by Guest Blogger Clara K. Showalter
There’s a lot of talk about how negative the world is. We are bombarded by negative images in the media, ads telling us how to look, what to drink, and how to eat flood our televisions. Any story that offers data someone doesn’t approve of is considered negative, and as such is viewed as not important. I hear people talking about the need to remove negative images from daily life.
Yet doing that doesn’t solve the real issues. Say we stop television broadcast of the video coming out of Egypt. There are many who view those images as negative and violent. Yet I’d be hard pressed to find someone who can persuade me that the information coming from those images isn’t important. Now is it possible to be flooded by those images? Absolutely. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself and understand where that information is coming from and why it’s important.
Information isn’t positive or negative. That bias is applied by individuals. Understanding why that bias is applied is a step in the process of educating yourself and forming a solid opinion. Negative or positive, it’s just opposite views on pieces of data. When you see a piece of information which challenges your world view, ask why? Then start looking at the data and dig deeper. There’s something in the situation which makes people feel so passionate about the event, they feel the need to speak up. That tells you something.
Before you jump up and down accusing someone of negative thinking, take the time to look at what’s being said. Ask yourself questions. Is this information that I may need to know? Can information in this discussion change my outlook on a situation? What makes this person feel so passionately about this subject?
Collect data, review the data, THEN make an informed decision. Don’t jump to conclusions just because the information provided doesn’t match your world view.
This is one of the ways you grow past your own boundaries and limits and move forward.