We are offered an amazing amount of misinformation on the internet and television. Opinion is often presented as fact, short term solutions are offered without regard to long term consequences, agendas are hidden beneath seductive words, and brand marketing seems more important than providing factual information. To get beyond these pretty propagandas, we need to use our ability to think, to reason, to use imagination and creativity to improve our ability to make good decisions, both personally and globally.
Humans are resistant to accepting information that goes against what they want to see or hear, and judgement and anger are common fear based reactions to avoid facing ideas that don’t fit our world view. We’ve all experienced denial, an unconscious defense mechanism that attempts to protect us from unpleasant knowledge. Denial can allow us to survive trauma; its purpose is to give us time to adjust to distressing circumstances. The loss of a loved one, combat situations, emotional or physical overwhelm are examples of experiences that can be more manageable with a respite granted by denial. But staying in denial, allowing it to become chronic, can prevent us from taking necessary action to deal with situations or even recognizing that we might need to see things beyond our current perception. It can limit our vision to only one point of view, and hinder our ability to solve problems. As Einstein once said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.” We are all involved in a complex culture of denial, perhaps now more than ever as we deal with changes resulting from the pandemic, climate change, and resulting political and social unrest.
The most profound way to address denial is to choose to open your mind to possibility and become willing to discuss situations honestly without resorting to aggression. “Discussions are always better than arguments, because an argument is to find out who is right, and a discussion is to find our what is right.” (Tinybuddha.com ) Putting aside ego and cultivating curiosity rather than judgement can open venues of thought that lead to resolutions and support productive relationships. Comments like "Isn’t that interesting?” and questions like "How does that work? What was learned from that? What happens next?" have lead to some of our greatest discoveries, moving us forward instead of sparking conflict. Be curious, ask questions, think, learn. 🤔