I have a dream….a dream that individuals would be able to avoid prejudgments, myself included. A dream that we could all speak to each other without being conditioned by past bad experiences or quick prejudgments.
It is such a challenge as we are formatted to see things our ways and we make an image of someone or a situation in less than 7 seconds. It is also really difficult as there is a big paradox: those prejudgments actually help us survive as they teach us to be alert and learn from experience.
So, what is the balance? In which situations should we step away? In which others, should we trust our instinct?
Prejudgments influence our decisions because of the way we tag our thoughts with emotions.
What are their 3 main drawbacks?
1. They can make us chose the wrong interpretations and thus, decide the wrong action!
Prejudgments can inappropriately anchor our thinking, disrupt our objectivity, and make it hard for us to think things differently and thus, take the right decision at some point. It can also be a limit to understand or even get to know other persons we did not judge as worth it.
2. They can make us lose out opportunities
Think about how many times we might stop ourselves for saying or asking something, just thinking the other person might get offended or is too high up in the hierarchical scale of the company to dedicate time for us. Sometimes, when we ask, we can get really good surprises. I love this quote of Seneca: “It is not because things are difficult that we don’t dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult”.
3. Stop us from growing
In a study made recently from ETH (polytechnic school from Zurich) based on Games theory, the conclusions are quite clear: strategies based on prejudgments are useful and rational in the short term. But, because they don’t enable us to learn from our mistakes and thus adjust our behavior accordingly, in the long term, it does not work.
My dream of no prejudgments actually came true, some years ago when I experienced DANS LE NOIR. Dans le noir
It is a vital experience, dining in the dark, guided by blinded people in order to experience their world. By suppressing the sense of sight, you discover a new world. Not only is the taste different (the main purpose of the experience) but for me, the real impact was the fact that here, in the dark, we started to speak to our neighbors, building up links with absolutely no judgments and no frontiers. We ended up talking with very different persons and spending a wonderful evening. It has been so authentic and rich that I often recall this experience with my husband.
If you want to surprise someone for Christmas, have a look at their page. They are in Paris, London, Barcelona…etc… I think it is a great experience to live once in your life!