Lockdown Reflections Day 38: What if we are all right?
We now clearly live in a world where there are no obviously “right” answers (I think we’ve always lived in that world; now it is just clear that we do). In this world, once you’ve chosen a position, your brain will go into confirmation bias overdrive. Our brains do this all the time: trying to prove what we already believe. It’s the nature of your brain to do this.
All evidence to the contrary is ignored and even discredited. Any evidence that proves your own point is magnified and accepted often without critique.
In these stressful Covid-19 times, we have added an edge to this. We fight, demean and belittle people who don’t agree with our view of the world.
We need to stop doing this. Whatever your view is, we are all still in this together.
Whatever happens as Covid-19 plays itself out, with possible second waves and mutations, the possibility of a much higher mortality than we see now, and the impact of Covid-19 on people with HIV and TB, if the people claiming we should fear Covid a lot are right, we are going to need each other to get through the coming health crisis.
Whatever happens as the economic implications of both the virus and the lockdowns play out, if the people claiming the economic impact will be worse are right, we are going to need each other to get through the coming financial crisis.
Whatever happens as the political implications play themselves out, if the people claiming that governments are taking away our freedoms and won’t ever give them back are right, we are going to need each other to get through the coming political crisis.
I am not saying we allow every crackpot theory the light of day. Science does in fact have some clear truths for us. No matter what people say, 5G is not a Covid-19 problem, vaccines do work, and bleach should not be ingested.
But we should extend more grace to each other. There are no easy solutions right now. There are many different views that are correct. Sadly, there are no obvious compromise positions that can make everyone happy. We can disagree with other people and their views, but let’s also acknowledge the validity of their fears and give them the benefit of the doubt in their motives.
Most importantly, be careful in how you disagree. I am not saying you mustn’t disagree. I am not saying you shouldn’t clearly and boldly state your view and attempt to convince other people of it. What I am saying is be careful of your own confirmation bias. Then be careful of questioning the integrity and motives of people who have a different view. And most importantly, be careful of breaking and bruising long term friendships and loving relationships over differences of opinion where it is very clear that everyone might have a correct point of view, and a good reason for holding that view.
What happens if we are all right?
Disagree, yes. But do so with as much respect, kindness and graciousness, as you do with strength, conviction and belief.