Do you ever wonder if you see the way others see? I mean, is the color orange that I see the same as what you see? How about “seeing” life? As the saying goes, “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”
Maybe part of the polarization we’re experiencing is a sight problem. And most of us are taking this moment seriously, because it’s about more than polarization in politics. It’s about life in community. Seems there’s something enormous we need to see.
I’ve been listening to a number of ideas and “answers,” but the podcast “Learning How to See” at cac.org stopped me in my tracks. I encourage you to listen to it, even if just the first episode. It’s about the lenses we use in determining our belief systems.
For example, the first lens is called Confirmation Bias, which is the idea that the human brain welcomes information that confirms what it already thinks and rejects info that challenges that. To be open to other viewpoints or deeper information takes intentional contemplation…and a lot of guts.
Another lens is Consciousness Bias, which addresses the point that there’s more than one way to see. Binary thinking (win or lose) is zero sum thinking. “I’m right and you’re wrong” is so limited.
You might say you base your beliefs on spiritual principles. So do I, but I’ve been known to miss the mark. For example, for a long time I viewed God as a strict authoritarian figure, thinking I was exactly right. But what we focus on determines what we miss. I missed the grace…and that’s a big miss. (Thank God he gives us a lifetime to grow into deeper truth.)
And we see a HUGE divide in the way evangelicals view God. Sometimes we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
This is the point of the podcast. Dare we consider that there’s more to be seen?
Take a listen. It deepened my compassion for others…and my love for God.