My wife was reading a book last night about EMDR. This was the quote at the top of the chapter — probably because EMDR is often met with a lot of skepticism, at least at first. I’m sure she took the time to read the quote to me because she knew it would resonate with me. It does. A lot of what UnderstandingOnPurpose is about stems from “contempt prior to investigation” — that tendency for all of us to have pre-decided what to think before actually listening to something someone has to say.
In fact, if you know who Herbert Spencer is, and you’re aware of his connection to Social Darwinism, you may have contempt for this quote, prior to considering it. If so, use this experience as a learning tool, and perhaps imagine the quote coming from someone you know and admire.
Since this quote was written in the late 1800’s and people “talked different” back then, Here’s a 2022 translation:
“If you have contempt for some idea before having investigated it, then you have already invalidated any new information, proven the idea wrong, and assured that you will remain ignorant.“
I’ll take that a step further. It’s not just the idea that we can have contempt for. It’s anyone proposing the idea. And once we’ve held a person in contempt for one idea, we hold all others coming from them with the same contempt.