“Appreciate discernment and quell disenchantment.” (Mussarrat Shaheen)

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“Appreciate discernment and quell disenchantment.” (Mussarrat Shaheen)

“Appreciate discernment and quell disenchantment.” (Mussarrat Shaheen)
July 08
21:18 2016

The ability to discern between people, issues and circumstances is life-changing and life-enhancing. When you implement discernment in your everyday life – you have a gift that is priceless. Discernment is important because it compels individuals to look at things from different angles and perspectives.

A discerning individual repels and recoils from narrow-mindedness. If you can evaluate things in a wise and perceptive way, you also harness your reasoning skills. Some people voluntarily give up their reasoning and instead rely on others to reason for them. Furthermore, some individuals rely on the media to do all their thinking and discernment. Thus they find it hard to think and discern for themselves. Rather there is a growing tendency for many people to become reliant on news and information that has been sieved and indeed slanted for them. The Chilcot Report on the 2003 Iraq War further highlights that many “influential” people chose not to discern or dissect facts from lies. It is worrying when people in position of power make life altering decisions without utilising their full reasoning or the power of discernment. Lack of discernment leads to turmoil and aggravates misunderstandings.

We often look at the world and our surroundings from a slanted perspective. Seldom do people veer from their own experiences. Some people refuse to consider different views or opinions because they have never acquired the power of discernment nor have they cultivated critical thinking skills. It is, however, crucial to look at matters from a variety of perspectives because this encourages open mindedness and compassion. If you concentrate on something from one particular angle – you lose sight of the full picture. Some people do not want to be challenged on their position and thus refuse to look at anything deeply or from an intricate angle.

Even if it is hard to comprehend the whole picture and perspective – appreciate the subtle nuances in everything. Learning to discern from what is said and what is happening – helps to challenge untruths, stereotypes and sensationalism.

It is important not to surrender our thinking or our right to discern between the subtle and the obvious. Sometimes things are presented in binary terms: good and bad, black and white, urban and suburban, rich and poor. When things are presented in concrete terms people cease to appreciate the value of discernment. Differences are accentuated and thus fear and division are promoted to the detriment of peace. Every picture, every story, every argument – has many sides…

By Mussarrat Shaheen
© 2016

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  1. Sarah
    Sarah July 09, 05:45

    I love this article. Discernment is a skill that needs to be developed and looking at the whole picture is so necessary. “Every picture has a side, every story, every argument- has many sides”. So true.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Mel
    Mel July 12, 17:53

    Very wise article. We need to be careful about what we read/hear and avoid beind easily influenced by prejudice. Reading and listening to all views critically, with understanding and open-mindedness is important to reach the truth of things,

    Reply to this comment
  3. Adam
    Adam August 13, 12:08

    This reminds me of a very famous quote by Malcolm X, where he talks about being careful about media and says be careful who you trust otherwise you will end up hating people just because of other peoples’ opinions. Mussarrat your article is well written I am amazed at how time and time again you hit the nail on the head. Keep the articles coming. You should publish your own book!

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