether in your own life or in your community. And if not changing something, at least voicing your opinion in the matter instead of just complaining about it. In one part I was talking about if you don’t like something about the education system, do something. He quoted me saying “vote in folks that have the kids’ interest at heart, instead of the teachers’ unions’ or lobbyists’ [interests]” And he took it as forcing religion and morality on children, which is not even eluded to in my article, and how I would be OK with that. What?!
I was a little confused about that, but I know that I did a good enough job in the article explaining my thoughts and ideas. At least for the average reader. The commenter apparently just had such a bias, such a filter, to take an article about changing things you don’t like about whatever in your life – city ordinances, education, liberty – and change the meaning of it to “agree with me [the author] or else” and some crap about religion that he pulled out of thin air. I ended up responding to his comment and as of right now, as I write this, he has yet to rebut.
What I’m saying is, first, maybe think about the idea as a whole before just dismissing it. Or like this guy, going completely off the rails into a subject that I didn’t even mention. And second, approach an idea as neither right nor wrong until you’ve tried it or have seen it tried in the way explained and seen it to work or not. That’s when you’ll know if it’s an idea worth exploring further. Until then, you don’t really know.
If we can’t do that, then what are we doing here? We might as well be content with someone else telling us how do to everything, what to think, who to listen to and who we shouldn’t listen to. I don’t want someone instructing me that way. That fits for some peoples’ lives and if that’s what they want, let them have it. It doesn’t fit for mine.
I’ll leave you all with that. Let us know what you think in the comments below. And please subscribe in the upper left section of the page if you haven’t already so you don’t miss anything.
Until next time,