We are always blind as we want to be.

upsc essay

“We are always blind as we want to be” is a profound statement that invites reflection on the nature of perception, understanding, and the choices we make in shaping our perspectives on life and the world around us. It suggests that our ability to see and comprehend is not solely limited by external circumstances but is deeply influenced by our desires, beliefs, and willingness to perceive beyond our immediate viewpoints.

Human perception is inherently subjective and shaped by a myriad of factors, including personal experiences, cultural backgrounds, and cognitive biases. What we perceive as reality is often filtered through these subjective lenses, coloring our interpretations and judgments. This subjectivity can lead to blind spots—areas where our understanding is limited or where we may not see things clearly due to preconceived notions or emotional attachments.
Desire plays a significant role in shaping our blindness. When we are deeply invested in a particular outcome or belief, we may overlook contradictory evidence or alternative perspectives. This phenomenon, known as confirmation bias, can reinforce our existing views and hinder our ability to consider new information objectively. For example, in political discourse, individuals may gravitate towards news sources that align with their beliefs, thereby reinforcing their perspectives and potentially blinding themselves to alternative viewpoints.
Moreover, our desires can influence how we perceive ourselves and others. Self-perception bias, for instance, can lead us to overlook our own shortcomings or justify our actions based on personal motives. Similarly, when interacting with others, our desires for acceptance or validation can shape how we interpret their words and actions, potentially leading to misunderstandings or conflicts.

Beliefs also play a crucial role in determining the extent of our blindness. Deeply held beliefs, whether religious, ideological, or cultural, can serve as cognitive filters through which we interpret the world. These beliefs provide a framework for understanding reality but can also limit our openness to alternative perspectives or contradictory evidence. This phenomenon is evident in debates over contentious issues such as climate change or healthcare policy, where entrenched beliefs can hinder constructive dialogue and compromise.

Furthermore, the statement suggests that our blindness is not solely a passive condition but can be actively chosen or perpetuated. Fear of the unknown, for example, may compel individuals to cling to familiar beliefs or avoid exploring unfamiliar territories. Similarly, cognitive dissonance—the discomfort experienced when confronted with conflicting beliefs or information—can prompt individuals to rationalize their viewpoints rather than critically reassess them.
However, acknowledging our blindness does not imply resignation to ignorance. Instead, it invites introspection and a willingness to cultivate self-awareness and empathy. By recognizing the subjective nature of our perceptions and the influence of desires and beliefs, we can strive to broaden our perspectives, challenge assumptions, and engage in meaningful dialogue with others.

In conclusion, the statement “we are always blind as we want to be” underscores the complex interplay between perception, desire, and belief in shaping our understanding of the world. It highlights the subjective nature of human experience and invites introspection into the ways in which our desires and beliefs influence our perceptions and interpretations. By fostering self-awareness, openness to diverse perspectives, and a willingness to critically examine our own biases, we can mitigate our blind spots and cultivate a more nuanced understanding of ourselves and the world around us