Why You’re NOT “Skeptical”!

Skepticism says: “I don’t know. Let’s look at the evidence.” ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Cynicism says: “I don’t know, but it’s probably bad so let’s only find evidence confirming that.” ๐Ÿ˜ก

Skepticism is impartial, unbiased. It wants the objective truth, regardless of one’s personal beliefs about others and the world. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Cynicism is biased towards negativity. It only wants information that supports its negative bias. ๐Ÿ˜ก

๐ŸŒŸ What some people mistake for “skepticism” is actually cynicism under the guise of skepticism. ๐ŸŒŸ

One example of cynicism is conspiracy theories. While detractors will claim they are being “skeptical”, their reasoning consistently points to cynical thinking instead. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

One example of cynicism is conspiracy theories. While detractors might claim they are being “skeptical”, their reasoning consistently points to cynical thinking instead.

So the next time you’re in a situation trying to understand the bigger picture, be sure to separate your biases from the facts themselves. โ†”๏ธ

Otherwise, you’re actually seeing the situation through a narrow emotional lens. ๐Ÿ‘€ โค๏ธ

Why Conspiracy Theories DEMAND Understanding!

๐ˆ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐š๐ง๐๐ฒ ๐‡๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐„๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐. โณ
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I remember watching the news coverage, the feelings of horror, the shock among the country that such an event happened. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
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I even remember the news wrongfully attributing the killerโ€™s potential motive to his diagnosis of autism. โŒ
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But it wasnโ€™t an easy for many people to comprehend. Who would want to let the feeling sink in that someone was actually capable of committing such horror on innocent lives? ๐Ÿ˜ซ
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“๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’๐’ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’Š๐’• ๐’”๐’–๐’„๐’‰ ๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’„๐’•?! ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’‚๐’ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’‘๐’‘๐’†๐’?!”
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It was around the same time this event happened that I was browsing YouTube one day and noticed a popular video trending on their home page. The video was over a half hour in length, a video I would not normally take the time to watch. ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ
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But the title of the video caught my attention: โ€œSANDY HOOK EXPOSEDโ€. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
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I clicked on itโ€ฆand for the next half hour I was entranced watching the entire video! ๐Ÿ˜ต
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๐ˆ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐š๐ง๐๐ฒ ๐‡๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐. ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ
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I remember watching the lengthy YouTube video and being shown a bunch of chopped-up news clips. I remember the video’s sound being muted, the subtitles of the video feeding me various questions and answers ๐Ÿ’ญ:
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โ€œ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’–๐’?!โ€ โ€œ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’”๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’”?!โ€ โ€œ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’Š๐’” ๐’”๐’•๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†!โ€ โ€œ๐‘บ๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’˜๐’“๐’๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†!โ€
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I remember watching a clip which showed a father whose daughter was killed in Sandy Hook seemingly go from smiling to crying in seconds. Again, the subtitles were ready to tell me what to think: โ€œ๐‘จ ๐’๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’๐’ ๐’…๐’๐’†๐’”๐’โ€™๐’• ๐’…๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’”!โ€ โ€œ๐‘ฐ๐’” ๐’‰๐’† ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ?!โ€ ๐Ÿ’ญ
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I remember another clip which showed the mother of the daughter, but she was smiling and saying words you couldnโ€™t hear because the audio was muted. Again, the subtitles were ready to tell me what to think: โ€œ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’”๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’”๐’ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’‘๐’‘๐’š ๐’‚๐’• ๐’‚ ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’† ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’”?!โ€ โ€œ๐‘บ๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’˜๐’“๐’๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†!โ€ ๐Ÿ’ญ
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I also remember the shocking realization I felt watching the video. There was this excitement, this sense of thrill within me that I was learning something the general public was not aware of. Only me and other viewers of this YouTube video were now privy to this private information! ๐Ÿ“š
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The video brought me to the conclusion it wanted me to come to: that Sandy Hook never happened, that it was a hoax. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
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…Looking back on this memory in hindsight, Iโ€™m glad I watched the video.
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โš ๏ธ ๐๐Ž, ๐’๐€๐๐ƒ๐˜ ๐‡๐Ž๐Ž๐Š ๐–๐€๐’ ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐€ ๐‡๐Ž๐€๐—! โš ๏ธ
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But watching this video helped me learn a valuable lesson early on in my life about how alluring conspiracy theories can be, how attractive they are on the surface, yet how hollow the cynicism lays underneath them. ๐Ÿ˜ 
