Objectivity, is it real?
Our views are shaped by individual experiences, by lessons learned early on. As much as we advocate our individualism, to a large degree we’re products of our upbringing.
Many break away from the past, but that’s the exception not the norm. Growing up in religious families, for example, would mean religion is important. If the opposite is true, we’re likely not big churchgoers.
I grew up in Eastern Europe — Romania — where religion was part of life without being ingrained in our way of thinking. The majority viewed religion as a way of teaching and passing on traditions. There was a distinction between spirituality and religion.
Understanding Eastern Europe means examining her past — too long a post and for another time. Suffice it to say history haunts the region. One of the first lessons there is the importance of learning our history, and by association, education.
But is learning our history, acknowledging our everyday moments, enough?
The limits of our willingness to learn about the world — on an international level, not only our corner of the world — is, by repeating past errors, tested to shaky results.
The other day, an acquaintance I consider worldly described one of those far-off Russian places, one of the Stans. She was referring to Kazakhstan, a former Soviet Republic, not a Russian place, where the language is Turkic, the country more Asian. A place rich in history where wanders never cease. The word choice painted a distant, cold place, populated by aliens.
I’ve made similar comments about places less understood, whether in jest or seriously. Breaking away from ingrained beliefs requires curiosity, objectivity, education.
Still, is objectivity real? Not sure. Perhaps it’s an idealistic principle like justice or truth, a nice idea imperfectly operated in human hands.