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.