Questioning Assumptions with SHARP

At the TEDxHastingsSt 2019 event on 10 August, we addressed assumptions. One definition for assumption: a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. We all have assumptions about the world and about ourselves. They help us make sense of the world, and they help us make decisions and drive our culture. So, we asked our attendees for answers to: How should we question our assumptions?

Sharp Answers

Adam Meadows and Arno Van Heerden from Sharp NZ in Hastings helped us capture the answers with Sharp’s Interactive Touch Panel.

How should we question our assumptions?

Some interesting answers were offered. Hal Josephson, who spoke at TEDxHastingsSt 2018, suggested the 5 Why’s method of asking why 5 times. Rebecca said that we should question our assumptions often and with an open heart. Alessandra said, “don’t believe always what your mind tells you.” Someone else has drawn a pair of glasses and written ass on one lens and u+me on the other. No doubt, this is a reference to the common pun that to assume is to make an ass of you and me. Other answers were more simple. One person wrote, “carefully and with deliberation.” Another person simply said, “listen.”

Often and with Deliberation

These are all great answers, and I would invite you to read them all and try to decipher them. Think about what the author wanted to say, but also think about the lesson you would want to take from it. For example, someone wrote, “spend a day in Maraenui,” which is an underdeveloped neighborhood in Napier. This answer could have a variety of negative overtones. However, I have spent a great deal of time in both Maraenui and Flaxmere in Hastings. Both neighborhoods have some amazing people in them who are more hospitable and more eager to help than people I have met elsewhere around Hawke’s Bay. Some of those people are gang members. To me, this answer suggests that we should not be quick to judge whole neighborhoods based on social stigmas.


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