It’s interesting to watch over the last few years how people are certain about so many things. No matter the subject, everyone seems to have an opinion they feel strongly about. More times than not, backed up by what they saw or read on social media. Sometimes clinging to what someone else told them.
The response to these types of declarations is what discourages me. Not by what people say. But what they don’t. Some argue the opposite of what they hear while others simply embrace it as truth.
What’s missing, more and more, is doubt. Not the type of doubt continually leading us to pessimism. Rather healthy doubt that leaves us a bit unsettled by what we hear. Where things don’t seem to add up. Uncertain as to whether a conclusion or assertion heard can really be built on the little information shared.
Leading us to search in other places for confirmation, explanation, or information before embracing what we heard. Where there is curiosity on our part as to why they chose to believe what they say without more investigation. Understanding there can be more points of view bringing more balance & nuance to the topic at hand. For life itself is rarely one sided and certainly multi-dimensional in many ways.
One of the definitions of doubt, as stated on the web, is “uncertainty with regard to the truth of a given proposition or assertion”. I don’t see healthy doubt practiced much anymore. Too many of us are quick to assert something as the truth rather than declaring it as one’s point of view. Never acknowledging that what we are sharing may not be accurate, right or highly probable.
Healthy doubt gives birth to curiosity by suspending judgment. Leading to a more active and open mind. Creating the opportunity for us to explore conversations further before confirming, rejecting or modifying what we find of interest in them. With the hope of developing a practice of balance helping us to “measure twice and cut once” making more of our decisions or next steps informed ones instead of always lunging blindly at the next thing we hear.