I’ve been reading Jonathan Haidt lately and find his work fascinating. From his latest book, he debunks the following three myths that make our kids and ourselves worse off:
- Children are fragile—what doesn’t kill them makes them weaker (which is why so many parents coddle now)
- Always trust your gut and seek out confirmation bias (which is how we quickly dismiss opposing ideas and evidence)
- Life is a battle between us and them and black and white (which is why we verbally fight as much now as we used to physically)
Haidt is quick to point out mounting research showing that we live in the most physically safe, peaceful, and prosperous time in history, despite our very real problems. But believing in the above only makes the world more offensive than it really is.
For a more fulfilling and less aggravating life, we must roll with the punches, look for disconfirming evidence, and treat most of life’s tragedies as the complicated gray messes that they really are as opposed to always looking for a villain to place blame upon.