America is clearly divided these days and it is getting bad. I have found myself in a lot of situations where people are unwilling to look at both sides of the same story. That is there right to do but it is not the path to peace. I want to bring your attention to something called the Illusory Truth Effect. It was discovered in 1977 and states that when a person is presented with new information they look to what they already know to deduce whether it is correct or not. Take this as an example, A story about a police officer shooting someone comes out on a website. If the source is unknown, liberal thinkers will assume it is correct and conservatives will believe it is false or misconstrued. Most will decide what the truth is based on whether they trust the police; not whether they trust the source. In reality, if the website is not official and fact checked we may never know without doing further research with trusted sources; which nobody actually ever does. This spread of fiction mixed with fact breeds division.
The effect also talks about the idea of echo chambers. If you only have one source of information and everyone you know thinks the same way as you then you are led to believe that you are correct and everybody agrees with you. In your circle that is correct. Any idea you put out verbally or electronically gets bounced back the same like an echo of yourself. What I wonder is why people never look further. People tend to lean towards familiarity rather than rationality. I hold the stance that everyone deserves to have their side of the story heard and I have stumbled into situations where I was in the minority. If we are not willing to talk to each other how are we ever supposed to get anything done?
In my opinion, a lot of people do not want peace but to be right. Look at the congress and senate and how few are willing to reach over the ile. Politicians need to worry less about getting re-elected and more about passing bills that will further what they feel is best for the majority of the world. Instead they are seen furthering only their own parties agenda afraid that if they compromise they will lose votes from said party. Everybody has an idea of what they think is best but if we are not willing to consider the thought we are wrong, then nobody will ever be right.
I challenge you to think of any idea or argument you are passionate about and consider if you are wrong. Look in depth at what the other side of the argument is. Even better, talk to someone who thinks different and see what they have to say. You may come away knowing your beliefs remain unchanged but maybe the other perspective allowed you to think differently. Either way, now you understand what the other person is thinking and maybe that will plant the seed of compassion that will let us all grow together instead of apart.
The spread of love and kindness starts with a conversation. You can’t control what other people do only how you react. I state this because a lot of people are not open to talking it out so if you stumble onto a few people who don’t want to understand others don’t fret! There are people who want to come together despite differences. What do you think? Do you know the power of learning perspectives? Can we come together as a country and decide to respect and understand each other?