We are all victims of misconceptions, especially childhood ones, whether intentionally caused or not.
For example, a friend used to think tiny people lived in traffic lights, and it was their job to change them.
Another thought all dogs were boys and all cats were girls.
I think watermelons have a lot to answer for. I believed if you swallowed a watermelon seed, a plant would grow in your stomach. I overheard, and believed, that having a baby was like pushing a watermelon from your rear end (terrified me for years).
Okay, so we’re learning as we go. But we still accept so much of the world around us without question. Travel and information broaden our experience of different cultures, rules, traditions, beliefs, and of course, bathroom plumbing.
In some parts of Asia, Africa and Arabia men hold hands as a sign of respect and friendship, nothing more. But that’s not reality for many other men who have been socialised to interpret that in a romantic way. Just ask George Bush.
What about more serious misconceptions? A flat Earth? Racism? Sexism? That women and Aboriginals had no right to vote? Slavery? The colourful history of medicine? What is around the corner that will make us gasp when we look back in a few years? Did we really believe we were the only life form in the universe? I don’t know.
Do yourself a favour and take the 45 seconds to watch this clip of Steve Jobs’ Vision of the World.
I think Steve Jobs was smart. Probably a lot smarter than most people. And he was a risk-taker. But I still get his point. So many things we accept as reality are just what someone made up, somewhere, sometime. Yet we are so often trapped, seeing these beliefs as truths. We are not confident enough to question, to view ourselves as instruments of change.
I think what Jobs said is liberating. He reminded us to be objective and to have courage in our beliefs. Now I just have to implement it.
So where will I start? I’m working on it … But first, I’m going to be smug. I always knew why they really developed seedless watermelons. And the other point, about giving birth? It’s true.
Any walls you’d like to ‘bash into’, as Steve Jobs said?