We live in a lazy daze, my friend. Intellectually lazy. The lure of easy answers is everywhere. And, well…it’s easy! You know: convenient…not hard on the noggin…promising quick results. Too easy…

Easy answers effortlessly plug into

preconceptions,

assumptions,

beliefs,

biases,

fears,

distrust,

ignorance,

experience,

entitlement,

and conspiracies,

giving them even more energy.

The enticement of easy answers? They require little effort:

  “I heard it on my favorite news channel.”

  “Everyone I know agrees.”

  “It’s trending online.”

  “I like my chances.”

  “It feels right.”

It’s like reverse crowdsourcing: collecting input that reinforces your existing thinking. It saves a lot of time and energy picking that low-hanging fruit, but eventually we have to start climbing…extending our reach…straining to grasp at higher branches.

Feel-good inferences, false comparisons and forced choices can’t deliver. In fact, they make things worse distracting us from the realities demanding our attention. We see this playing out in public life and we live it in our private lives: easy answers undermine the real work and our potential to get it done.

While it’s convenient to ignore this, the truth is always right there…quietly standing in its own power. And the truth isn’t easy. We have to work for it, and we have to give up intellectual laziness before that work can begin. Or not…

Everyone says they want to change things for the better. It sounds good, but it doesn’t happen without reconciling reality with the facts. If you commit to doing this, it changes everything…not at first…not all at once…but over time…things get better.

Ready? Here’s where to start:

Say, “Good riddance #ezanswerz!”

Walter McKenzie is Senior Director for Constituent Services at ASCD, leading its affiliate, connected community, professional interest community, student chapter and emerging leader programs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s