I know it sounds like a hyperbole but unless I/we begin with the premise that all our ideas, all our opinions, all our actions (collective and individual), and all our truths need to be open to examination, we are doomed to the curse of complacency.
I can go through my day, my week, my year cocksure that what I see as truth is what everyone should see. Ten years ago my sister gave me a birthday gift; a stone coaster that was engraved with “Everyone is entitled to my opinion.” It was humorous, ironic, and accurate. I am opinionated and vocal but I can also be single minded. I can go through months without examining a position or premise that just gets stronger as I plow ahead. Gradually, gradually, gradually, suddenly I am convinced that my way is the only way.
In the best circumstances, I am awakened in the night, often at 3:37 am, with the question ” why am I so sure that I am right?” When I don’t ignore the voice, I get the opportunity to re examine my thesis or action in a different light. Everything has an odd perspective in the middle of the night. Insight sometimes comes from the reflection. Confirmation of the direction but not the tactics arises. Tweaks to the communication show up. I am shocked by a horrible realization that I am misguided and need to begin again from a different place. There is a momentary disruption in my pursuit of meaning but if I don’t surrender to my ego and push ahead regardless there is always a new powerful conviction for me to be energized by.
Take the time to examine your most strongly held views and habits. Listen to the middle of the night voice. Seek out a different perspective through research, debate, reflection and writing. Be willing to see/hear alternatives and act on them.