Truth is often not black or white, but shades of gray. Not because there aren’t real truths but because life, politics, love and business can be very complicated. It is so easy, and so dangerous, to decide what to do on an issue or a problem and then look for facts to substantiate our points of view. This behavior seems to come naturally to us and might very well have been an asset when we were cavemen. If you heard a strange noise you might have been safer to assume that it is a hungry tiger than to open-mindedly collect and analyze the facts. Unfortunately, these primitive behaviors make it harder for us to live in a complex society.
Should we have gone to Afghanistan? Hard question.
Should we leave Afghanistan now that we are there? Another hard question.
Should we have gone into Iraq? Not as hard a question but still difficult?
Should we pull out now that we are there regardless if the reason we went was justifiable or not? Very hard question!
Many of us decide who we will listen to, (our political party, our religion or a business gurus) based on a combination of intellectual and emotional affinity as well as some variation of “peer pressure”. Then it is and easy step to assume that what my party and its leaders do is more “right” than what the others do. We then subconsciously look for confirmation for our beliefs.
-SAP is a great system but does anyone really think that all the companies that have installed SAP really needed SAP? Or is it the a function of “Social Proof” as Cialdini described it. Everyone else is getting SAP maybe we should too!
-Was everything Bush did wrong and everything Obama does is right, or vice versa depending on your political preference?
-Are Christians always right and Muslims always wrong or vice versa depending on your religious preference?
-Does god choose sides when his children fight?
Once again I long for the death of ideologies. Ideologies dictate for us not only how we should think but what we should think. Values are good to have but often get confused with ideological dictates and doctrines. When we find ourselves feeling right and wondering why so many other people could be so wrong it could be a warning that we have fallen prey to or ideologies. In order to really understand your own position on an issue whether it be political, religous or business we must strive to truly understand different and even opposing points of view. It is first when we understand why someone else thinks and acts so completely differently that we can begin to understand ourselves.