"The fool who knows his foolishness is wise at least so far. But a fool who thinks himself wise, he is called a fool indeed." I admit, there is much I do not know.  See, most individuals see the world in either Black or white. They rarely accept the fact that gray areas may exist, meaning that sometimes there is no clear-cut solution, or that both conflicting explanations may be true. The concept of accepting two realities, or multiple explanations that may sound conflictual in nature is never an option that exists for them.
A Mayor raises taxes 13% in his first month in office and cuts taxes 16% during the later part of that same year. The tax cuts and the tax hikes are considered to be the highest the city has ever seen. He runs for office during the next term and is debating against a local man who thinks he can do a better job. The opponent runs his campaign around the theme of lowering taxes. The opponent claims against the current Mayor is that the Mayor was responsible for the largest tax increase the city had ever seen during his first month in office. He does not mention the tax reduction of 16% during the later part of the year. Most of his followers are not aware of the fact that the mayor actually cut taxes at 16% during the end of that same year. They are however, very informed of the Mayors tax hikes in the first month which were historically high. The mayor on the other end explains that he is for lower taxes while his opponents laugh and call him a liar. He claims that he was responsible for the largest tax cuts in the city’s history. His supporters vouch for this sentiment and can support this claim as factual and accurate. However, many of them are not aware of the fact that he was responsible for the largest tax increase the city had ever seen in his first month in office. 
    The Mayors opponent then attacks the mayor and says that the only reason he reduced taxes was because the people did not like the initial tax hikes. The opponent also acknowledges that the city was not any better off then it was before. His supporters applaud. The mayor defends himself and says he did not like the initial tax hikes and that he would have preferred to cut taxes when he first took on the job. He then says that the taxes were necessary in order to save the city’s economy in the early part of the year. He smiles and then says, because of his actions, the city was able to receive the largest tax cuts in its history. His supporters stand up and applaud.
    Here is the reality of the situation vs the perception of it. Both supporters are viewing the situation in their own perception or reality. Here is what’s actually taking place. The Mayor supporters are right when they say he delivered the highest tax cuts the city had ever seen, but his opponent’s supporters are also right when they say that the Mayor was behind the highest tax hike’s the city had ever seen. The problem is that both groups of supporters are ignorant to the all the facts that exist, so the entire picture is a cloudy one with no clear insight on the entire matter. They both feel that they have truth on their side and are morally right in fighting for their values. The mayors claims are true about him delivering the highest tax cuts in the history, in a literal sense, but if you examine the gray area, you can say that they mostly made up for the initial tax increase which were at 13%, and that he only improved taxes by 3% at the end of the year, which is a plus but not as large of a magnitude as the Mayor portrays it to be. On the other hand, his opponent claims that he is guilty of raising taxes at the highest it has ever been in the history of the city. Literally, this is a true statement. The problem is that he is not putting into considerations the Mayors tax cuts, which were at 16%, and literally, the highest the city had ever seen. 
    When the opponent says that the city is not better off (concerning taxes) then it was before, he is making a false statement, because literally, the city received a plus 3 in tax reduction. The claims of why the reduction took place are a matter they may never be resolved, so we just look at the facts that can be proven or examined.  So there you have it. Most situations have a lot of gray areas that are really never explored. Most people only accept views and ideas from the side in which support their perception of an issue. The idea of examining their own views and outlook is unthinkable to them. For some reason, it is much easier to attack the other side when you feel that you’re on the side of truth. For this simple reason, in order to be effective in this process, one must be willing to leave their emotions at the door and evaluate the foundation of their core beliefs and values.

Read "What Do You Think" a critical thinking booklet written by Saye Taryor
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