Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Significance of One's Worldview

The attached article touches on a very important point that I believe deserves elaboration. We all have a "worldview", although it is something we typically give little thought to, probably because, for most of us, it is not something that we consciously adopted. One's worldview, closeted though it is, is actually a very significant factor in one's life, and in that of his/her country. We acquire our worldview through our socialization process. Each nation has a unique worldview and each sub-culture within a nation has a modified version of the national worldview.

What is little understood and what I believe to be behind many of the conflicts that we observe, is that our worldview influences our perceptions, our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors toward other nations, other groups and other people. Most of us do not recognize that we hold a worldview so we certainly do not recognize or appreciate that there are other, perhaps very different worldviews out there. I believe that we make a gross assumption that "people are people". We notice racial, religious, language, gross cultural and other differences and attribute our responses to those characteristics as discrete responses rather than as having been determined by our coherent worldview.

The upshot is that it is hard to step out of a frame you don't realize you have. One result is a false sense of objectivity. Your worldview defines your subjectivity. Not being fully conscious of all aspects of your worldview leaves you with a serious blind spot. Problem solving and conflict resolution of every sort and at every level require objectivity. When a society such as ours prefers that it's citizens remain ignorant of their national and personal worldview, when that society does nothing to encourage and facilitate the acquisition of political consciousness, which elucidates one's worldview, it is then incumbent upon us, individually and/or in groups to seek out that consciousness.

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