Bite Me! Social Discussion

A week long exploration of Bite Me!

This short 5 day discussion is based upon the contents of my Bite Me! presentation  which focuses upon re-aligning our values and beliefs to the current needs of our time. If we want to have a hope of leading into the future, we have to create our own narrative of the world. A narrative that links facts to reality, and reality to our vision of the future. In this social messaging discussion, the following topics will be discussed.

  • Monday - Spiders
  • Tuesday - Assumptions
  • Wednesday - Group think
  • Thursday - Values and beliefs
  • Friday - How can we be so wrong??

Each day sparks a conversation. Each section contains links that will help you explore what Bite Me! means to each individual.

Monday

Spiders

There are a lot of mixed feelings towards spiders. If you were working in your garden and found this? Should your reaction be horror, fear, fascination or awe?

Most people would see a horrible and dangerous spider that they consider should be killed on sight! A creature that strikes fear into our minds. But when I see a spider, I see something very different. I see the miracle of spider silk, a material that even with all of our knowledge and technology, we haven’t come close to replicating. When I see a spider, I see 380 million years of innovation, research and development. Biotechnology that is unlocking treatments for breast cancer, muscular dystrophy, tumors, cancers mental diseases and even erectile disfunction (Something to get very excited about!). All of this bundled into eight legs of awesomeness!

The only difference between our perceptions is that I understand the importance of spiders in the environment, their function in nature, their role in the greater scheme of things, and the benefits that they offer mankind. But your values and beliefs may be telling you something completely different. French writer Anais Nin said “we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”.

Our perceptions towards something as benign as a spider, is a red flag as to how we perceive the world.

Tuesday

Fatal Assumptions

Whenever I ask a group of people, “Who has been bitten by a spider, I usually get about a third of the group put their hands up. When I ask these people who watched the spider bite them, I’m lucky to get 1 person put their hand up. When I ask those people, so why do they think they have been bitten by a spider, I normally get one of the following responses:

  • It looks like a spiderbite.
  • It is the only thing that can cause a bite like that.
  • I Googled it.
  • My doctor told me so.

After working with patients who have been legitimately bitten by a spider, I can say that none of these reasons offer any kind of evidence that proves that a spider was involved. It’s interesting however that those people who claim to have been bitten by a spider, have negative values and beliefs towards them. People who LOVE spiders seldom think they have been bitten by a spider unless they have concrete evidence!

Wednesday

Group think

There is a common thread that is evident in people who think they have been bitten by a spider, who are afraid the them, and who let misinformation contaminate their intellect, they all adopt a victim mentality. That spiders DO things to us, like they are out to get us, and we must kill them before they kill us. All of which is not true a true reflection of reality.

(Their emotions have created a filtered perception of reality)

In the same way that cheesy movies have an affect upon our values and beliefs. We allow gossip and fake news on social media to influence our understanding of the world.

As humans, we are uncomfortable not knowing stuff. If we wake up one morning with a bite like mark on our leg, there is gap in our knowledge, a gap that makes us feel very uncomfortable - what has caused this bite mark? The first thing that comes around that fills that gap, whether it is form social media, Google, or an over the fence conversation with your next door neighbour, we tend to internalise it as fact. And it become lodged in our minds as our best model of reality.

To learn something new, is easy. But once we have convinced ourselves of something, to unlearn something, and relearn a more factual proposition is a whole lot more difficult!

There is a flaw in the human mind to base our values and beliefs on what we do not know, rather than what we know, has created perceptions of a world built upon ignorance.

Thursday

Values and beliefs

It’s ironic than mankind claims to be the most intelligent animal on earth, yet our values and beliefs are often based upon what we do not know rather than what we know. Which is essentially living a life of ignorance.

We all harbour pockets of ignorance in our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t be embarrassed to admit that we do not now. When I’m sick, I go to a doctor because I neither have the understanding or knowledge to cure myself. When my car breaks-down, I take it to someone who can fix it. This is honest ignorance. A skill that we should all strive to develop and nurture. It’s how we learn and grow as a human being.

Honest ignorance is a skill that we all need to cultivate because it prevents us from making decisions based upon ignorance. If you are sick and don’t know medicine or if your car breaks down and you don’t know how to fix it, then it is a good idea to reach out to someone who does.

But in the absence of honest ignorance, our minds run wild with sweeping and often completely wrong assumptions. Have you noticed that it’s those people who know the least about spiders, that have the most to say about the dangers that they pose?

Friday

How can we be so wrong?

How can we be so wrong about an animal that is all around us. Such a common creature, with so much accessible information all around us?

There is no more of a convincing person than yourself, as the human mind has an infinite capacity for self deception. What goes on in our heads can easily become a danger to ourselves and society.

However, a more important question we need to ask ourselves is that “If we are wrong about spiders, then what other areas of our lives that we are equally wrong about?”

There is a flaw in the human mind to base our values and beliefs on what we do not know, rather than what we know, has created perceptions of a world built upon ignorance.

These existential crises are all large and complicated. Although their influence has been slowly accumulating over the years, they have reached a tipping point, causing rapid and runaway disruptions to our lives.

Our superficial understanding of these challenges, opens up our intellect to the adoption of misinformation, and fertilizers our imaginations so much so, that we develop a victim mentality. We blame others. Life is not fair!

With new information comes new understanding. If you don’t update your values and beliefs once in a while, they will hold you back and become detrimental to your life.

Right here, right now has never been a more important time to understand what is happening in the world. We have to create a narrative that links facts to reality, and reality to our vision of the future.

Thank you!

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Jonathan Leeming

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