Wilful blindness is an issue that we all grapple with. We see what we want to see and avoid seeing what we don’t. Does this have a repercussion on our lives more than what we see? To understand this, we must first look at why we behave the way we behave.
Why wilful blindness: On an average, we overestimate our knowledge – I am doing that right now. As i understand, application of the knowledge is intelligence. We all know it for a fact that we are assessed on our intelligence by our society. Couple this fact with the need-hierarchy and the process become a bit complicated. Getting confused between self-esteem and ego coupled with ignorance, we overestimate our intelligence, crafting situations that present us in ‘good light’ among our colleagues and friends. We generally surround ourselves with a group who thinks the similar way, just to help us reestablish ourselves as member of the select group. This group itself may become a victim of wilful blindness.
We overestimate our abilities and capabilities, whether physical or mental, to help us feel comfortable in a given situation. When questions are raised on these select situations by Thought Leaders, those who understand the subject better than us, we defend ourselves only to force our belief with more conviction, thus applying selective thoughts, learnings and memories to highlight the arguments that support our belief (everybody in India is an economist, for instance). This is where debates happen, where the speakers would negate the thoughts of the opponents to prove themselves right. This is when we realise we don’t know everything.
Realising this fact (that we don’t know everything on every subject) can help us gain knowledge and ultimately create a platform to convert that acquired knowledge into intelligence. So, next time when you are asked to share your thoughts on a topic you are not convergent with, just walk away from the debate. That would be the wise decision.