Blog entry by Jane Ngene

Anyone in the world

Reading through the article on “Jonathan Haidt Is Trying to Heal America’s Divisions”, I tried to highlight the learning points for me which is applicable to any nation or group.

The learning points are as follows:

  • A democracy can’t work right where there is so much hatred. Hatred creates division and there is no common good for all. Where there is division and no common good, people tend to care only about their selfish interests. Hence, for democracy to work, there is a need for us to love ourselves irrespective of our cultural or religious background.
  •  “Leaders who create a sense that we’re all in this together and show moral leadership can help us overcome our differences and unite us”. This statement is very true and applies to even small organizations. Where leadership is about the team and shared interest, there will be unity.
  • A great way to overcome confirmation bias and to try on new ideas is using Richard Shweder’s motto that says: “If someone asserts it, try denying it and see if that makes sense. If someone denies it, try asserting it and see if that makes sense”. We need to be open to change and open to new ideas.
  • We are relational creatures and need good relationships to be happy. Indeed, we need to create and nurture good relationships. We need people in life. 
  • A life of purpose and meaning brings happiness.
  • We need to be slower to judge and quicker to forgive. You can’t be hating and learning at the same time.