Tuesday, 1 April 2008

there are 2 sides to every story

This is a well known saying but perhaps not a widely adopted thought process. It seems to me that the more I read and the more I speak to people, the more I seem to find people reluctant to be fluid in their ideas about certain situations. Acceptance of your ignorance is the first step to your enlightenment (write that down).

Only by speaking to people who have more knowledge about particular subjects can you possibly ever hope to have a greater knowledge yourself - simple idea I know, but it seems to be that not many people are able to adopt it. For example, first impressions. I met a girl recently who told me that she has a lot of faith in her assumptions about people when she first meets them. Of course, first impressions are important as we all know but can we really be sure that these initial judgements are going to be accurate in the long run? Its perfectly natural to formulate an opinion on someone from a limited contact (god knows I am guilty of this), but it seems a little ridiculous to write someone off without really giving them a chance. The girl in question has gone one stage further than this, however, and has actually decided what kind of a person an ex-boyfriend of a mutual friend was before she had even spoken a word to him! That to me is simply ludicrous. Given the barrage of information (mostly negative) that all who have encountered this mutual friend have received about this lad, we all have enough material to write a rather hateful biography, but to mark someone out in this manner really showed a lack of experience of life in general.

This example is not a great one, as most (if any) who read this blog will not have any idea who it is referring too, but the point I'm trying to make is hopefully clear. People are guilty, in general, of letting their perceptions be influenced in a whole manner of ways. If you tell someone something enough they are bound to believe it. My aim is to try and reserve judgement of a situation or a subject or a person until I have had properly dealings with it. I realise that this is not going to be rocket science to some but increasingly I find that people are small-minded in their judgements. "Theres no smoke without fire" - all that shit is just ridiculous.

The media is the prime example, on a much larger scale, of this kind of "small-town" behaviour. People seem to think that just because something is printed in an attractive font and mounted onto a impecably designed background that it is a mark of higher knowledge or certain fact. Actually, the majority of people that I speak to about issues made public by the mass media have no idea what an informed opinion really is. Collection of knowledge, in the widest sense, is a full time job. You are not an expert on a matter because you have sat down every lunch time for the past 15 years and read the Daily Mail. A true "understanding" is only found through attention to detail and a will to venture further than the tabloids, or even the broadsheets.

No comments: