Life from where I sit is just a host of observations we experience through our flawed senses. How do we know that what we see, hear, feel, smell or taste is the same for everyone? One man’s sweet could be another man’s bitter.
However, we do seem to agree on many things such as the color of a ripe tomato is red, a banana is yellow (those that are ready to eat, not those at the local supermarket that are put out just a few days too soon!) but that could just be a result of our education system brainwashing us to believe these apparent truths.
At the end of the day, we are just the sum total of our observations and by the time you reach adulthood (and beyond) you have quite a lot of observations to manage. Some observations will be quite vividly remembered because they are tied to some emotional high or low. Others will be quite sufficiently forgotten (actually, none of which are actually forgotten, just stuffed down so far into the subconscious so as not to rear it’s ugly head until many years have passed).
From observations, we can glean what we laughingly call knowledge or more absurdly, wisdom. If 5 people observe the same phenomena you will get 5 different interpretations of said event. This has been scientifically proven by the childhood game of Telephone and as Heidelberg said, one can never know anything. You see the very act of observing changes the behavior of what is observed. Take a couple of moments to wrap your head around that bit.
So observations are fraught with error or as I like to think of them, biases. You see as we go through life, we are taught certain “truths” by our parents, first and then they share the burden with our educators and in some cases a church. Yes, we get bombarded by assumptions we should hold onto for dear life no matter what one may observe to the contrary. These assumptions become biases and color our observations to the point of directing us in our way of thinking and behaving. However, some of these assumptions can be quite useful. For instance, if one encounters an 8-foot tall bear it is quite understandable to not approach said animal especially if the said bear is teeth out and claws extended. This would be a good assumption or bias for the purpose of surviving this particular encounter. So all of our training is not as useless as a politician (any politician) running for office but a lot of it is just rubbish.
Primarily I am referring to how we interact with other people. We are taught either directly or indirectly that certain groups of people are bad and certain groups are highly desirable. It could be based on (and usually is) obvious external attributes such as skin color, condition of clothing or the particular conveyance they use to transport themselves about. There is no apparent logic to these grand assumptions but a matter of convenience for the parents, teachers, clergy, etc. You see just because someone drives a 1979 Cadillac Deville does not necessarily mean that the individual is without suitable means to procure a more current vehicle. There may be an emotional attachment to the vehicle or to their money that they do not wish to spend. I worked for a man that was a millionaire in the restaurant business. His wife and children drove nice cars but he lumbered about in an Oldsmobile 88. Why? The car suited his purposes and he was not tied to the notion that someone should drive about in their money but keep that money for other more practical pursuits like the mansion on a hill that was his abode. Priorities, we all must have priorities and yes, when I say a mansion on a hill I mean just that. it was a large structure of a house on a hill overlooking our hometown with the golf course just a stone’s throw.
In conclusion, from observations, we build our world model and determine how we will interact with this world and all that are in it. Just remember that everyone has their own world view and the bombardment of the worlds is why we have violent encounters happening all about the place. Biases and assumptions, I believe are at the core of the problem. Fix that and the world (or our individual interpretations of our world) becomes a much more harmonious place. No wonder elections are so vile and disgusting, all of these candidates