A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

Believe Me

Aha!  Moment Monday

Did you know that there is a “flat earth” society that defends the belief that the world is flat?

It’s true.

Now there is enormous evidence over centuries to prove otherwise so if you’re convinced the earth is indeed round, your first instinct might be to ridicule that group. But hold on a minute. What makes you believe what you do? Can you explain gravitational forces, vortex or the scientific makeup of our universe as it fits with all others?

I believe the earth is round. I also believe inflammation causes disease and that depression can be triggered. Further, I believe we are an essential part of our life’s creation, that everything has a reason and energy is never destroyed. But that’s me. In what do you believe that you would defend to the hills?

The challenge, according to Philip Fernbach, Cognitive Scientist, is that most of what we believe is not based on what’s in our heads. We don’t store that much information and any situation is far more complex for us to actually understand it.

“It’s warped and simplistic if we think we have it all figured out.” says Fernbach in a TEDx talk. “Our understanding comes from those around us.”

Aha! ~ Thinking is a social project

Our sense of understanding is contagious which means what we believe takes shape based on buy-in from our sources – friends, family, newsfeed, colleagues, political leaders, advertising – and repetitive sound bytes, especially by sources we trust, shape our belief. Fernbach warns that when you pair the contagious nature of understanding with individual ignorance, it can be a toxic recipe (I believe it can also be a powerful, positive movement.)

What separates us from other living creatures is that we are thinking beings and here’s the bonus Aha!: we’re wired to do it together.

Even when we’re separated we’re not thinking alone. Collaboration is our modus operandi and “… like bees…” Fernbach says “everyone participates with its own specialization.”

My operative word this year is “possibilities”.

Was there ever a time when possibility was so infinite? It starts with your belief.


Have your Aha Moment Mondays delivered right to your inbox… sign up.