Mental myopia comes in many flavors. One of the most obvious is geographic myopia. It’s virtually impossible for a Chicago stock broker to appreciate the problems and frustrations of a Wyoming cowboy – or of a Gobi Desert nomad. And the fact that neither the cowboy nor the nomad have any frame of reference in which to evaluate the needs and concerns of the stock broker does not ameliorate the situation. We are inevitably separated from each other by not only the distances between our geographic locations but by the differences between our geographic environments. This condition makes it very difficult for us to appreciate the plight of starving children in Ghana, and it insulates us from concerns for the victims of earthquakes in Pakistan and typhoons in Indonesia.
Another commonly observed myopia is cultural myopia The major cause of racial tension in America is cultural myopia. Whites live in their comfortable suburban world, commuting to jobs, attending garden club and book club meetings, and driving their kids to soccer matches or swim meets without a stray thought of the plight of the Blacks in the interiors of their cities. Blacks, on the other hand, marinate in the desperation of unemployment and poverty while their festering discontent is cultivated by Black agitators like Al Sharpton, who opportunistically mis- characterize White cultural myopia as racism.
Political myopia is an induced form of the disorder. It is promoted by political parties with the objective of polarizing the populace and securing dependable voting blocks. Political myopia is easily cured by simply ignoring political propaganda and acquiring the knowledge requisite to voting intelligently.
Religious myopia, though not as prevalent as it once was, is still a problem in America. The most severe instance of religious myopia is Islam, which condemns to death all who do not adhere to its medieval precepts. Probably the second most dangerous form of religious myopia in America today is Atheism. The religion of Atheism not only denies the validity of all other religions but seeks to actively suppress their practice and the public display of their rituals. Religious myopia is easily cured with a good dose of tolerance and a little humility therapy.
Historical myopia is one of the most debilitating forms of the disorder. It isolates the victim in his own little sliver of eternity and deprives him of the historical perspectives required to make intelligent decisions. Too many of us can’t see – and have no desire to look – beyond the six o’clock news and the morning newspaper. This historical ignorance makes us easy marks for con artists selling everything from Socialism to global warming. But while historical myopia is the most crippling and dangerous type of myopia, it is among the easiest to cure. All that’s required is for one to pull his head out of his fourth point of contact and preface every decision with a little historical research. I know that’s a bit more difficult than running with whatever Anderson Cooper tells you to believe, but the rewards will vastly outweigh the effort.