This may not seem like something that will fight climate change, but it is. If we can exorcise the demon that IS confirmation bias, then we can increase our understanding of one another, amplify our similarities, and minimize our differences.
Going to the “dark side,” (for example, a liberal considering how conservatives might feel with a Democrat as President, or conservatives thinking about how liberals view the current Congress) might seem trivial and unnecessary. It is not. As a matter of fact, critical thinking skills are sorely lacking in today’s fast paced world, where our brains must do whatever they can to quickly process all the information we are exposed to, and learning how to think is rarely, if ever, taught. And consider the fact that in the internet age, we can easily find “echo chambers” which just confirm whatever we already believe, strengthen and embolden it even, and intensify our dislike of “others.”
If you’re an adult and you find yourself fairly stuck in your ways, as many of us can be, you might be surprised how odd the sensation of flipping your thinking can be, but just trying to do it makes issues that seem like they divide us as a nation, or as a society, fade away. It’s a slow process, and I kid you not, it is almost physically unpleasant, if not painful.
Okay, here’s the challenge: below this post, I want you to take something that you feel strongly about, flip your thinking about it, and find a good quality or valid point – something positive, about the “other side.”
This can be as simple as a Democrat finding a nice thing to say, or a redeeming quality about a Republican politician, or a very religious person who is opposed to gay marriage saying something positive about a homosexual couple they have as neighbors, or a progressive reading the Heritage Foundation website and finding a valid and useful story…anything, really. And if you need to throw a sarcastic comment in with your little epiphany, I’m totally good with that, too, Just please try it. I do it every day and I’m promising you that it’s important. Vital, really, if anything is going to really change in our world. And like any muscle, it needs to be exercised daily because sloppy, lazy thinking is far too easy.
I’ll go first, and mine might seem lengthy, but if you just want to just say a few words, that’s good too:
I have listened to every “Power Hour” podcast (which are “pro” fossil fuel industry) and I can see how people who work on oil drilling rigs really see themselves as providing a necessary and important service to those who consume their products, and they have a strong feeling of responsibility and comraderie for each other since their work can often be dangerous and isolating. And they feel like people hate them for what they do and like they’re constantly under fire by environmentalists.
Okay, now it’s YOUR turn!