Wisdom from the off-list world

From: Howard J. Van Till <hvantill@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Thu Sep 09 2004 - 09:53:18 EDT

After reading through portions of the list conversation that accumulated
while I was on holiday, the following two items from off-list messages
struck me as especially noteworthy for all of us:

1. (attributed to Sidney J. Harris)

"Perhaps the most important advance in the behavioral sciences
in our times has been the growing recognition that the perceiver is
not just a passive camera taking a picture, but takes an active part
in perception. He sees what experience has conditioned him to see.

... We select
and distinguish, we focus on some objects and relationships and we
blur others. We distort objective reality to make it conform to our
needs or, our hopes, or fears, or hates, or envies or affections.

... It is impossible to reason a man out of
something he has not been reasoned into. When people have acquired
their beliefs on an emotional level they cannot be persuaded out of
them on a rational level, no matter how strong the proof or the logic
behind it. People will hold onto their emotional beliefs and twist
the facts to meet their version of reality."

2. (presented as "a prayer from Kenya")

From the cowardice that dares not face new truth,
from the laziness that is contented with half truth,
from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth
Good Lord, deliver us.
Received on Thu, 09 Sep 2004 09:53:18 -0400

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