I’d like to suggest that we all pause a minute before assuming that other people are “stupid”, “ignorant” or “liars”.  We need to check our own filter first!  We are all much more alike than we are different, but we’re the ignorant ones if we don’t really take the time to find out why someone else’s truth differs from our truth.

Can you remember a time when what you remembered an event in a completely different way to the way someone else remembered the same event?  Thinking about it now, can you accept that you were both “right”?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Mamma Simona, who lives in Cape Town with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs and 2 cats.  She also has a 21 year old son currently living in Germany.
Photo Credit to Susie Newday.

Mamma Simona (South Africa)

Mamma Simona was born in Rome (Italy) but has lived in Cape Town (South Africa) since she was 8 years old. She studied French at school but says she’s forgotten most of it! She speaks Italian, English and Afrikaans. Even though Italian is the first language she learned, she considers English her "home" language as it's the language she's most comfortable in. She is happily married and the proud mother of 2 terrific teenagers! She also shares her home with 2 cats and 2 dogs ... all rescues. Mamma Simona has worked in such diverse fields as Childcare, Tourism, Library Services, Optometry, Sales and Admin! (With stints of SAHM in-between). She’s really looking forward to the day she can give up her current Admin job and devote herself entirely to blogging and (eventually) being a full-time grandmother!

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  1. Ann Marie Wraight says

    I loved this post and your examples!
    I try explaining this concept to my students and my own kids but it usually depends on their home backgrounds as to whether they “get it” or not.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jennifer Burden says

    The Ebola example is being reported and is worrying. Because the virus is spreading so rapidly, it sounds like there has not been time to explain what health workers who are trying to contain the disease are doing. And, I read in the NY Times that it is difficult to recruit doctors and local volunteers for fear that they will contract the disease. I hope they will be able to contain the virus soon.

    I had a professor at University who challenged us to write why we were the religion that we were. It was amazing to find that it was because our families had raised us this way, and we came to the realization that our religion or beliefs or non beliefs as children would be different if we were born into a different family or even in a different part of the world. It was my first introduction into enculturation. It is the same with language. That exercise helped me be more understanding of others by trying to put myself in their shoes.

    Yesterday on the site, we talked about how the decisions that the humans who came before us are still affecting humanity negatively today. We are having to deal with problems created by history, and we are born into them. Change seems to happen in small increments over time — that arc that Dr. King spoke of, right? But, I like to think that we will get there and stay positive. How do we increase the rate of change to benefit future humanity? By change, I mean peace and understanding. Coexisting peacefully is the key.

    By the way, Simona…I’m a tea drinker. 😉 lol!!!! Thank you for keeping us thinking!

  3. Simona says

    I am actually quite optimistic about our future because (in large part also due to the Internet) the new generation is being exposed to many more diverse points of view than we were when we were growing up. My 18 year old daughter and a lot of her friends are aware of the “filters” I talk about. This gives me hope for a kinder and more tolerant humanity in the future! 🙂 Btw, I only drink tea when I’m sick! 😛

  4. Olga @The EuropeanMama says

    Of course where we come from affects our opinions. But there are cases where there is only one truth. Based on the information the man in your example has, of course he will think that they would perform witchcraft. But his beliefs don’t make him right. It’s not a shame to be misinformed or not understand the information given you, this is what experts are for. You can’t choose the science that suits you best. As for coffe, if you would actually read the studies, you would see that 1) coffee good or bad for different reasons so it can be both and 2) you would actually need to drink lots of coffee before it would actually affect you in a negative way. It’s not your truth, or mine truth. Coffee is beneficial in moderate quantities. That is the truth. Scientists are actually well aware of all the fallacies (including the one you mentioned, called confirmation bias) and they do their best to rule them out in their research. You can argue whether you like Picasso. But you can’t argue with a well conducted study.

  5. Kristyn Zalota says

    SO totally right on. In so many ways we need to “check our own filter first.” Our perspective, no matter how clearly “right” or “logical,” is but one perspective. Thanks for this post!

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