You are biased. I am biased. They are biased. We are all biased. If you encounter someone coming up to you saying, “My reporting of the case in unbiased” or “I settled the quarrel in a fair and unbiased manner”, you should quickly laugh out loud in his face! There is simply no such thing as unbiased selection or unbiased judgment. This is because all of us have our own worldviews, beliefs and values which we hold dear. We also have this extremely useful and very dangerous state-of-the-art technology called experience which is essentially a very powerful, and very coloured, lens through which we tend to view everything. How often have you heard someone or yourself saying “From my experience…” or “I may be wrong, but from what I know…” and proceed to state their opinions as if they were fact? Oh, everyone says it’s “just their opinion”, but you know that, to the speaker, what they say is Gospel truth.
It is absolutely ok to be biased, because you will be biased whether you embrace the fact or deny it. At the same time, we all seek to be just and fair to all, starting with ourselves first. How do we reconcile the two apparent antagonists?
The best way is to understand that everyone actually subscribes to universal, non-negotiable principles. It is a bit like common law. Everyone wants to be loved, appreciated, understood, forgiven and given a chance to succeed in life. Being biased is allowing ourselves and perhaps a small, select group of our own arbitrary choosing to be appreciated, for example, and allowing another group, or even the rest of society, to go unappreciated simply because we do not agree with who they are. We ought to be biased towards truthfulness, sensitivity, boldness and punctuality, for example, and biased against evasiveness, callousness, timidity and tardiness.
When that happens, we have BIAS of Mind. If it doesn’t, all we have is BIAS of Mine. I trust you will go for the former.