When things do not add up

There are often times when something does not make sense to us.

All of us have a particular world view – a set of rules to comprehend everything around us. When something occurs contradictory to these rules is when it doesn’t make sense. This rift between our understanding and our observations makes us uncomfortable. This discomfort can change us in several ways.

Among scientists and philosophers, this change is primarily internal. In the face of this new information, they seek to update their assumptions and beliefs. Through theories, experiments and observations, they change themselves to align with the world as they observe it.

The entrepreneurs and social reformers among us do the opposite. They confront this difference by making a change that is external. This change could result in a social movement, like feminism or civil rights, or lead to a profitable business. In this manner, they attempt to change the world to align with their beliefs.

And what of those who fear this discomfort? They choose to hide and deny what they observe. They decry anything that does not align with their views as fake-news. They hold on dearly to their assumptions and prejudices.

Whenever we observe something that does not add up, it represents a glorious opportunity to make a change – one that is internal or external.

On the other hand, not changing in the face of contradictory observations has caused great suffering in human history – suffering that is both internal and external.

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