Seeing is Believing

Millennials may think they’re a different breed.

Perhaps, the reasoning goes, because they grew up in a distracting environment… their brains have adapted to the distractions of our fast paced world!

"Brained" by Jose, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
“Brained” by Jose, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

I frequently hear, “Maybe this generation is different!”

Attempts to outlaw competitive sports or bullying rely on that same flawed belief — that somehow humans are reaching a new level of consciousness. Finally.

For all the drum-beating about “Science!” it’s amazing to see how many people think basic psychology and body chemistry have somehow magically evolved in a single generation.

It hasn’t.

We still have limited attention spans, perhaps shorter than ever before.

Mother Nature altering genes (and therefore behavior) to adapt humans to a fleeting social concept is not how evolution works.

Hirarchies will always exist.
Competition will always exist.
Desire will always exist.

Humans continue to be driven by what they want. Frequently, what we what is literally what we see, the very thing before our eyes.

Our visual sense is so overwhelming that it can exclude information from other senses, even preexisting “knowledge” from our own brains.

As Daniel Kanheman says,

What You See Is All There Is

That’s it. The rest of the world might as well not exist.

We’re not good at thinking outside the box.

We’re not good at looking for alternatives.

We’re not good at digging deeper to find what might be missing from the story.

These are skills that we can cultivate for our own benefits.

As a species though, we’re more accomplished at (and worse off for) inventing fearful circumstances, dreaming up horrible outcomes, believing stories at their face value, and reacting to our immediate emotions.

We won’t evolve past that any time soon.