We are nuanced and complicated creatures. And of course, so are the situations we are in and create. Have you ever noticed that often people with the strongest, unyielding opinions tend to be those on the sidelines? It seems to be that it’s easier to have unwavering certainty when you are watching the story unfold, rather than being a player in that story. You hear it all the time from people gossiping about another’s life choice or adding their opinions to some political debate. In the movie, "A Beautiful Mind" Ed Harris’ character says it well, "conviction is a luxury for those on the sidelines."
Jumping to conclusions happens when you are missing key bits of information. There is something curiously enticing about having a simple right vs. wrong perspective. It seems comforting to not have to consider all the complexities. However, it often leads to bad decision making.
When we are forced to engage with the other side, listen, and ask questions, we usually see much more of the complexity of the issue and rightly so; we can come up with better solutions.
It’s a "fun" exercise to ask yourself, "am I sitting on the sidelines here shouting at the players? Have I invested sufficient time and attention to understand what is really going on here?"
To embracing the complexity