Word of the Week: Paradigm

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  1. A typical example or pattern of something; a model.
  2. The generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time
  3. A set of linguistic items that form mutually exclusive choices in particular syntactic roles.
Tree RootsRoot: From the Greek word paradeiknunai.  In Greek this means “show side-by-side”.

Did you know:

The scientific method itself is a paradigm. It is a lens through which scientists explore and make sense of the world.

Your personal Paradigm

Blind people exploring an elephantHow do you view the world? What is your lens through which you interpret reality? Your paradigm is the set of concepts through which you form judgments about the world around you. It is your mental construct of life. Paradigms are not objects. They are not observable or provable. Instead they are ideas. They are useful, but only true as far as the continuation of belief. And yet they are used to prove and disprove everything else there is. Earlier we posted an article about ambiguous sentences. The way in which we interpret an ambiguous sentence depends on our personal paradigm. Once we set a paradigm it becomes our mold through which we shape facts. This can be a dangerous thing. This is how conflict arises.

Paradigm shift

A paradigm shift occurs when the facts don’t line up with the model. Once enough evidence builds up that it becomes more work to hold on to your construct than to change a nearly magical thing happens. We change. This is one of the best things about the brain. Enough evidence and the rational brain can change its mind. It can shift its paradigm to reflect a new reality. Remember, at one time everyone thought the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. Change, however, is never easy.Chicken Paradigm Shift

Paradigm paralysis

Paradigm paralysis is the inability to see beyond your current model. Through paradigm paralysis you get people who still believe one race inferior to another. You get groups of people that “can’t see past the nose of your face.” The cure to paradigm paralysis: Courage, acceptance, and open mindedness. It can be done.

This week, your word is Paradigm

Let’s see it in a couple of sentences

  • The integration of western thought is causing a paradigm shift in Asian countries.
  • There is a difference in the paradigms of creationists and evolutionists.

 Go forth, friends. Words are powerful. Use them well.

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