Small Worlds Can Be Problematic

by David on August 1, 2013

When we think the whole world is just like our little slice of it, bad things can happen. When we assume that everyone sees the world just like we do, bad things can happen. These thoughts came to me after seeing the most innocent comment on Facebook. And the person commenting probably really is innocent, in some ways. Or maybe just ignorant, but I don’t know.

Someone posted a photo of one of Texas’ beautiful courthouses. Yep, it was a dandy, as quite a few are. The comment said that Texas courthouses “kinda all look a like” [sic] and then the person mentioned that an older relative had worked on one in another county. My deduction is, he’s seen two courthouses, and they looked similar. Or maybe he’s seen many. It doesn’t matter. Texas has 254 counties.

My point (and I really hope you don’t think it’s about defending courthouse diversity) is that this person has a small view of the world and made an assumption based on it. I suppose self-awareness is key here. There is nothing inherently wrong with being ignorant of what exists outside our own sphere of contact. We just NEED TO KNOW the size of our “world” and realize the vastness of what lies outside it’s borders.

Many people love living in a small town. Or in no town. There are lots of good things that could be said about either. Some people only read fiction books. No problem. Some people are too busy trying to make a living to do or think about anything else. Blessings on ’em. But if we use our limited worlds to measure and evaluate everything else, huge mistakes will be made, and sometimes these mistakes can have huge consequences.

I’ve said for a long time that the easiest error is NOT mistaking false for true, but mistaking a PART of truth for ALL of truth.

254 Texas courthouses

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