Sunday, March 22, 2015

An Anti-Digital Mind: A Judgmental Mind

It's when a label carries negative connotations, and drives bipolar thinking that might cause the prejudice.

The world is becoming more hyper-connected and overcomplex, now the ocean, the mountain, or the desert cannot separate us, thanks to the digital technology and advanced transportation. However, it’s the mindsets which are more often the obstacle to disconnect the heart, diminish the spirit, cause the conflict or irritate the anger. Have you ever mislabelled, or over-analyzed others; have you always kept bi-polar thinking to judge “good or bad,” have you paid too much attention to trivial or insignificant details, with ignorance of important aspects or big picture? Or put simply, do you have a judgmental mind and how to shift it into the “digital mode”?

It takes self-awareness: It makes sense not be prejudiced. Not to go from a group label to a preconceived opinion about individuals that impacts if and how we relate to them, whether we start out comfortable and trusting or uncomfortable and suspicious. But how does one do that? Can we learn tolerance? It takes self-awareness. We need to know and admit to our prejudices, yes, we all have them. Then it takes a conscious effort to set them aside, hold them in abeyance, and engage with the individual. Minimally this means civilly and fairly, with tolerance; seeing differences as just different and not as a confirmation of some preconception.

It takes the strength of character: It surely is a challenge. The majority of people just follow the conventional wisdom or traditional custom, it takes some strength of character and confidence not to be threatened by difference. Keep in mind that people typically react in the manner that they are treated. The best approach may just be the golden rule to treat others as you want to be treated. if you know your own personality preferences, you can find your strengths and weaknesses and so change the things you don't like. Unless you look inward, you can not do anything. The change that we all can do is to do that for ourselves, rather than looking towards others, what is happening inside yourself, that make changes more sustainable.

It takes multidimensional thinking: Labeling is not necessarily the problem, it’s misjudging that is problematic. Labels can be bad or misleading, but they aren't inherently so. It's the judging part that is problematic. It's when a label carries negative connotations, and drives bipolar thinking that might cause the problems. The challenge is to try and not judge something or someone as good or bad, or wrong or right, or black or white. Try it for yourself. Instead of saying, "That person is wrong." or "That person is bad." Think to yourself, "That person is different.” And everybody is different because everyone has a different personality, life goals, priority setting, living styles and time management skills. You can benefit (productivity, efficiency, employee engagement) by focusing on the ways people and activities can fit together rather than judging as good or bad, or wrong or right. Even if there is not a common place to meet, it is easier to acknowledge such difference and create the desired environment to make peace.

It takes empathy: There are inherent limitations in engaging in conversations with people in text boxes; the limited abilities to facilitate meaningful dialogue and relationships with such a broad array of people from around the world; each having different intentions and life journey. People learn as children about the world by labeling/identifying things; and somewhere along the way, people learn that labeling/judging other people becomes a weapon to tease, belittle, humiliate, discriminate against "other people" in an attempt to set themselves apart from "those other people." These are small thinkings isolating the minds and breaking the hearts. And the irony is, no two people are absolutely identical, we are each unique and yet, we are one human race; like snowflakes, each unique, yet collectively the same. You don’t need to like everyone, you also don’t need to be liked by everyone. So be yourself, focus on the things matter more to you, be empathetic to understand others and the world.

It is a journey to shift mindset from judgmental mode to the digital mode - be open, be objective, be changeable, and be insightful, respect the difference, and be yourself. Do not always follow the conventional wisdom or preconceived opinions, be a critical thinker without being excessively critical.


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