When I hear someone say that another person's opinion is "biased", I give a quiet chuckle. I mean, how can someone not be biased? I'm sure I'm biased in some shape or form; the life I've lived and the experiences I've etched into the farthest corners of my brain effect who I am whether I like it or not. Obviously it isn't a good thing to be biased; your cutting off your mind from potentially useful and interesting ideas. But it seems to be in our nature. So dear reader, how should be approach this?
One of our ultimate goals should be to view everything through a lens that is unprejudiced. But this is the kind of glowing, flowery statement that sounds good, but is very difficult to follow through with. Think about what "bias" is; your actions and thoughts being influenced by a prejudged perspective. Is a prejudged perspective always bad? Being honorable, trustworthy, even having a strong sense of right and wrong; those are all prejudged no? A morally upstanding person would think that a thief deserves to go to prison, yet the thief might have just been trying to support his family, no matter the cost. There is no shame in being biased, because we are all a product of our experiences. What's "right" to you or me isn't the same to another person.
This isn't meant to give permission to have everyone run rampant with their biases. No. What I do mean is that being biased is a normal thing; it bears good and bad fruit. A cop who holds justice in high regard is, in a way, just as biased as a racist or a sexist. They all are being guided by whatever perspective they have molded in their lives thus far. So to go back to the question I asked earlier; how should we approach this? By going beyond our natural instincts. You would be surprised what you discover when you look at new things with no expectations. Want to be a better person? Simply experience life without prejudging what the future will hold. It's a tough thing to do; bias is something that is very deeply integrated into our minds. But trust me when I say, it's definitly worth it. So tell me, what's your take on bias?
A not very timely note
This was a blog I once wrote during my high school and early college years. I keep it around for nostalgic purposes, but it is quite obviously no longer updated. I am looking to make a more professional blog presence in the future, but I still like to look at where I was mentally at certain points in time.
- G. Jan 2013
- G. Jan 2013