Dichotomy—a word that has recently become a frequent part of my vocabulary. It
perfectly encapsulates my observations from spending time in two remarkably similar
yet distinct environments. Despite people’s inherent goodness and shared values in
both places, their approaches to perception, bias, and reality reveal a fascinating

In one place, there’s a culture dedicated to closing gaps, challenging biases, and
ensuring that perceptions align with reality. It’s a mature society where people engage
profoundly and don’t allow their initial impressions to dictate their interactions. It
sounds like an ideal setting. Yet, even in this seemingly perfect environment, there are
perplexing inconsistencies. For instance, while people there are excellent at fostering
genuine connections, they often neglect simple acts of consideration, like returning
shopping carts or fixing minor inconveniences they encounter. It’s a head-scratching
paradox that highlights the complexity of human behavior—capable of profound
engagement in some areas while lacking in others.

The other environment is quite the opposite. There, people dutifully return shopping
carts and adhere to small social niceties. However, their interactions are often
superficial, driven by assumptions rather than genuine attempts to understand one
another. Relationships are built on preconceived notions rather than reality, leading to a
community that appears pleasant on the surface but lacks depth and authentic

These contrasting observations lead me to ponder the reasons behind such gaps in
relationships and community management. Why does one group exhibit the courage to
build relationships based on reality while the other remains content with superficial
interactions? The answer lies in the willingness to engage courageously.

Courageous communities are socially healthier. They work together more effectively,
understand challenges better, and respect diverse viewpoints and lifestyles. They thrive
because they embrace the discomfort of challenging biases and assumptions, opting to
operate from a place of understanding. This bravery fosters productive teams, cohesive
communities, and a stronger nation.

Reflecting on these experiences, I’m reminded of a powerful video about social courage
emphasizing the importance of eliminating assumptions and operating from a place of
understanding. It is a poignant reminder that bridging the gap between perception and
reality requires courage. Here are some questions to ponder:

1. What assumption gaps do you have?
2. Are you courageous enough to close them?
3. When you do, what will you do?

These questions aren’t just for introspection but are a call to action. The courage to
confront and close these gaps is essential for building more inclusive and understanding
communities. As leaders, we are responsible for fostering environments where reality,
not assumptions, guide our interactions. Doing so can bridge divides, build respect, and
enable more productive and harmonious communities.

This experience has profoundly shaped my global perspective on leadership and
community building. It reminds me that while we may not always get everything right,
the effort to understand and connect genuinely makes our communities better. So, let’s
embrace the challenge and courageously work towards closing these gaps for the
betterment of our teams, communities, and nation.

For further inspiration, watch this short video on social courage: TikTok

Subscribe to Our Newsletter