Friday, May 29, 2009

Blind Spots

We all have the mental equivalent of blind spots -- things and concepts that we are simply unaware of. For some of us, the greatest such blind spot is manifested by the belief that we have no significant blind spots. This is one of the principal reasons that we need to be both open-minded and part of a diverse, honest community, so we have a chance that someone can help us learn to know what we currently can’t, or compensate when such learning is impossible.

The “community” we depend on for sharing and enabling experience may be close and in the present, or, through communications technology, books and other media, far away or in the past. The more immediately accessible members are most helpful in environments that are unusual or rapidly changing, while those we can’t easily interact with can help in situations that are not unusual or changing slowly enough to accommodate the effort of broader understanding.

As part of a community, we help others as much as we are helped, and in the process share a common and longer future since we can collectively “see” where we are going and where we want to go. Alternatively, in small competitive groups or as individuals, we have a higher risk of encountering something we are incapable of dealing with, or being unaware of what actions will best serve our twin needs to survive and thrive.

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