Our Horrible Views On the World Tell Us Something

Be responsible and own your thoughts.

Alec Zaffiro
4 min readMar 21, 2018


Source: Unsplash

Let me be clear: I believe we are inherently positive and optimistic beings. Don’t let my headline fool you — this is not a “the world is awful and everyone sucks” type of post.

However, I believe everything in life has a balance. For every drop of peace, love, and positivity there’s an equal adversary.

You win some and lose some.

One door closes, another one opens.

Yin and yang.

You’ve heard the give-take sayings.

It’s inevitable: you and I have (and will) come across poor perceptions of the world around us.

The real question?

Why does this happen and what does it mean?

Our biases and perceptions are by-products of two things: intimidation or jealously.

Sticky Situation

I think it’s extremely idiotic to place a politically-charged bumper sticker on the back of your car. I see those things and this thought immediately projects from my brain:

There’s a really stupid person behind the wheel of that car. Wow.

I’m not proud of this line of thinking — I’m fully aware it’s not true, either. But this is the precise nature of a biased opinion: rash, foolish, and unfair.

In reality, this says more about me than the guy with the sticker.

I’m Intimidated

Biases are unavoidable; we can only minimize them. In fact, we can learn from them. Instead of trying to eradicate our biases, we might be better off trying to accept them.

My hateful outlook on political bumper stickers is a sign of insecurity.

These people scare me.

I’m very much a reserved person. I really do find it weird to publicly boast a political view (especially on a windshield). I just don’t see the point. Are you really influencing anyone while driving down the interstate? Did Chuck see your “MAGA” sign and suddenly switch political parties?

I’d just never do such a thing…

So, when I see someone boasting, putting it on display, saying “Hey! Look, I’m on team _______!” that disconnect is discomforting. I feel like I’m being pushed for no reason. I get the impression that person is self-seeking and tries to mandate strangers.

I literally just imagine a giant asshole, ready to jump out of their car ready to fight the world.

All that said, I clearly feel some sort of negative charge. I let it push my buttons and then I boil it down to “oh my, what an idiot.” That becomes the immediate thought!

Intimidation; that’s really where my bias comes from. I have NO facts to back it up, I’m just making a false assumption.

I’m the culprit.

No one else.


Jealousy is another emotion that ignites poor perceptions. I’ve found instances of this in my own, as well.

I tend to think video games are a waste of time, energy, and resources. If you sit around all day and play games, you’re a bum — you’re crazy lazy.

Again… this says more about me than those playing Xbox!

Biases are great indicators for when it’s time to look inward.

Deep down, I actually like video games. I’ve played them for most of my childhood. Even today, Rocket League is (hands down) the most entertaining game I’ve ever played.

So, where does this “gamers are losers” idea come from? Why am I calling out a huge percentage of my friends and family? What gives?

Well, turns out, my negative bias comes with a side of toast and jelly — I’m jealous.

A part of me wishes I could lay around and build forts and fight dragons all day and night. It‘s carefree; it’s fun. Who fu*king cares? I shouldn’t , and there’s no reason to take mental shots at those who choose to do that.

It’s not worth forming dismissive outlooks on others because the people aren’t really the problem. It’s actually on me. Maybe it’s a sign I need to cut back and relax more.

Bottom line, the whole narrative shifts once you own up to the cause of negative perceptions.

“Build from within, rather than destroy externally.”

When you explore the catalyst of your bias, you’ve got a chance to proactively react and overcome them.

If you instinctively label every person because you don’t agree with their actions, you’ll forever hold on to hate and anger.

Once you ask someone why they support said politician, or look deeper within yourself, that’s when you’ve got an opportunity to put those prejudices to rest.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Take responsibility for your perceptions.

People are people. We all have our flaws and that’s never going to change. But, what we can change is our attitude. And that just might make all the difference.

- AZ



Alec Zaffiro

I write to think and organize my ideas. I like psychology, philosophy, and self-improvement—em dashes are my specialty. Not an expert.*