LGP Stories

Personal Stories from DLGP


Written by: on November 10, 2019


 (JAMES 1:19)

We are living in a world that is full of struggles and misunderstandings, which has led to conflicts in the community and families. Families are being broken, institutions are unstable due to poor communication, and governments have collapsed in most of its sectors or ministries due to failing to listen to members of the community or fellow leadership. Strikes in the universities and colleges arise due to managers and officers in charge failing to listen to students, and this has led to breakages and property destroyed. People have come up with distorting theologies due to misunderstanding of scripture and failure in proper communication. The author of the book of James in the Bible is encouraging people to be very careful in the way they communicate, and he narrates the two major principles of communication skills that involve speaking and listening. How do we then become quick listeners? It’s through learning from the mental models that have gone through challenges of either failing to listen or overcoming the battle because they listened properly.

Parish, in his book, The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts says, “The book is about the pursuit of that wisdom, the pursuit of uncovering how things work, the pursuit of going to bed smarter than when we woke up. It is a book about getting out of our own way so we can understand how the world really is. Decisions based on improved understanding will be better than ones based on ignorance.”[1] (Page, 110). This book is dealing with theories from different Philosophers from thinking to making decisions; because of theories and philosophies the book might help students or lecturers either in Humanities and Social Sciences department in any college or university. These theories arise from philosophers who have had some experience in an area of mental study and they act as good mental models. According to the author, “Mental Models are chunks of knowledge from different disciplines that can be simplified and applied to better understand the world. Mental models describe the way the world works. They shape how we think, how we understand, and how we form beliefs. Largely subconscious, mental models operate below the surface.” (Page 111). Thinking before making a decision is vital in any institutions and this involves listening carefully or developing a doctrine in any institution or Church involves listening from God and people. Thereafter, involve the mind in coming up with resolutions.

The author affirms that, “with such vividness, and the associated emotional response, comes a sort of malfunctioning in our minds when we’re trying to diagnose the causes of a bad situation.” People make varying decisions depending on how they perceive the information received, encoding and decoding of information is a big challenge to most people. Some leaders sometimes make wrong decisions because of lack of listening properly. Am not an exception, I sometimes find myself making wrong decisions due to failing to listen well and the decisions either affect me directly or indirectly. When I say indirectly, it has either affected my family members or a friend and directly to me is when I later feel down casted due the decision made.

We need to learn how to deal with issues that are communicated to us. Wrong listening will lead to wrong decision making. Hanlon Razor theory is one that addresses the skill of listening in making decision and I highly recommend this theory. The author states clearly on how we consider issues wrongly. In citing Hanlon Razors’ theory, he attests that,

It is hard to trace in its origin, Hanlon’s Razor states that we should not attribute to malice that which is more easily explained by stupidity. In a complex world, using this model helps us avoid paranoia and ideology. By not generally assuming that bad results are the fault of a bad actor, we look for options instead of missing opportunities. This model reminds us that people do make mistakes. It demands that we ask if there is another reasonable explanation for the events that have occurred. The explanation most likely to be right is the one that contains the least amount of intent.[2] (Page, 1754)

We explain and act differently depending on the source of the received information. As in Razor’s theory, we explain things by stupidity and cause a lot of ideologies that divide the society or the Church. We blame the receiver of the information due to mistakes that result from the same message. The author suggests that, “the explanation most likely to be right is the one that contains the least amount of intent.” (ibid). Through proper explanation and listening, issues would be solved a amicably by people in the society and the result would be unity in dealing with challenges. “Hanlon’s Razor, when practiced diligently as a counter to confirmation bias, empowers us, and gives us far more realistic and effective options for remedying bad situations.”[3] The Hanlon’s Razor is a theory that can change the way people perceive encounters in their thinking and solving of problems. Therefore I do concur with this theory, because it has enlightened me on the skill of listening and making of decisions that can benefit the community, society and Church. Bad situations that are experienced can be overcome, for example divisions in the Church. A pastor who is not ready to listen will always encounter opposition in the Church. Listening is the skill that will unveil what has not been spoken.

[1] Parrish, Shane. The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts. Ottawa: Latticework Publishing Inc. Kindle Edition.


[2] Parrish, Shane. The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts. Ottawa: Latticework Publishing Inc. Kindle Edition.  (page 1754)


[3] Parrish, Shane. The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts. Ottawa: Latticework Publishing Inc. Kindle Edition.



About the Author

Simon Bulimo

Born 1961 May 29th Went through High School Diploma in theology Degree in Bible and Theology Masters in Biblical Studies A pastor with Friends Church

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