There Are No Absolutes

As humans, we like the world in black and white. But there is no such thing.

We like to simplify the world. It makes life easier. We would never be able to function if each day we had to re-learn whether something was dangerous or not. Or whether someone was a friend or an enemy. 

So instead, we learn once, form a model in our heads, and run with it. 

We learn that stoves can be hot and we should treat them with caution. 

We assume that people who look, act, and speak like us are friendly. We are cautious of those who don’t. 

The problem is that we form these models even when they aren’t appropriate. And we don’t know when they aren’t.

It happens in politics all the time. We assume a specific identity based on the political party someone supports. 

While they likely share some views with that party, they are individuals. They likely have nuanced views in different areas. 

But that complicates our model, and it takes effort and patience to engage with someone to understand those nuances. Instead, we throw them all in the same bucket and treat them the same.

We accept and reject beliefs the same way. 

If someone from a group we dislike or oppose believes something, we tend to oppose it. Yet if we tried, we can almost always find something we agree on.

That’s the problem. The world is not made up of absolutes, of black-and-white scenarios. There are degrees of truth to almost everything. We can interpret the same information and come to very different conclusions.

The world is not black and white. There are no absolutes.

The world is full of shades of grey.