"Everyone Thinks They Have The Prettiest Wife At Home..."
Arsene Wenger said this in response to Alex Ferguson’s comment that his team were the best in the Premier league back in the early 2000’s.
They weren’t. (Editor’s note: possible writer’s bias at play here.)
But the fact is, that people really do think that. And it’s not an unnatural or even irrational thought to have.
The fact is that our perceptions and points of view are colored by our personal experiences, our environments, our biases. We use them as a filter through which we create our own world view. And almost always, it’s a view that is designed to reinforce where we are, what we do, who we do it with.
The problem, of course, arises when we stop listening to alternative points of view, or we listen but don’t really hear what they’re saying. We spend little to no time assessing the validity of these different perspectives, even when they offer nuggets of insight that might improve how we think.
This happens because, all too often, we become comfortable in our biases. because we’re locked in on the basis of historical norms, teachings and experiences that have formed the basis of our worldview. A worldview that says our survival is dependent on maintaining these ideas, to the detriment (if need be) of all else.
In other words, this happens when we’re afraid that hearing - truly hearing - that alternative point of view may mean accepting ideas that don’t align with our long held beliefs, ideas and values. Which might lead us down the path of acknowledging that those views have validity, which in turn, might force us to think differently about our own world, perhaps reassess it, re-assess our very foundations, why we do what we do.
It’s just easier not to change.
It’s easier, at least in the short run, to hunker down, and fortify ourselves against any such incoming storm.
In the short run.
In the long run, though, we’re always worse off. And not just us, but our kids, our communities, our tribes as well.
In the long run, it’s always better to listen, to debate, to think objectively (or at least as objectively as we can).
Sure, we may not change our point of view, but when we really hear the other perspective, we’re in a much better position to know where we stand and if our point of view holds water, or not.
(For the record, I just want to say that I really do have the prettiest wife at home. And I’m not just saying that because my wife reads my posts…)