Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Houses in the Sand
I asked myself, “is this true? What are some circumstances in which people act on what they BELIEVE rather than what they KNOW.
I’m sure it is not exhaustive, but it was easy to compile examples. Here is my checklist of ways we routinely act without knowledge:
· When we embrace a religious faith and trust that what the church tells us is true. Faith is perhaps the biggest pile of sand in the universe.
· When we assess risks to make decisions (should I become a farmer or a soldier; should I invest in stocks or bonds) but are not able to read the future well.
· That is related to when we guess about what to do, for instance, taking a pot shot as to which road actually leads to our destination.
· When we make an honest mistake, like thinking that a brother said to meet on Tuesday when he actually said Thursday, or we thought a quote was from Dolly Parton instead of Abe Lincoln. How much of our behavior is anchored on mistakes or an incorrect reading of things? Lots.
· When we are prejudiced and think other races are sub-par, or democrats have all the answers, or teens are sex mad, or old people are stupid.
· When we ascribe authority to others, like believing the Cosmopolitan Magazine list of10 ways to make your sweetie horny, or when President Barak Obama says joining the NATO coalition on Libya is a good thing, or when John McCain says Arizona needs high fences to keep the Mexicans out, or when a university professor pretends to know what he is talking about.
· When we deduce or infer, leaping from that which is known to a new belief whilst passing over a huge chasm to get there. Global warming is real because we are having some bad storms.
· When we engage in gossip, enjoying the richness to be found in other people’s failings, whether true or not.
· When we engage in superstition, which circles back to religious faith; thinking a broken mirror means seven years bad luck is rather like thinking eating pigs will send you to hell or using a condom is the same as killing some one.
When you consider how prominent these forms of behavior are in our daily lives, you realize we are not operating on a sound foundation most of the time. It is sandy, it is muddy. We are winging it. Often times we know this, but we are confident that we can deal with any negative fall-out. We do this by blaming someone or some thing, or making an excuse, or lying about what we said or intended.
Owning up is not a typical outcome of the fall-out from winging it.