What's your worldview?
Last updated 11/7/2023 at 1:23pm
Have you heard the phrase “Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses?” It’s a phrase we might not use to describe many people these days. But what it represents is a perspective, a worldview. This worldview shapes the way we view reality and ultimately our behavior, even the experience of our behavior as we interact with our world.
I wonder, how often do we critically think about what has shaped our perspective?
Historically, people often developed their worldview based on who was in charge. Whether it was Rome, the church, the scientific community, secular materialism, or the authentic psychological self. We have relied on external sources to inform us about the truth.
So, who is in charge now?
It is a dangerous thing when our critical thinking is abandoned, and culture’s virtual reality provides both the questions and the answers for our confirmation bias. When we no longer ask whether the things we believe are logically consistent, empirically reliable, and experientially relevant. We are not too far from Stepford Wives!
In a world of divided politics, echo chambers, and a dismal economy, I’m finding more and more that we tend to adopt our worldviews, rather than develop them. If we listen to two different mainstream news channels, we find that we might as well be living in two different universes. In a world of uncertainty, we tend to mass mobilize and form tribes. But polarization occurs when individuals simply choose a camp and blindly follow it.
It is frightening to think we would make the most important decisions of our lives this way. These perspectives shape how we answer the important questions: Who am I? What does it mean to be human? What is my purpose? How do I determine what is just, what is unjust? What is my hope for the future?
Faith without reason is simply a shot in the dark. It becomes increasingly important that we don’t just repeat what the news station tells us by faith, but we seek to stimulate our minds through learning, seeking, and reason. Since none of us was there at the beginning we all start by faith, but faith requires understanding, learning, rational thinking.
Just this week The New York Times reported record numbers of absenteeism in our schools. The value of reading in our society has steadily plummeted – 17 percent of U.S. adults read no books in 2021. Fifteen years ago, author Christopher Hedges wrote in his book “Empire of Illusion”:
“We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and ‘success,’ defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. Cash drives conscience. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.”
We prefer to go to social media for our truth, which ends up being the same regurgitated thoughts over and over.
As we wrap up 2023, let’s challenge ourselves to reflect on our worldviews and perspectives. What lens do we see from? In a world that seems so divided and disruptive, and where our thoughts seem to be so filled with anxiety and uncertainty, is there a perspective we could take on that would bring peace and hope and substance to our own lives, and to the lives of others?
There are four questions we need good answers to in order to develop a healthy perspective in a broken world. They are the questions of Origin (Who am I?), Meaning (What is my purpose?), Morality (How do I determine good from evil?), and Destiny (How do I make for a better future?).
Our answers need to be cohesive and to connect and correspond with the other questions’ answers. Our answers should be logical and consistent. Tested and proved by the way we live. And our answers should be relevant to our daily experience. Now, if all this has your head spinning, I hope to explain each of these questions in the weeks to come. I want to challenge us to put on our thinking caps, and give our children and grandchildren a better future. It is all about our answers to the big questions.
So, what’s your worldview?