The world is in bits and pieces due to the various ideals and beliefs. Prejudice leads to the creation of tribes within humans that believe their reasoning is supreme. Be it basic human rights such as LGBT, racial supremacy, or different political ideologies. India, too is divided into groups. For example, let us take the nationalists and the anti-nationals. How often has the opposition stopped to question what do these people demand and why they’re angry? Most people mindlessly listen to these words and internalize such disputes. Although there is enough data to show how minorities have suffered or how the need for reforms is ever crucial, we continue to fight against these people and raise a blind eye against their woes.
Do facts really change our perception?
Humans are herd animals, and we thrive on social validation and connections. We always want to feel like we belong and what that entails primarily is the belief that our mindset needs to be aligned with those surrounding us.
As Mark Twain pointed out, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” We’d rather believe what we know is the real version than challenge the years of ideals and beliefs passed down.
We might want to have different notions, but the urge for acceptance by the majority lingers in our minds forever. It takes a lot of mental unlearning and questioning for one to live their truth out loud.
We’d rather believe nothing is wrong with our mentality than actually question it. Why fix what’s not broken, right? Facts and figures cannot alone change a person’s hard-set perceptions about humanity and life. We need more than that.
What can we do for people to change their minds, if not facts?
• Facts are figures can’t do what humans can
The urge to fit-in means one can only speak out against the wrongdoers when they have support. To have a different view than the majority, you’d most likely need to cut social ties, re-think your relationships, and find new friends. Without support, a person can rarely bloom.
What can change our perception is people. When we get to knock newer humans without preconceived notions or prejudices, we’re much more likely to respect their view and reflect on it.
• Curious and broader outlook
It’s much easier to react than to understand and change. Humans tend to participate in an argument to win rather than learn something new. Changing our approach towards others and their mindsets can help broaden our own. Instead of wanting to win, we ought to be curious. We must discuss for the sake of learning and teaching something rather than proving someone else wrong. With a broader approach to life and human ideals, we can change our perception of someone else’s instead of throwing data in their faces.
Today society has forgotten its actual goal of furthering research into mankind, and we spend more and more of our time trying to bring one another down than build together, collaborating with them.
After all, it is much easier to shove humans into boxes like anti-national than try to learn about their experiences and needs.