Rohit Malekar

March 26, 2021

We Are Prisoners of Our Own Biases

Why do we have to choose between putting a person on a permanent pedestal for their noblest deeds or criticizing their entire identity for their worst choices? Sharing a few thoughts based on recent events on whom we choose to follow at work, in our communities, and personal lives. 
Mahatma Gandhi is accused to have worked with the British in South Africa to ignore racial segregation keeping the Indian struggle separate from that of the local community. He is also the person to have inspired M.L.K. Jr, Nelson Mandela, and others for universal demands of equality. 
Churchill ignored the famine in Bengal, exported supplies out of India, and his policies were a significant factor contributing to 3 million deaths. He also united his country during the darkest of the hours to help put an end to one of the most horrific wars. 
The contradictions are everywhere - Lance Armstrong's doping admission against his efforts to raise millions of dollars for cancer survivors, Tiger Woods' transgressions in his personal life against his ability to focus and bounce back several times in his career. 
Why can't we acknowledge with equal rigor the flaws in the character of those we admire and the qualities in those we have disagreements with?

It is likely our conditioning and the biases that we have picked up over time that blind us from seeing the ultimate objective truth. It is not the media, it is not the disinformation on the Internet, nor what people around believe us. At its very root, it is our personal bias that prevents us from being free to embrace the truth - often a conscious act out of convenience (or fear of non-conformance) to preserve status quo or sometimes out of unconscious underpinnings hardened from years of conditioning. 

In either form, we are prisoners of our own biases.