Building Bridges Between Black Boxes

We have all put together in our head the way we think the world works. If x goes into Process A, then y will come out of it. But if we all have a different understanding of how the black box of mystery that is Process A (that is, some slice of life) actually works, we will come to very different conclusions.

For example, if one person's life experiences and the explanation for the world that they received growing up said that guns are powerful but necessary tools that help keep safe the people we love, then it's natural for us to say that people at a mass shooting would be safer if a few responsible people with guns were there. 

But if you were raised only seeing guns in the movies, only as tools of violence and destruction, if you've never seen a need for one in your own direct experience, and no one has explained to you the legitimate uses for guns and how they can be a natural, even reassuring and comforting thing, then the idea that a chaotic scene of carnage would be limited or even stopped by private citizens with guns would seem ludicrous. You're likely instead to think that more guns would have only led to more chaos, more madness and death.

The difference I want to focus on between these two perspectives is not that one is necessarily more accurate about the world than the other, but that certain observations and concepts have been emphasized and explained more in one than the other, and vice versa. One perspective might be more accurate than the other about the world, but that's not my point here. Both people in the above example might feel totally justified in thinking their view was accurate about the world, but both people have a need to listen to the other, if for no other reason than to have a broader and more accurate understanding of what other people actually believe and why. That kind of understanding is of immense value in building bridges between people, building peace among a people, and maintaining a stable civilization.