Have you ever asked yourself why you believe what you believe?
You, me, we all have been carrying these beliefs all our lives. Maybe our family members, friends and other people or the experiences that we had influenced us and planted beliefs in us.
And we let them grow without wondering why.
But can’t we question them now at a point in our lives when we do have the ability to think on our own?
Let’s find out.
What are Beliefs?
Beliefs are basically something which you believe is true or right irrespective of the reality.
A quick example would be a belief that Earth is flat. Many were firm believers of this & some still are. Even though it’s been proven wrong, the belief is so strong for some people that they can’t accept anything against it.
Talking about types of beliefs, there are plenty of them like religious, spiritual, political, historical, etc. And we have them all.
But do we ever try to question them? Do we even consider the possibility that we can be totally wrong about something??
We hardly do that, let’s try to understand this in detail.
Why You Should Start Questioning Your Beliefs
Because they are beliefs not the final truth. One can believe strongly in truth as well as a lie.
So you never know that whatever you believe is really worth believing or not. There will always be new insights which you can gain once you question the existing beliefs.
You might feel like what’s the big deal if most of us aren’t questioning their beliefs, does it even matter?
Well, it surely does.
Let’s look at it from historical point of view. You’ll notice that how great leaders, be it from any part of the world has brought change by questioning only. It all started from questioning what was followed blindly by the masses which later turned into devlopment, justice, equality and freedom.
If no one had questioned, there wouldn’t have been any change at all.
Let’s see in detail what happens when they aren’t questioned at all.
When You Don’t Question Your Beliefs
1. You Limit Yourself
You Limit Yourself from the unknown & interesting things. Things like people, opinions, data, information even art & entertainment which doesn’t match with your beliefs.
You cut the access to everything that doesn’t match your deep rooted, biased views. And that is nothing but limiting yourself from hell a lot of things which are important and should be known.
You always choose to interact with people who have similar beliefs who will not challenge you in any way. And if someone does challenge your beliefs then you can’t bear it or try understanding the other point of view.
No matter whether what you believe is wrong and there’s solid proof about that, you’ll choose to stay blind for it as you won’t be able to accept that you are actually wrong.
So you limit yourself from growing intellectually, scientifically, biologically and sometimes physically as well.
A fun example of one of my beliefs. I used to think that superhero movies are stupid as actors would just act with green screen behind them and pretend fighting things which didn’t exist.
2 years later I got so obsessed with marvel movies that I eneded up watching infinity war alone at theater. Also next year went to watch endgame at 5 am.
You see, how my strong belief was limiting myself from watching these super interesting movies.
2. You Become Biased
You take sides & stick to them whether irrespective of the truth.
Yes, we all are biased to an extent. But problem is when some people are so much biased about the side they support or an idea or a person, that even when they are wrong, they defend it.
And I’ve seen people doing this a lot. Like they would call out people for doing something wrong and when the people/community they are supporting would do the same, they will get defensive.
No, these biased people will not accept the fact that something wrong, instead you’ll see them get defensive and justifying things.
That’s what happens when you are extremely biased and can’t accept that you can be wrong at times. In fact, most of the times.
3. You Stop Learning
How do we learn exactly? It’s basically process of un-learning as much as learning. So, it’s important that we keep un-learning things to learn.
Imagine a point in your life where you think you now know everything and there’s nothing to be learnt anymore. That you know everything about people, science, technology, religion, art and everything else. What would you do for the rest of your life?
It’s the same with beliefs, when we stop questioning them we stop learning. How often it happens that we realise that few years back or sometimes months back we believed in some thing and now we don’t.
Like the avengers example that I shared. I was so sure that this is the type of movie which I would not like at all. But then look at what happened after that, how obsessed I became.
Now, this obsession might also fade away as time will pass & I get to experience new experiences through different type of movies or art.
And I feel that’s how it should happen.
I believe that any type of belief, even the ones that no one dares to question should be questioned. We should ask ourselves that why we believe what we believe.
Even the sensitive ones like religious or political beliefs which haven’t questioned as such. Not to prove anyone wrong or less, just to explore new perspectives and knowledge.
Also, this is purely my opinion and you are allowed to not agree with it. I don’t mind. I’m no expert in topics that I write about. I just write.
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