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Thankfully, at the time I watched this video I had enough skepticism to get additional perspectives on the videoโ€™s claims.
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I quickly learned there was a TON of misinformation in the video. (For information on the video, you can refer to the Snopes article here: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/sandy-hook-exposed/ )
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๐Ÿ“Œ The father who went from crying to smiling? There could be any number of reasons why that happened. ๐‘จ ๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’๐’† ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’† ๐’Š๐’ ๐’‡๐’‚๐’„๐’Š๐’‚๐’ ๐’†๐’™๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’Š๐’” ๐’๐’๐’• โ€œ๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’๐’‡โ€ ๐’‰๐’†โ€™๐’” ๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’๐’“ ๐’๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†โ€™๐’” ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’…๐’Š๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’๐’Š๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’๐’.
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๐Ÿ“Œ That mother who was smiling in the muted video clip? If you got to hear the video clip unmuted, youโ€™d quickly understand she was smiling because she was sharing positive memories about her daughter. ๐‘ฐ๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’๐’“ ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’‰๐’๐’‚๐’™ ๐’—๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’ ๐’๐’†๐’‡๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’–๐’…๐’Š๐’ ๐’Š๐’, ๐’š๐’๐’–โ€™๐’… ๐’†๐’‚๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’”๐’†๐’† ๐’‰๐’๐’˜ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’˜๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’”๐’๐’†๐’….
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๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ โ€œ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ญ๐กโ€ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ฏ๐ž. ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ ๐š ๐œ๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ง๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ซ๐ฒ-๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐๐ž๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐จ๐ซ๐๐ข๐ง๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐š๐๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐จ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฎ๐ฉ. ๐Ÿ‘Ž
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๐–๐‡๐€๐“ ๐ˆ๐’ ๐€ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐’๐๐ˆ๐‘๐€๐‚๐˜ ๐“๐‡๐„๐Ž๐‘๐˜?!
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We can use Merriam-Websterโ€™s definition: โ€œA theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.โ€ ๐Ÿ“–
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We can also use Britannicaโ€™s definition: โ€œAn attempt to explain harmful or tragic events as the result of the actions of a small, powerful group.โ€ ๐Ÿ“–
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Letโ€™s also add in Dictionary.comโ€™s definition: โ€œA theory that rejects the standard explanation for an event and instead credits a covert group or organization with carrying out a secret plot.โ€ ๐Ÿ“–
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The reason I wanted to give you all these definitions is thereโ€™s also a conspiracy theory online that the CIA created the term โ€œconspiracy theoryโ€ to silence people during the JFK assassination. This is False. ๐Ÿ‘Ž
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Even more, thereโ€™s a conspiracy theory that the source Iโ€™ve been citing above, Snopes, has a โ€œleftist propaganda political agendaโ€. This is again False. ๐Ÿ‘Ž
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If youโ€™re starting to notice a pattern, the problem is that ๐š๐ง๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  can be made into a conspiracy theory. The fact I’m even discussing it right now makes me susceptible to someone accusing me of being a โ€œshillโ€ or a โ€œsheepโ€. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ
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If you share contrasting information with a conspiracy theorist, they can easily dismiss it as just being part of the conspiracy. They can claim every fact-checking source I cited above as โ€œfake newsโ€ simply because it doesnโ€™t fit with their worldview. โŒ
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๐Ÿคฌ โ€œ๐˜๐Ž๐”โ€™๐‘๐„ ๐’๐Ž ๐‚๐Ž๐๐ƒ๐„๐’๐‚๐„๐๐ƒ๐ˆ๐๐†, ๐ƒ๐Ž๐๐€๐‹๐ƒ! ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐€๐‚๐“ ๐‹๐ˆ๐Š๐„ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐’๐๐ˆ๐‘๐€๐‚๐ˆ๐„๐’ ๐ƒ๐Ž๐โ€™๐“ ๐„๐—๐ˆ๐’๐“!โ€ ๐Ÿคฌ
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Let me clarify: ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ% ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž! ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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๐Ÿ“ I could tell you about Project SUNSHINE in 1956, where the United States Atomic Energy Commission wanted to measure the long-term effects of nuclear radiation on the body. The way they did this included collecting tissue from deceased childrenโ€™s bodies without permission from grieving families.
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๐Ÿ“ I could tell you about Prohibition in the 1920s, where the federal government pressured manufacturers to add poisonous substances to their alcohol to make it undrinkable. Unfortunately this did not stop people, and it is estimated thousands died from drinking this tainted alcohol.
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๐Ÿ“ I could tell you about MKULTRA, a CIA-sponsored program which started in the 50s and ended in the 70s, where experiments were done on human test subjects including the use of LSD, hypnosis, and electric shocks to develop methods the government could use for future interrogations.
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All of these happened! ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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Itโ€™s not that I donโ€™t believe conspiracies have never happened or that I believe world governments have never done anything shady before. They have! And thereโ€™s a lot of classified information we as the general public will never be aware of. ๐Ÿ‘
