The Power of Humility: Breaking Confirmation Bias for Deeper Connection, Compassion, and Learning

Research shows that intellectual humility can offer far-reaching benefits for both individuals and our society as a whole. Leaders in mindfulness and research break down the science of overcoming confirmation bias and the self-work that can open us up to new perspectives, productive collaboration, and compassion.

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There’s an old story about a sage who lived in a lofty mountain hermitage. It was attached to a cave where he often meditated, but his followers and benefactors had also built him a lovely little building that housed all his books and provided him with a very comfortable place to sleep and a dining area with a sweeping view of many valleys below and peaks in the distance. Also attached to the building was a closet-like dwelling for his faithful attendant.

One morning the sage declared that he would like to go down to the village to exchange some of his tattered books for new ones and see what newly minted works of philosophy he could get his hands on. Reaching the village required crossing a rope bridge strung high above a gorge. As they approached the entry to the bridge, the attendant hesitated. He rarely interrupted his master, who loathed having his contemplative silence broken, but this time he felt he must speak up, knowing that his master’s eyesight had been weakened by so much reading. “Master,” he broke in, “I fear the bridge needs to be repaired. The rope looks very frayed to me.” Perturbed, and eager…