I think it is fair to say that most of us want answers. However, I don’t know if most people want to swim through the sea of information that leads to greater understanding. Far too often we make decisions or try to solve a problem without taking the time to gather all the information; without a studious attempt to understand. We gather a piece of information here and a piece of information there, and then we make our conclusion.
Because we live in a world that is saturated by information, I think it is far too overwhelming, for many, to think about doing the work of really trying to understand. If most of us are honest with ourselves, we would admit that many of the beliefs and opinions we hold have not been very well researched. Instead, our beliefs and opinions are full of assumptions. For example, take any hot political topic for which you hold strong convictions and ask yourself this question: “Have I personally researched this topic or am I only relying on the opinions of others?” If your answer to this question is “no,” you may want to examine more closely why you believe what you do.
All too often we allow, fear, pain, anger, resentment, frustration, selfishness, ambiguity, greed, entitlement, a lack of patience, and a host of other things to help us make the leap to a conclusion; often an inadequate conclusion. Leaping to conclusions can have a negative impact on our mental health and relationships.
Many of our personal and interpersonal problems come from leaping to a conclusion rather than choosing to swim through the sea of information to eventually arrive at a conclusion. Those who “swim through the sea” to a conclusion will find that they are stronger and better prepared to not only be understood, but to understand.