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  • Writer's pictureKirk

How Big is Your World Revisited

Yeah I know I already posted on this one here:

But there are many angles on this depending on your perspective. On the last post I offered my philosophical view on the importance of what we do within the world we live, regardless of size. It was more of an outward perspective. Now I want to change the view to an introverted one. What does the size of our world do to us?

Our worlds are shaped by information. It is information and the perception of that information that shapes our opinions and attitudes. The more information we have, hopefully the better decisions we make. But not always. It's more important the information be accurate and in perspective.

I've learned in my travels, information can be true, but misleading. Talking with Muslims in my travels, I've been asked why Americans hate them. Same thing I've heard from Asians. It astonishes me to hear that because I don't know anyone who hates either group. But their opinions are formed in their small worlds by the information they receive. The Muslim news tells them that America wants to join Israel in destroying them. The Asians see CNN tell all the stories of Asian beatings in the USA.

But those stories are told in a vacuum. Absent of perspective. It is not said that these crimes against Asians represent less than a fraction of a percentage of the people here. The news is all about sensationalism to sell ad space. They don't care how they portray our country just as long as they can get a premium for ad space and are televised all over the world.

if we live in a small world we are at the mercy of our sources of information. The internet has helped connect all of the world now and can mitigate the damage of local news. But even that is limited by our search function. And most people seek only the information which confirms their already formed beliefs. That is, if you believe Americans hate Muslims you'll seek the stories in google that support that belief.

I grew up a small town boy, with a small town view of the world. Things that were foreign seemed scary to me, just like it is for the Muslims and Asians I encounter in the world who are small town. They would not dare to come to dangerous America. But it's an ill-informed view or our country. As is the view many here have in reference to visiting a Muslim country.

Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims in the world, yet I've been there several times and consider it perfectly safe. The people are wonderful there. I've posted about riding a bicycle through the country:

Sure there are some radical bombings there, but the deaths caused by radicals there is far less than the deaths by gun shootings here. It's all about perspective.

We fear the things we don't know and we fear the things we think we know through limited information. As my world slowly grew over the years I killed off all those people stigmas that had persisted and were formed by a biased media. All media is biased. Both CNN and FOX. The only information you really can rely on is the that which you experience for yourself.

What I do know is the simple belief that people are people everywhere. We hold the same core values of mutual respect and love for friends and family. The vast majority of people are good and seek no harm. They love to interact and to learn. It's just unfortunate they don't make the news. It's that small fraction of a percentage of radicals that dominate the news and make it sound like the norm.

I don't mean to sound arrogant with my "worldly view". In fact it's the opposite. I've become quite humbled by my ignorance of things. It's a learning experience every day. But what I think I know is that if we stop learning and stay entrenched in our long held beliefs, unwilling to change them, then we've already stopped growing. And now we just exist, perhaps even to the detriment of society.

This is, of course, a philosophical opinion post. My opinion is of no great importance, I know. Feel free to share yours in the comment section.

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