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Ask more often: “What am I missing?” This is the doorstop to keep open possibilities from slamming into harmful assumptions.
We’re missing a lot. To keep our minds open when so much pushes them closed we’re going to have to talk with actual different people. This is the work.
It feels good to confirm our impressions, sharpen our wit, tighten our bonds. But it feels even better, to find but not be confined to our groups, to invite a truer world in—fear, discomfort, and dopamine lollipops be damned. And bonus: it really can be easier and even more fun than you think.
How you see the world determines how you want to talk about it.
When people say we lack a shared reality, the fact that we can live in the same world, marked by the same set of events, and have such different views of what it all means is astounding, frustrating, and just real life. This drives home a critical point: What happens in the world matters, but our interpretation of what happens in the world matters more.
That doesn’t mean we should pay any less attention to facts. It means we should pay more attention to perspectives.
Scottish sailors first talked about their “ken”: how far they could see to the horizon out on the water. Then writers began to use it to refer to the range of our vision, of our knowledge or understanding. To what our mind can see, and not just our eyes.
It’s weird to do anything drastic when you can barely make out the thing that’s scaring you. So you’ll manufacture certainty. You’ll convince yourself that the shape you see beyond your ken fits the description of that sea monster everyone in your silo’s been buzzing about. And you’ll fight, flee, or rage accordingly.
You can’t see everything,
Traveling can make you smarter, more creative and improve your problem-solving abilities.
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