Prefer specifics to generalities.

I have a habit of trying to draw the things I think, and learn, and believe into ever larger contexts. I do so in part because of an innocent sort of eagerness, but also, in part, out of a desire to legitimise my thinking within some greater, profounder conclusion. But forced conclusions are often poor conclusions, and often speak most to our prejudices. Trying to apply order where order has not been asked for is selfish, fraught, and almost doomed to fail. I would do better to contain the scope of my thoughts closer to the things I understand, or at least to avoid projecting imagined answers onto unasked questions.

All this isn’t to say that every effort to apply ideas across disciplines or contexts should be forestalled, only that such efforts should be undertaken with care – especially when that other context is another person – and a ready willingness to admit folly and boneheadedness.

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
— Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science, 1966

The hammer is perhaps an overused tool in my (thinking) toolkit. Developing a preference for specifics rather than generalities is likely to help me in my efforts to become a kinder person.