You hear it all the time on what passes for news broadcasts today. “They” say, “Do your own research.”
But I learned a new word and mental principle along my personal journey, as I try to re-brand myself, and become a better writer.
The example that I’ve seen used a lot is the experience of getting a new car.
Maybe it’s the color, maybe it’s the make, or maybe it’s the model… before the purchase you, “Never saw one like it!”
After the purchase, “I never knew how many red sports cars there are out on the road, I see them all the time now.”
You “never” saw them, because you were not looking for them. They were not at the forefront of your mind.
If you do, do your own research, whatever point of view you hold, you will be able to find similar voices to bolster your own beliefs… and anything contradictory to that is… ignored.
I had a research topic recently, a question really, that had popped into my head.
“If there were no horses in the western hemisphere before Columbus “discovered” America around the year 1500, how did the Nez Perce tribe of the North West, in less than 300 years, one… get their first horse; two… breed enough horses for everyone to have one; three… learn everything that goes into, breeding, raising, and training, on their own; and four… then learn how to implement selective breeding and develop a new horse, The Appaloosa, all inside of 300 years???”
The “bias” question I entered into Google was, “Was there horses before Columbus?”
And that is only one source.
I looked for other sources to counter the information I was finding that pointed to Indigenous Peoples “always having the horse” to counter my personal bias, and countering what I was finding.
But “the official” information, and articles, all seemed to stop at Columbus and his Spanish horses.
Here’s a funny tidbit… Columbus only had “heavy” war horses. Big, Andalusian stallions! His ship manifests didn’t catalog any Mares.
There were no mares until later Spanish expeditions.
And then, as the story goes, when a handful of horses escaped they spread out far and wide, and in less than 300 years… had embedded themselves into every tribes creation story, culture, and daily living.
I know we’re talking about horses but… that sounds kinda fishy to me.
I guess, “he who wins the wars, gets to write the history” or so “they” say.
Archaeology, ancient historians and their records, similar horses and bows used by Genghis Khan in Northern China being found in Central Canada, and writings and maps, questionable or not, by Marco Polo… all indicating the presence of “the horse” well before the time of Columbus.
Well, I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t tell ya for sure.
Finding information that agrees with your point of view reminds me of the saying, “If you go looking for trouble, you will find it.” Now, I know that to be true, for sure.
What does it matter whether or not the horse was here before Columbus or not?
Depends. Depends on if you are Indigenous or not. Depends on if you, like me, want to write something that is truthful.
This “horse question” came about as I was getting deep into my larger research project/question for my upcoming book. That question is, “Why did God write it down?”
Written history is looked upon as a “treasure trove” of information, especially when it was written by someone of repute, like a famous Monk; or Army General; or other Clergy; and usually throughout history there were people who wrote down what was going on just for the sake of writing it down… those seem to be the best because they have no “bias”, they are just trying to capture “what’s going on” as it is going on.
As you look at your world today, whether large or small, try to assess your personal “bias”, you could start with a question such as, “Why don’t I like that idea?”
Whatever that idea is.
And then, do your own research.
Trying to be “biased” toward the truth of the matter, and not “ignoring” a differing view point.
Paul Michiels says
Great observation!! Most people do not ask questions, they just argue their point of view. We should all be curious of others stories, viewpoints etc…Why do you believe that? Where did you get your information? Why do you believe your view to be truth? What are the opposing thoughts or other views on this subject? Questions, (not our own biased viewpoint) should routinely be part of our conversations, it helps you understand the other person better and may also help you fill in the unknown gaps on almost any subject