Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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The white house on the hill ...

It seems to be a very, very human trait, to seek out the opinions of those who validate our already held opinions. I still catch myself doing this from time to time. Yikes! But something my father taught me as a child … is to look at an idea, a belief, an argument, from all sides - before forming, my own opinion. 

I remember waking with him one day in the Melbourne northern suburb of Fawkner (where we lived) - there was this house, sitting atop a small rise in a place where he used to walk the dog (dog’s name was Caesar). He pointed to the house and asked me what colour it was … ‘white’ I replied. He said ‘It’s white on the side we can see - sure. What about the other sides? Go and check.’ I remember running up the hill, Caesar running with me - to check it out. Sure enough, the house was white on all sides … I ran back to my dad and let him know. He then began telling me just how important it was to always check things from all perspectives - and how it’s just too easy to make assumptions. A great lesson - one that I didn’t really value to much later in life. Thanks dad!


So now, as I find myself forming an opinion, I try to seek out someone who holds an alternative view - before coming to my own conclusions. The devil’s advocates view, will either modify our own perspective or help to strengthen it. Look at everything from all sides … perspectives are many and often entangled. - JBW

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