Our Unexamined Assumptions
Our actions are producing both personal and global outcomes we are not intending.
We need to become aware of the assumptions that generated these actions in the first place, so we can consciously make different choices. Only then do we have the possibility of revising our assumptions, seeing them as separate from who we are, and not being run by them.
“The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain’t so.” —Mark Twain
Each of us has a worldview that we are largely blind to, held in place by a set of beliefs based on many unexamined assumptions.
We learn these unexamined assumptions from our cultures, families, educational systems, religious systems and more.
These habitual ways of thinking drive our actions. These unconscious assumptions are often accepted without proof as true, regardless of whether they are useful or harmful, empowering or disempowering.
Examples of Unexamined Assumptions
“One little individual can’t make a difference” is a common assumption. This assumption is unconscious; it’s behind or underneath our conscious awareness.
Here are some other examples of other unexamined assumptions, or limiting beliefs, that have created our current global situation:
• “We’re over here, and the natural world is over there.”
• “The world is full of resources for our use.”
• “Technology/science will solve our problems.”
• “More is better.”
• “It’s human nature to compete.”
• “More weapons means more security.”
• “I recycle so it’s okay if I ____ (fill in the blank).”
• “Earth is our (humans’) resource.”
• “Earth is a backdrop.”
• “Someone else will resolve all our problems.”
• “It will all work out.”
• “It’s too late to do anything.”
• “It’s not my problem.”
• “I’m too ____ (old, young – fill in the blank).”
• “I’m not ____ (smart, rich, good- fill in the blank) enough.”