Exploring Possibilities: Do Vegans Believe In Milky Way?
I was once conducting a workshop for a bank. Topic was customer centricity. Point of discussion was empathy. To start off the discussion, I expressed my gratitude to all the bankers by saying that, it’s because of these bankers, we people can roam freely without worries. All our savings, and expensive belongings are safe in the bank's custody. Imagine if there are no banks and bankers.
If we have to go to Maldives for a vacation, we will have to lock our homes with Rs. One crore in cash, jewelry of lakhs (someone planning for Maldives is expected to have at least this much wealth) I don’t think anyone will ever do that. Even if we do, our minds will be overburdened with worries of our wealth back home.
Or we may ask someone to guard our wealth in our absence. Trusting this person is another concern. So we keep our wealth aside in the banks and feel free to accomplish our tasks freely and lightly.
Do we also do the same when it comes to our identities. Based on our place of birth, family, beliefs, surnames, we identify ourselves. We always carry these identities on our heads. They make our journey of life too heavy. If someone says anything to our identity, we use all our intellect and intelligence to give him back.
Why not keep it aside? Perhaps due to the fear that we might lose it. As mentioned above we also keep our money aside in the bank, and do not lose it, and walk with less burden. This process of carrying identities on our heads leads to polarization.
As per the theory of evolution we get birth on this earth, learn, grow and evolve. This is the natural process of evolution and we all know that. But we mostly do the opposite. We fix everyone’s possibility with birth. Even when we go for marriages we go by horoscope. We explore the possibility of a successful marriage basis the constellations during our birth times.
If someone is born as a man or a woman, we fix and limit their capabilities. We even decide the bravery, competency, service attitude and several other things basis his/her place of birth. That is exactly opposite of the theory of evolution.
This quite often leads to confirmation bias. It is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories. People feel that only their convictions are rational, logical, and impartial, based on the result of years of experience and objective analysis of the information they have gathered.
Our beliefs are often based on paying attention to the information that upholds them—while at the same time tending to ignore the information that challenges them. For example, a set of people believe that left handers are more creative than right handers. Now when they are confronted with another group which believes that both are equally creative, they will place more importance on the evidence that supports their beliefs.
This brings into relevance the distinction between two words, discussion and argument. In arguments we try to who is right and in discussions we prove what is right. This reminds me of one such conversation where the vastness of the universe was discussed. In such discussions a mention of the milky way is more than obvious. We had a vegan amongst us and he straight away said, can we change the name of the milky way, as they are averse to everything that has milk in it...
In the 1960s a series of psychological experiments suggested that people are biased towards confirming their existing beliefs. Later work re-interpreted these results as a tendency to test ideas in a one sided way and ignoring alternatives. Such a thought process closes the doors to exploring possibilities. So ladies and gentlemen, be more open, expand your perceptions and explore possibilities....
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)