Have you seen/heard the way pro-vaccine people tend to talk about anti-vaccine people? They call them fools at best, evil at worst.

What about the way anti-Brexit people talked about pro-Brexit people? Same sort of thing: Fools at best, evil fascist racists at worst.

See also: the way anti-Trump people talk about pro-Trump people.

This is awful. It’s not how you should talk to or about people. It’s rude and it’s exclusive and it’s antithetical to progress and productivity. Being right doesn’t give you carte blanche. It doesn’t make it okay to treat people like shit. It feels good to know better. But when you let it become a reason to look down on people, you become an asshole.

I’d rather hang out with a simple-minded mensch than a brilliant asshole. And I’m far from alone.

Also: You only think you know better. There are countless examples of scientists who were ridiculed for their work by their colleagues and by the population at large and later turned out to be right.

Yes, we have a lot of confidence in a lot of stuff. But we can be wrong. We should at least not be dicks to people who question things. If anything, people who question things should be admired. It takes courage.

Maybe this is why I like children so much: They rarely think they know better.

Maybe this is why I like beginner’s mind so much: It tells us to stop thinking we know better. That not only opens us to discovery, but it invites us to not act like assholes to each other in the name of what’s “correct”.