Ideas are powerful. They are a force of human nature. One idea, a simply constructed phrase or sentence, can completely alter the path of one’s life or the lives of billions of people.
Just as we move through our physical environment, we are simultaneously moving through a landscape of ideas.
Window, the window is an idea that lets us see out.
Round, the round is an idea that makes transportation easier.
Other, other is an idea that keeps us separated physically and ideologically.
Love, love is an idea that binds, that draws us closer in.
In business and finance, we say “test your assumptions.”
In science, we say “test your hypotheses.”
In the purest practice of medicine, we are instructed to carefully question our diagnoses.
Why is it that in fields like business, science, and medicine it is ok to question our ideas, but in life, we just subscribe wholesale to every silly idea that enters our consciousness with little resistance or reflection?
We don’t tolerate imprecision in the construction of cars, planes, or in open-heart surgery. Why do we tolerate and in many cases promote imprecision of thought in daily life?
If we move blindly through our physical world, we trip and fall and break things including parts of our body.
It’s the same with moving through the landscape of ideas, both ours and others.
Ideas are powerful and sacred, but not so sacred that they should not be questioned, tested, and altered. While this is a well-accepted fact in the West, it is rarely practiced.
So, let’s be curious and courageous. Let’s test our assumptions, limit our biases and learn to play with ideas rather than bury ourselves within them looking for safety and comfort.