Few things are more difficult than to see outside the bounds of your own perspective—to be able to identify assumptions that you take as universal truths but which, instead, have been crafted by your own unique identity and experiences in the world. We live much of our lives in our own heads, in a reconfirming dialogue with ourselves. Even when we discuss crucial issues with others, much of the dialogue is not dialogue: it is monologue where we work to convince others to understand us or to adopt our view.” —David Takacs, “How does your positionality bias your epistemology?” 1
There’s no way to progress in business or in life without admitting one’s limitations.
When we build community with others, when we ask questions we can’t answer, when we seek out counselors, consultants, advisers, and mentors, we’re acknowledging that we’re finite, neither perceive nor understand all on our own, and need other people to move forward. By connecting with others, sharing with others, and learning with others, we can offer others what we do perceive and also draw from the perceptions others bring with them.
That’s how growth happens: us contributing to our environment and accepting feedback and nourishment from it; us being willing to communicate more deeply with the people in our environment.
We are limited. And we are different: an eye is not a hand; a head is not a foot.
This is not a calamity but an opportunity if a world of limited and partially-perceiving people can learn to engage one another with respect and care.
You have to first be aware that your positionality might bias your epistemology before you can conceive of a more equitable world, before you can listen to understand, before you can admit other voices and other ways of knowing the world around you. And you have no choice but to continuously examine these connections if you want a fair, pluralistic society and an enlightened, expansive view of the planet around you—and this should be a major part of what education is about.” —David Tukacs
That’s education at it’s best, and learning at its core.