This quote speaks about how our beliefs sometimes prevent us from learning or seeing the truth. We develop beliefs early in life. These are created by our families, our societies and our interaction with the world. For example, a baby growing up in rural Africa will have quite a different set of beliefs as a baby in suburban America. The lifestyles, cultures, and relationships are totally different. But does that make either any less real or true? Your opinions and deepest held beliefs are actually artificial. Each person develops this knowledge second hand – that is through our parents, family, or society. How we view the world is largely shaped by those around us rather than ourselves. Sometimes this is a funny thing to think about but it is true. Think about who you vote for politically. Do you parents support the same party?
As we learn our beliefs early in life, sometimes they are hard to break. And a lot of the times, when someone does or says something that go against these beliefs, we react strongly. But sometimes when this happens, it may be a good moment to pause and reassess the belief. Where did it come from? What proof do you have? Is the counterargument valid?
Not only will this help you to be more flexible in your thinking, but also in your life and learning. The more we pause to reflect and reconsider our values and viewpoints, the less rigid our thought processes become, and we also become more tolerant and open to different viewpoints. By letting go of the past beliefs we have, we can move forward and onto new ideas.
So, what Claude Bernard meant when he wrote this quote, is that things that we’ve already accepted as the truth may be holding us back from actually finding out the real truth, or at least continuing to grow in our learning. It is always wise to take a step back and realize that the only thing we truly know, is that we know nothing at all! Have a wonderful day, and keep growing through education!
Aristotle Quotes on Excellence
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