The world, as it is now, is crazy.
Ok, probably not. But, a lot of crazy things are happening around us, and we can’t help but think that this craziness will swallow the entire earth eventually if we don’t do something now.
But we can do something and make the world a better place. Let’s start with stopping ourselves from doing the things that make this world stranger every day.
This is the only life we’ll ever live on earth. Will we allow it to be spent this way?
If everyone’s doing it, doesn’t mean we should follow suit. We know this too well.
Yet, we still join in the next fad. Whether it’s speaking out about a complicated issue or hating a personality or pruning our social media accounts, it is so easy for us to ride on the bandwagon. We are busy copying that we forgot our ability to create.
The downside of bandwagon is there’s a tendency to attribute more importance to a particular matter than it actually merits. We throw the terms ‘trending’, ‘popular’, and ‘viral’ like it’s a nationwide concern; when in reality, the only people who are more knowledgeable about it are those within a specific community. In essence, this turns us into a mob who would give a senate chairmanship shuffle the same weight as a boo-boo in a film awards.
Let’s always remember that a lie told a thousand times can be perceived as the truth. We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it copying everybody else?
Sometimes, at the brink of desperation, we tend to seek solutions from other people. And at that moment that they were able to ‘save’ us—share our sentiment or solve our current problem—it is normal to appreciate the deed.
But let’s not go overboard and accord all our hopes and beliefs to that one moment, or to that one individual. We have a tendency, in our frustrated search for a savior, to extremely revere the next person that shows promise to address even just one of our dilemmas. That’s like trusting your janitor to manage your household because he was able to fix the leak in your pipes.
And with our strong admiration, we tend to overlook the faults of our idol; sometimes we even blindly defend the obvious mistakes. Because if we admit there are shortcomings, it will shatter the venerated image we made for our hero. Multiply that thinking with a bandwagon and that’s how autocracy can be enabled.
No one—not a single personality—deserves your idolatry because we are all humans in this world–fallible and equally able as the next person.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it giving another person that much power?
And sometimes, because we are so sold with an idea or personality, we become blind to the arguments against it. We tend to advocate only those pieces of information that can back up our support for that idea or personality.
If we cherry pick only what we want to hear, 1) we’d be trained to be narrow-minded and avoid thought-provoking views, 2) we’d never flex our critical thinking because we see no challenges to our opinions, and, 3) we’d never understand the full picture.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it with a limited view?
In our pursuit to cherry pick information, we end up creating them. We twist and infer events or ideas so that it would support our position. We trumpet it like it’s the only argument that matters even though it bears little to no truth.
Often, these “facts” arise from hate and the desire to just win an argument. Because if it were a fact, we could be silent about it and it still would be that—a fact. Like how we cry fact-less opinions or argue in hyperbole, we proliferate alternative facts just so we have something to drown the opposing side with. But in reality, no one wins when there’s no meaningful discussion.
Whenever we’re sharing information or offering opinions, let’s constantly ask ourselves: are these based on irrefutable facts with evidence? Because if we keep on presenting these “facts”, we’d have differing versions of truth that soon enough, we won’t understand each other.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to live it with no truth compass?
The reason alternative facts prevail in this day and age is because we grew tired of reading. We lost our zest to quench our thirst for information, to fact-check what we see or hear, or to understand the full picture of each issue.
For instance, we are content with sharing clickbait headlines online without checking first what the content actually says. Why? Because the headline shares our sentiment and we want to be the first to disseminate the information, never mind if it was false. And if everyone does this, we can be run by people who can program headlines, gradually manipulating the truth in the process.
We have the means—now more than ever—to resist ignorance and foster substance. Let’s stop smart-shaming and focus instead on acquiring knowledge. Came across with an unfamiliar term? Research about it. Your friend used a word you don’t understand? Consult a dictionary. You have a question about an issue you can’t quite comprehend? Ask. Knowledge is our only weapon, especially in these times, for us to survive and live a full life.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it in falsehoods?
Another manifestation of our laziness is our tendency to digest an issue in false dichotomy. If it is not black, it is white—knowing fully well the different hues in the spectrum.
That way of thinking is very easy to wrap our minds around: there’s a pro side and an anti side. If you are not in the pro side, then you are part of the anti. It clears the field so that we know what arguments to throw.
But life is too complicated to be understood in dualities. You can be critical of a person’s actions but still praise his attitude. You can criticize the government and still criticize the opposition. The pitfall in either-or fallacy is the tendency to be not fully aware of all the essential information because we reject those that do not fall in either sides of the issue.
The important thing is not to conclude hastily. If someone contradicts our opinion, we don’t have to assume that that person is supporting the other side just so we can answer his/her argument.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it with just two possibilities?
And let’s admit, the harmful effect of these is exacerbated by internet, especially social media. We have been so dependent on social media that this replaces the way we engage in our social life.
What’s wrong is that our social media personas are not who we really are and yet we treat them like the real person. How we post is interpreted as how we talk; our photos become how we look. Like means admiration, friends means popularity, and posting relationship status online makes it legit.
The online world is created. It is not the real one. Live the life you have and learn new things first hand.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it inside a virtual reality?
Above all, we need to stop the hate. All bad things around us are happening because our hate allowed it. We understood with hate. We argued with hate. We decided with hate. So now, we live in a world of hate.
Hating is so easy. It is so easy to attack the person’s character than answer his/her argument. It is easy to get behind a malicious information if it sides with your sentiment. It is so easy to hate when we are afraid or when we don’t know.
But hating is not healthy. What good does it do if we live in one planet and we hate each other? The more we shout, the less we can listen—the less we can have an opportunity for a substantial discussion. Because only with a meaningful discourse can we solve problems with unity and peace.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it with hate?
What else should we stop doing? Share us your thoughts below!