Biases and Lens

Officially this is the last month before my parenthood begins and I am nervous and excited at the same time. Moving on to today’s topic, I want to discuss the concept of bias and your own lens in life

Weekly Inventory Check:

We’re about halfway through June, and in the summer, people often don’t feel like doing much because it’s just too hot, especially here. So, perhaps give yourself a break if you planned really ambitiously and couldn’t deliver, but do go back and look at what you intended, what you did and didn’t do, and most importantly, why.

Biases and Lens

Isn’t it true that our surroundings shape us? And sometimes we don’t realise that a decent illustration would be like certain life cliches that say, well, if you dump someone by text, you’re a jerk. Now, the reason I have an issue with that is because you do not consider the context of what is happening. Another example is that weapons are terrible? And generically, that is true but if you pull the trigger to protect your loved ones, it’s not as bad as pulling the trigger to hurt someone innocent.

So, it really based on the situation you are, which brings us back to the importance of context. In the black and white of things, we sometimes lose sight of the context. And there’s an old adage that says content is king, but context is God. We are all born with lenses, which can differ due to various factors like the culture we were a part, the family we grew up in, or the religion that we were taught as children. There could be a variety of elements that allow us to construct this lens. And it’s often tough to look at reality without these rosy lenses because even empathy and sympathy are difficult to try.

People often say, Oh! Feel the other person’s shoes and to be honest, you do feel the other person’s shoes, but from a standpoint of an outsider because a) you are not going through the situation yourself and b) you might be agreeing or disagreeing to it based on your own perception. So, it’s really okay for people to get to a conclusion, a choice, or an opinion based on their cultural glasses, based on their biases. That is what defines them, and you cannot expect them to abandon all of that just to have a sensible conversation. Your cultural bias and the lenses that surround you are what make you who you are. They are the reason you have this viewpoint. And if anyone tries to deprive you of thinking or stating things differently then are you any less than a robot who gets told what to do and what not to do? It is essential that we celebrate and rather, acknowledge these biases and lenses and recognise that they are a part of the debate. It’s a mistake on our part that we don’t consciously bring in our conversations the factor of bias. Unconsciously, it’s a factor contributing to every argument that happens but people are not really aware of it. So, emphasis on acknowledging bias is important. Not neglecting, just acknowledging.

Want More?

Somewhere above I mentioned that guns are not always bad. If they are being used for the right purpose, it’s okay. However, in this article, the author is giving a fresh perspective to the situation. He says that if the wrongful acts are being taken care of and there is a check and balance, then even the good guys will not have to carry the guns at all.

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoe is a casual statement that people pass but it may sometimes backfire. Read here.

Read this article on unconscious bias. The author beautifully explains the phenomenon of bias blind spot.

Read of the Week

A book called Behave by Robert Sapolsky addresses specific human behaviors. Sapolsky’s narrative is enjoyable, but it also has a strong inherent logic: he examines the circumstances that influence a person’s reaction at the same instant a behavior occurs.

Thoughts to Leave you With

The conclusion that I want to draw is that I see people taking a harsh stance on cultural bias as they lack the understanding of people naturally having their own lens and that there is always a reason why people do what they do. The refusal to accept the existing of lenses is what the problem is.


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