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Markos Charatzas - London, UK




Approximately 7’39’’ reading time

One of the things I have struggled with in the past is this.

How do you know if an individual has a well rounded understanding of an issue when stating their view?

This gets more difficult when your view is different.

How do you know an individual has factored in your view when stating theirs?

How do you know others, hearing that individual’s view, understand that this view might or might not have taken into account yours?

You don’t.

The only way to know is to put you in a room. You, that individual and all the others; so that every one states their view.

At the end,

  • Every individual in that room has a well rounded understanding.
  • Every individual has now factored in your view.
  • Every individual knows that every view has been factored in.

This is on the basis that everyone is acting out of duty.

You might argue that just because everyone has stated their view, it does not mean that they have now factored in yours.

Even more so when an individual still holds the same view. Seemingly not factoring in yours.

The Internet

As the internet becomes more social, people are connected more than ever before. Despite being more connected than ever, the means by which views are communicated fall short overall.

Humans have long used writings to communicate.

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone © Hans Hillewaert, via Wikimedia Commons

And images.

Cueva Manos
Cueva Manos By Mariano (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Exploration and trade over the centuries exposed people to a plethora of customs, traditions, sciences and knowledge.

Even today, travelling to a foreign country is not enough to give you a good understanding of its society. You need to spend years before you can fully grasp, appreciate and aknowledge its contributions and shortcomings to this world.

The internet has evolved at an extreme pace but at the same time is failing to bind us together. Breaking down physical barriers, faster than legislation can adjust and the means of communication can mature.

No matter how primitive in nature, greetings, gestures, facial expressions, body language and the tone of our voice have helped us come together as species.

Origin of language

Virtual Reality “I just joined Samsung to launch their new Galaxy smartphones and talk about the future of virtual reality.“ - Mark Zuckerberg

Social media has an every increasing role and a responsibility to boot in bringing people together.

As an example, Twitter fails to facilitate a round table discussion and is prone to the Echo chamber effect.

An individual’s high number of followers amplifies their influence at an exponential rate. This is a powerful way to spread your view or publicly shame, but can easily lead to peer pressure, used as means of coercion and bullying.

You should think twice before using a retweet like a whistle to get the attention of the angry mob, opting for Ochlocracy in the process.

The Internet is still in its infant stage. You need to be respectful, demonstrate empathy, be mindful of cultural differences, communication bariers, mental and emotional state else you risk ousting people.

The importance of diversity and inclusion

When you support a cause or you are personally affected, your views can easily turn to beliefs. Beliefs that you fight hard for and feel strongly about.

Beliefs are not inheritely bad. Beliefs give a sense of purpose, influence, provide stability to enable progress. Don’t challenge your beliefs for too long though and you risk stagnation.

By merely believing that a view holds true, a view is right, without allowing for a debate, you risk more than “being wrong”.

You risk applying it on a case where it does not hold. Potentially failing to support that cause you believe so strongly about.

You risk creating prejudice by enforcing your beliefs on another individual.

You risk making an individual’s view biased or worse, driven by fear.

You risk not being exposed to the diversity of views that can shape your understanding.

A view of an individual comes from their experiences. Experiences that are shaped by life and also interpreted differently. Views that vary based on culture, race, social status and individuality.

The world is shaped today from all these views coming together, being challenged, influenced, co-existing.

To deny those views is to deny our freedom.

It is a collective effort that lies with you

Going back to my original question.

How do you know if an individual has a well rounded understanding of an issue when stating their view?

I now think of it like this.

How do you ensure an individual has a well rounded understanding of an issue when stating their view?

As an individual you have a responsibility to be mindful and careful when you communicate your view. Avoid being dogmatic, polarising.

Given that your goal is to educate then do so by having a discussion and explain to an individual your view. This isn’t about being politically correct or restraining. This is about being mindful of differences and aware of context.

Rather than assuming or letting your bias kick in, establish a context first by asking the “right” questions. Listen. Process. This will give you both a better understanding and increased chances to make a change.

Spread views that have the above qualities.
Look for views that have the above qualities.

Protect views that are being oppressed. Speak up and defend every individual’s right to their view. A world where having a different view is heresy is no different that a world with a single view.

Consider how the media can shape a view and people with a social status can influence.

Consider how companies operate, politicians debate and countries legislate.

Consider the current issues that the world is facing today.

Challenge.

Even this article, now that you have finished reading it. Understand how it applies, what is not tackling, why and where it falls short by omission. Share your view.

We have evolved because of diversity.
We have come this far by being inclusive.