The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Saturday, January 24, 2015


'He who angers you conquers you.'
-Elizabeth Kenny

Wise words, and words that I often repeat to myself in the hopes that they'll finally start to make sense. However, sometimes my mind just doesn't want to listen. See, I have a fatal flaw. When I encounter dogmatism, I'm inclined to dig my heels in and retaliate similarly, and more often than not, this just ends up making me angry. I think my dislike of dogmatism also stems from the knowledge that I'm capable of being dogmatic more often than I'd like. 

As I've stated before, changing the way others think is almost impossible to do. True as this is, it's hard to remember sometimes when faced with absolute stubbornness. While I'm partly referring to the people I sometimes encounter in day-to-day life, face to face or over whatsapp, I'm also referring to online forums that exist to facilitate discussion, but that often turn into black-and-white, right vs. wrong arguments, with each side refusing to listen to the other. Unfortunately, I'm guilty of this. If not by responding publicly to these forums, then by letting them annoy me and carrying this frustration over into other aspects of my life, and I'm sure that there are others who've also struggled with these same issues. 

At the end of the day though, I realise that I've got to remember that confirmation bias* is extremely real, and more applicable to everyday life than I could've imagined, especially in a digital age that facilitates access to people who're the chalk to our cheese. Even if you've formed an opinion from an educated, well-informed and empathetic place, there will always be people whose thinking is radically different. Remembering that THEIR thinking needn't affect YOUR life is crucial; I know I would definitely benefit. We all know what they say about he who argues with a fool, right?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 

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* "Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true."

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