I have always loved to learn. I believed in the concept of being a life-long learner before I ever heard the phrase, and probably before the phrase was coined. I love gathering information about, well, about pretty much everything. And I always thought most people were like me.
I am beginning to realize, however, that many people do not want information, they want affirmation.
People that truly want information want accurate information. They want facts. And if that information challenges what they think about themselves and about the world, that’s good because that is how we learn new things. And learning leads to personal growth.
Other people just want affirmation that what they already think is true. They search for things that will affirm that what they already believe is right. They don’t want to be challenged.
I really don’t understand this. Is it truly that terrible to find out that you are wrong about something? When I’m wrong (and we are all wrong sometimes), I want to know. No one can make good decisions with bad information. And I want to make good decisions. Another way to consider it is with the old computer adage, “garbage in, garbage out.”
I also want to continue to grow as a person. The alternative is stagnation. And I don’t want to stagnate. So that means I need to search out accurate information, I need to find the facts. It’s not good enough to only pay attention to things that I already believe and dismiss everything else.
When you are reading or listening to things, and accepting or dismissing them, ask yourself if you are searching for information or affirmation. Which is it? And is that what you truly want?
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