[factfulness] is not to be limited by your own perspective
Factfulness is … recognizing that a single perspective can limit your imagination, and remembering that it is better to look at problems from many angles to get a more accurate understanding and find practical solutions. To control the single perspective instinct, get a toolbox, not a hammer.
- Test your ideas. Don’t only collect examples that show how excellent your favorite ideas are. Have people who disagree with you test your ideas and find their weaknesses.
- Limited expertise. Don’t claim expertise beyond your field: be humble about what you don’t know. Be aware too of the limits of the expertise of others.
- Hammers and nails. If you are good with a tool, you may want to use it too often. If you have analyzed a problem in depth, you can end up exaggerating the importance of that problem or of your solution. Remember that no one tool is good for everything. If your favorite idea is a hammer, look for colleagues with screwdrivers, wrenches, and tape measures. Be open to ideas from other fields.
- Numbers, but not only numbers. The world cannot be understood without numbers, and it cannot be understood with numbers alone. Love numbers for what they tell you about real lives.
- Beware of simple ideas and simple solutions. History is full of visionaries who used simple utopian visions to justify terrible actions. Welcome complexity. Combine ideas. Compromise.
Be the change that you want to see in the world.
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
Cultivate your intelligence, dear students, but also take care that it does not subordinate itself to everything else, and that the accessory does not become the main one. May your heart not be the fool of your mind. Pascal said: "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing"; yet this deep word is not of absolute accuracy. For if the heart has its reasons, Reason knows them and recognizes itself in them.
The whole work of Reason consists in subordinating Intelligence to the Heart.
What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp the unconditional meaningfulness of life in rational terms.