I believe people tend to be more concern about their personal opinions being challenged instead of being concern about their personal opinions being wrong. When I say wrong, I mean not based on facts, logic or reason. For example, I might believe that veganism is good for the world and the most sustainable diet. I have chosen to become vegan and I promote it on my networks. I’m so convinced that I’m not willing to listen to research showing that on landscapes in Sweden where there are grassing animals there is a high biodiversity. I claim those research to be wrong and say that animals in Sweden do not grass, they mostly live their lives in cages. The problem here is that instead of acknowledging the scientific fact and say that it might be true that grassing animals are good for biodiveristy, currently not all animals grass. Even if they did the question is if there is enough land for all animals to grass? And if that is the case, who says they need to be eaten or used to supply food. Do we not have grassing horses that keep the landscapes open without being slaughter? That would be a more rational way to challenge the conclusion based on a research of biodiversity without changing your position about veganism. Science says grassing animals are good for biodiversity, human social and economic system makes the conclusion that some meat in the diet is good for the planet.
But that’s not really what I wanted to write about. This post is based on the previous one about knowing the facts and educate yourself. So here comes a little story:
When I started my bachelor studies in Peace and development at Linnaeus University I had a professor who has been working his whole life with humanitarian aid and development. He was in expert in all kinds of development issues and well educated in topics such as philosophy, politics and economics. He knew a little thing about everything. He knew the theories and he knew how to work on the field with humans, especially in Mozambique. Sometimes he spoke loudly about his concerns for our global world, “are we really developing or is everything just going in cycles?”
He was very passionated about his work to educate new students about what he learned so far. I will never forget that day when he the week before had recommended all the students in the classroom (probably 80 sitting in the aula) to listen to four radio programs at the Swedish public radio. The week before people had nod their heads, written the four programs down and now he asked who among us had been listen to them. The room when silent and he looked around seriously. He wondered again who had listen to them and short after I raised my hand. I was the only one. He went angry and asked his student why they do not take his advice and why they have not listen to the programs? Are you not serious about your studies? This is not the only place you have to learn about the world you also have to keep yourself updated about important topics! I can still hear the sound of his voice and after that day I promised to take any advice from any professor regarding where too find information. I took his advice and I have the last eight years probably listen to 80% of all the episodes these four programs has produced since then.
What programs? For swedish listeners:
Of course these are not the only good programs the Swedish public radio have, I also listen to Klotet i Vetenskapsradion, Kropp & Själv, Människor och tro, P3 Dokumentär, Sommar & Vinter i P1, Teologiska rummet, Vetandets värld, and Vetenskapsradion Historia among others. Not all episodes of course, the four ones mentioned above are still my priority.
I normally listen when I am transporting myself or when I am exercising. I like the idea of educating myself while becoming stronger, faster and healthier. A better holistic version of me.
Will you take my advice and listen?