Excuse Me, It’s My Bias

Excuse Me, It’s My Bias: (Audio)

One dictionary declares Bias as a prejudice inclination, and another one says it’s “an inclination of temperament or outlook…a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment.” Another one says it might indicate a prejudice that is unfair to someone, and Wikipedia says it’s “one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, or not having an open mind.

Well. Excuuusssseee me!

Doesn’t any dictionary have a clear definition that we can all agree on? Think about the words we use. Any of these words you are reading can be a definition to describe all of us.

Our biases of the English language and word meaning runs just as deeply as my bias for Dr. Pepper over any other soda! Or, my inclination is to drive my truck over a car any day of the week. (Wait. I don’t want to drive “over” a car, I just prefer driving my truck instead of a car!) Language is so weird!

We all have biases that paint a clearer picture of who we are, and where we come from. A recent article in Psychology Today states, “…interview most psychologists or read any psychology textbook and you will find that our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are the result of an interaction between biological factors and environmental (or cultural) factors.” (Source) Think about it. We are a sum product of our past, biologically and environmentally! But we do not have to stay that way. Just as people change their minds and habits every single minute of the day, we all have the possibility of change.

We all have biases that are an inclination of our temperament, judgment, viewpoint, and the very fact that we all have a closed mind about something, else everyone would be accepted for who they are! Right?!!? This is true until we start using moral and legal boundaries on another person’s belief system. Laws are unique to a governing authority and are different from drawn boundary line to the next. Even if you think something is right, the law could say it’s wrong, and you are now acting unlawfully.

From our cultural background, language, education, familial, race, genetics…oh, this list is too lengthy! We all have proclivities toward certain things and it’s hard to see the other side of the coin! Wait… Did I just use proclivity? It’s “...a tendency to choose or do something regularly, an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing.” It’s not a bad thing, it’s just my preference to go toward one side of the argument over the other.

Maybe we should start a language derby. Let’s fish in the barrel of words and see which one lands in the bottom of the boat flopping and gasping for oxygen! Then see if we can compare the word to our understanding of our actions and beliefs!

We have a proclivity to let our bias put us on one side of the fence or the other. Just as The Elephant Party is different than the Donkey Party, we are all landing on one side of a bias or another. It creates angst between loved ones and strangers.

“I’m right, you’re wrong.” “No. I’m right, and you’re just plain crazy!”

The bargaining table is often no different than the losers table. Because we all feel like we have something to win or lose in any argument and it’s difficult to accept defeat in front of a crowning whiner…uh…winner. A local election in my little community showed the results how well the loser is having difficulty with the winner. “A poor loser,” we say, but if the shoe were on the other foot can we accept that they are a “rich winner”? Language is Weird, isn’t it?

Words are the tool of the mind to express how we feel, think and why we act the way we do. Else, how do we take those chemical reactions and firing neurons in our brain that produces thought, and we turn them into words that we have learned over time? If you don’t have the words to describe the thought, then how does that thought make any sense? Thoughts without words are probably confused feelings! Words are the reason we keep conversations going even when it seems like there are no winners, and everyone a loser.

Biases. Proclivities. Preferences. Oh, My! Let's talk some more! Click To Tweet

What’s weird about this? For some reason this morning I woke thinking about bias. See where this thought takes you?