I was listening to a magician being interviewed on BBC Radio this afternoon. He was speaking, not only of his love of magic, but also his disdain for; clairvoyants, mediums, and divination, and all types of magic that is portrayed to people as being a spiritual manifestation.
The program went on to discuss the bias that we all have to believe things that we, desperately, want to be true.
It is easy for us to ignore facts when they do not comport with our core belief system.
Our world view is, often, constructed though the lens of our surroundings and experiences. We tend to understand the world, much, as our friends and family view it.
If we have been hurt and abused and shunned and shamed…we see our surroundings and our life as, ‘brutish and short!’
If we have enjoyed a peaceful and happy and easy existence…we perceive that the world is good…as least for the special people!
We live in a galaxy that is part of a universe that is one of billions of universes. We admire the stars as they shine down on a clear night, and think little of the fact that they are so far away that it takes years for their light to reach us and that many of them have burned out before we see their glow!
We, white anglo Americans, see the United States as our country and, many of us do not want immigrants to enter our, legal, space. While native Americans look at us as invaders and robbers and usurper of their, native, land.
Some political leaders have characterized Mexicans and Latin Americans as; rapist and murders and thieves…while the Latin culture is a rich and vibrant and an ancient culture…that is much older than the United States.
We are a nation that was built by slave labor. We, forcibly, took Africans from their homes and families and bought them to the United States in chains…in the hold of sailing vessels…and we, knew, that we were doing God’s work! The African culture is rich and vibrant and is the home of the human beginnings… and life!
Politicians have lied to us…for so long…we desire someone to shake up the moribund establishment! Even a president who lies on a daily basis, for a time, is accepted simply due to the, extreme, dissatisfaction of a percentage of the electorate! But, there is a tipping point where thousands of lies…finally tip the scales of acceptance…to dissatisfaction.
When I took the position of Assistant Superintendent of Building Services at SIUC, I quickly found out that my supervisor was going to keep me out of any understanding of what was happening above him or in the university at-large. I knew that if I was ever going to be able to assist my department that I was going to have to reach out…beyond my fish bowl….and see things from a wider point of view!
I first was named to the Employee Assistance Program and later elected to the Civil Service Council and…did I ever receive an education!
We do not like facts that bump up against our beliefs!
‘The best way to know God is to love many things.’ Vincent Van Gough
Note: Van Gough photos are courtesy of Google.