Part 3: The Power of Filters

“What we see depends in large part on what we are trained to look for.”
Mark Gerzon, American Citizen, Global Citizen

In the earlier posts, we asked that you draw a box and write inside it the values, attitudes and beliefs—personal and cultural—that help make up your worldview.

As you may have guessed, your worldview is inside a box for a reason: All worldviews are limited. That’s because all worldviews exist within an infinitely larger context, which we are going to call Reality. By Reality we mean everything we know and don’t know about the world/universe in which we live.

No single worldview can reflect all of Reality. Problems arise when we do not make this distinction—when we confuse our worldview with Reality itself. When that happens, our worldview can “box us in,” and prevent us from seeing the larger context within which we exist. That’s a crucial problem because our worldview can filter out the very information we need to solve our challenges creatively, and for the good of all.

Thought Exercise:

To help drive this point home, consider this simple thought experiment:

Imagine your worldview is like a colored filter that covers your eyes, and of which you are completely unaware. Let’s say it is a yellow filter. When you look at the world, everything that is yellow is filtered out, hidden from your view. It’s not that you think something is “missing.” You simply have no clue as to its existence!

Then imagine becoming aware of your filter. For the first time you see it, dangling over your eyes. You remove it, and suddenly the world looks completely different. There’s a new reality there before you: the color yellow.

When we remove our filters, or at least diminish their strength, we see things we were not able to see before. And often, that is the key to “dis-covering” creative new options.

Becoming conscious of the filters that keep us inside our own “box,” as well as understanding the imperative to see beyond those filters, is the beginning of wisdom, and the beginning of building global community.

Next: Part 4 – Moving Beyond Our Filters

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