Saturday, January 3, 2015

Living Together

     On January 1/2/15 the ABC TV show 20/20 showed some extreme examples about how some people go out of their way to impose themselves upon their neighbors.  The most striking examples were 1) where two once-close suburbanites built a 12-foot high fence between their houses and engaged in a childish war, and 2) where a town made war on a family that had a pet pot-belly pig.  They were examples where some people seem to go out of their way to be disrespectful of those who aren't perfect clones of themselves.
     We contrast this report to a letter from the Chief of Police in Nashville to his staff where he commented on a letter from a citizen who disagreed with his handling of a matter that has torn other cities apart.  A Christmas Message for the MNPD from Chief Steve Anderson >was posted at  In it he makes this remarkably insightful comment
While I don’t doubt that you sincerely believe that your thoughts represent the majority of citizens, I would ask you to consider the following before you chisel those thoughts in stone.
As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us.  Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions.  By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own.  This would make us uncomfortable.  By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone.  Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own.  By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong. 

No comments:

Post a Comment