I've come to understand the human mind is indeed wonderful. I'm starting to appreciate just how unique each mind is.  Dr Seuss once said: "Oh, the thinks you can think" which is only part of the story. He goes on to say "if only you think". Today it seems most people don't think beyond narrow limits. Some suggest (1984, The Matrix) we don't think at all.

What's scary is the tendency to limit our thinking to that deemed acceptable to our society, which of course changes over time. Of course, thinking has to change as we learn more - but too often the validity of ideas is not questioned. Not every idea is true or good. Most dangerous are ideas which contain an element of truth, mixed with falsehood.

Today society classifies expressions of ideas as hate speech just because they don't agree with it. There is real hate speech - for example encouraging racism, sexism, etc. If I were to talk about differences between the "races" (itself a flawed concept) I could be deemed racist and speaking hate.

Looking back on my life, that could have contained some truth at times (mainly due to ignorance), though as a young man I was disowned for a time as a result of challenging racist views.

In our own land, there are real differences between Maori and Pakeha. As a small example, the English word "family" is often equated to the Maori word "whanau". While the closest match, it's not the same. Whanau has a more extensive and inclusive sense to it. Such differences don't mean one is "better" than the other. We can and should learn from each other, and appreciate more of what the words mean, instead of assuming it means the same as we mean by our word.

Is it any wonder we don't understand each other - in families, in communities, in business, in education, in politics ... If we all took the time to listen to ideas, to provide feedback and ask questions so all parties understood what was meant, how much needless confusion and strife could be averted.