“A” Bridge

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At the end of my introductory post, I mentioned it was my intent to learn with everyone one of you as we cross “A” bridge to the new culture. I put “A” in quotes to emphasize an important point, change comes about in many different ways. There is no “one” way to learn and adapt to unknowns. There are known-unknowns and unknown-unknowns so adaptation to change requires trial and error and it is in this trial and error that we grow, learn and become stronger at life.

As we continue on this journey, I will make no claims of being an “expert” about anything. Most of my posts come from knowledge gained and my observations of our environment. I may have strong opinions on certain subjects based on my research, observation and experience, but these opinions are “shallow rooted” like a garlic plant. Garlic plants can be quickly pulled up from one area and then planted in another location with minimal impact to the long-term viability of the plant; they even multiply when their bulb is split apart! Just like a garlic plant if an individual provides alternative facts and logic that support changing my opinion, I will change my opinion and set a new course as quickly as moving the garlic plant.

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What several “experts” get wrong is that they become entrenched in their “expertise”. They develop strong opinions with “deep roots” like an oak tree. It may be possible to move an oak tree, but the oak will suffer from the move and fail to grow to its full potential. This is not to say that experts don’t provide any value to society, it is that they should not be blindly followed, but rather used as a barometer that may or may not influence your opinions. “Facts” are often skewed and manipulated in varying ways. Read a corporate earnings report after an abysmal quarter and you will find the positive “spin” that is meant to show something bad in a more positive light. Learning to read manipulation can help you see biases. Everyone has biases; these are the “roots”. Learn to observe multiple experts’ biases and just like a barometer is used to help understand the weather, you can measure “facts” more accurately and construct a solid foundation for your opinions.

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For example, take a true fan of a particular sports team, Team X. The fan of Team X will undoubtedly be biased toward their team winning a game in any given week. Even if the team is horrible, the fan has a leaning bias toward the fact that Team X might pull out a win. If you were betting on the outcome of a game, you wouldn’t listen solely to the fan of Team X as a source of information. Most likely you would listen to a “sports analyst” to get an unbiased opinion. I would agree that the sports analyst may have a more realistic perspective on the outcome of the game. However, what you may miss are some valuable insights that only a true fan would know.

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Think about it. Sports analysts analyze multiple teams and therefore they may not have as deep of a knowledge base for Team X as a true fan of Team X would. You acknowledge that the fan of Team X has a biased perspective toward the outcome of the game and wouldn’t consider their opinion about the outcome, but what about individual player matchups? Because the true fan has a deep knowledge of the team, he may have some valuable insights that won’t be given from a sports analyst. This doesn’t mean you just accept what they have to say. Maybe a certain player matchup sways your opinion; maybe it doesn’t. The point I am trying to make is that because you are aware of an individual’s bias, you still consider the facts but they are considered with an understanding of their bias. As a result, you can make a better decision on who may win the outcome of the game.

If you are seeking a true understanding of a particular subject then you need to consider the views presented from those who are for, against and neutral on the subject. “Picking sides” does not help you grow as an individual and will lead you to gravitate toward people that want “power” and to “control” individuals. There are multiple bridges that can be crossed as you prepare for the change in culture. Each person will construct their own bridge and it will be constructed as you learn. Acquire knowledge, keep shallow roots like a garlic plant and then build solutions that work for you in your life.
 

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