Why do we overlook evidence?

Often, when the evidence presented doesn’t match the results we were expecting, we will ignore specific outcomes to preserve ourselves and the way we see the world.

Our worldview, our lens, our stories we tell ourselves are indeed a powerful force in the decisions we make.

We are not looking for new evidence to change our minds. No, it is the other way around. We look for evidence to match the story we tell ourselves while ignoring the rest.

Which explains why it is difficult to change people’s minds about charitable giving. Those who don’t give their money away don’t see the value or impact it actually brings. It is simply not worth it to them.

They only choose to see the panhandler who waste his money on booze. (Evidence.) They only see the homeless as junkies. (Look, more evidence.)

Interesting we have to put labels on people like junky, addict, homeless…When we dehumanize human beings, we fail to see them for who they are—as human beings—like you and me.

So, do we see victims of a hurricane as people who didn’t prepare or do we see this as an opportunity to help? Are we choosing to ignore the evidence—record-breaking rain fall (9 trillion gallons of water), many were advised they didn’t need to evacuate in advance,  hundreds of thousands of people who lost everything they owned and are stranded without food, water, shelter, sanitation—to justify our actions?

Washing our hands clean, telling ourselves this isn’t “my” problem only helps the apathetic sleep at night.

Of course, telling a story to let us off the hook this time doesn’t actually make us feel better because deep down we know we are always on the hook.

Opportunities to give are right here. Maybe instead of a morning cup of a coffee, it is a donation to jump-start your day.

Money is never enough

It’s easy to seduce ourselves into thinking that money solves everything.

But it doesn’t. Not even close.

Money doesn’t fix our internal narrative. It doesn’t fix our relationships or our personalities. It doesn’t instantly make us more generous.

If you are not generous with your money (or your time or your talents) now, you won’t be later.

Because money amplifies character.

There is an alternative, instead of keeping score with how much money you have compared to others why don’t we instead consider keeping score by how much you helped someone today?

Once survival is taken care of you can spend your time making things better.

What an opportunity.

How did we get here?

Healing can’t begin without first understanding how we got here.

How did this person grow up?
Were they taught that this behavior was okay?
Did they learn the coping mechanism needed?

We may not be in the wrong. But, someday, we will be. At that day, we will need to be forgiven.

When we begin to see people as they really are, we see that people not like us are actually just people, like us.

Counter intuitive truths

You become rich when you care for the poor.

You become strong when you defend the weak.

You become significant when you help the insignificant.

You become invulnerable when you help the vulnerable.

You become better when you fight the worse.

You become friends when you welcome strangers.

You become honest when you squash a lie.

You become full when you feed the hungry.

You become free when you liberate the oppressed.

You become happy when you cheer up the sad.

You become bright when you shine in the dark.

The difference between humans and robots

Robots do not know when to work outside the system. Humans do.

They understand that gray areas exist. That edges can be broken. Humans think, reason, justify. They make decisions based on emotion. They misbehave. They weigh what is moral. The carry guilt. Most of all, they create stuff out of thin air.

We take the good with the bad. Because that is what humans do.

We don’t trust humans to follow the rules, but to know when to break them.

STP

Have you ever notice that the ones who care the most are usually the…

Same. Ten. People.

It is the same ten people who volunteer in your community because it needed to be done.

The same ten people who run for public office.

And the same ten people who visit someone in the hospital…

Or help someone move a couch.

Or mow someone’s lawn.

Or writes thank you letters.

At work, it is also the same ten people who innovate and inspire.

We can’t rely on the same ten people to do the work of a hundred (or thousands).

The opportunity today is to sign up. To pick yourself when you see something that you can change, something you can make better. Enrollment is not limited for advanced degrees or someone with a high net worth.

It is for anyone who cares.

Making mistakes

We can’t make blanket statements, pass judgment or make assumptions on something as important as reputation or character, without first asking why someone made a mistake.

Because behind the curtain, we really don’t know what it actually happening.

The mistake we make as leaders is we forget that human beings are not cogs in a machine.

Treat human beings as humans.

For all the mistakes and flaws there is an abundance of creativity and innovations.

Besides, you make mistakes too.