Prisoners of assumptions

The living room turns into a dungeon. The floor is a river of lava. The goal is to make it across the room, without stepping on the floor. You can only hop on the islands that take the form of the sofa cushions. On the other side, you must shoot arrows to get past the guards and secure your freedom.

When children play, their imagination knows no bounds. Their brains are unfettered by the rigidness that prevents us from imagining how a laminated floor can suddenly be covered in glowing magma.

What prevents our minds from imagining like they do? It is mostly our implicit assumptions of the world around us. We have seen living room floors too often for us to think of them as anything else. Our assumption of what this floor is and how it ought to behave prevents us from imagining an alternate reality.

What other assumptions prevent us from accepting an alternate reality?

That currency or airplane plane have to be printed on paper for them to be legitimate.

That our jobs are specialized and cannot be taken away by a machine or by somebody on the other side of the world.

That the typical person of my country has a certain hair colour, skin colour and speaks a certain language.

That buying a house is a good investment.

That the people we have grown up with will always be around.

That our business model will always be relevant in the market.

Our world is changing at a pace that continually dismantles our rigid assumptions. Like a terrifying earthquake, the ground shifts beneath us even as we always assume that it would be stable.

Our only hope is to learn to hold our assumptions loosely – from children, perhaps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s