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Citing the incidents above, itโ€™s very reasonable for a person to start feeling cynical towards the government or people in authority. They’re the ones we’re supposed to place our trust in, yet knowing these past wrongs makes it a lot harder to, right? ๐Ÿ‘
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The difference with my perspective is ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž-๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ ๐จ๐œ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ
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Itโ€™s important to remember when we demonize โ€œthe governmentโ€ weโ€™re also referring to thousands of people, from the postal service to the armed forces to Congress, each with their own separate positions and functions, each with their own families and set of values, each of them living their own individual lives. ๐Ÿ‘ช
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Itโ€™s this very problem of overgeneralizing I even have to remember myself! I’m guilty of it too! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ
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I’m aware I have a habit of criticizing what I often call โ€œthe mediaโ€. I need to continue to remind myself it’s not a singular entity, that it consists of thousands of news outlets and thousands of individual people with different intentions and agendas. ๐Ÿ“ฐ
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It would be foolish of me to assume the negative actions of 1 or 2 journalists was a reflection of the entire field of journalism, right?! ๐Ÿ˜…
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My point is: donโ€™t let your obsession over a few bad apples spoil the entire bunch. Or as I always say: ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐š๐›๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฐ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. ๐Ÿ‘ถ
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The other day I watched the Netflix documentary โ€œBehind the Curveโ€ about Flat Earthers, people who believe the world is flat and that this truth is being covered up by NASA. ๐Ÿš€
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I think for many of my friends youโ€™ll be quick to laugh even hearing that such a community exists. But I actually did take a valuable lesson watching the film, and Iโ€™ll tell you whatโ€ฆโฌ‡๏ธ
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Sure, the Flat Earther arguments lack critical thinking. Sure, itโ€™s very easy to disprove their claims with less than five minutes of research online. Funny enough, the Flat Earthers even disprove themselves after they conduct a science experiment in the documentary! ๐Ÿ˜…
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But putting all that aside, there is one valuable lesson I took away from the film: ridicule of Flat Earthers is NOT a helpful solution! ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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In fact, telling someone theyโ€™re wrong can cause them to dig their feet deeper into their beliefs. Showing them contradictory evidence can strengthen their affinity for their beliefs. It is what’s known as the Backfire Effect. โ†”๏ธ
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My point is: we need to apply this same understanding with the people around us. ๐ŸŒŽ
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๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐š๐›๐›๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ.
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It’s not to say their ideas don’t lack critical thinking or that these ideas don’t cause harm to others. They do. It’s to say, as the saying goes: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” You won’t change anyone’s mind by ridiculing them. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Mick West says the same thing in his book โ€œEscaping the Rabbit Holeโ€. The former co-founder of Neversoft Entertainment, Mick first became introduced to conspiracy theories when he was studying aviation weather for his pilotโ€™s license. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โœˆโ€
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He was introduced to the Chemtrails conspiracy theory, the belief that condensation trails left by aircrafts are toxic chemicals being sprayed by the government to poison people. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
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What initially started as a website he created to debunk the theory led him to debunking many more theories. As of today, Mick is the founder of Metabunk and has spent over 10 years debunking conspiracy theories. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
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But thereโ€™s a difference between Mick and many others who just want to prove conspiracy theorists wrong online. ๐Ÿ›‘
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From his many interviews with current and “former” conspiracy theorists, he advocates for understanding and respectful communication. โค๏ธ
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In his book โ€œEscaping the Rabbit Holeโ€, he argues weโ€™re ALL susceptible to conspiracy theories. Like while I myself personally don’t believe in most conspiracies, even I still at times am prone to feeling cynical towards pharmaceutical companies, to give one example. ๐Ÿ’Š
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We embrace beliefs like conspiracy theories because they help us simplify and make sense of our complex world. They provide us a feeling of power over situations in which we feel powerless over. They provide us a ton of Certainty. ๐Ÿ˜จ
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The unfortunate part is just that some individuals fell deeper down the rabbit hole than most of us ever did. ๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ
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So, Mick’s personal mission with his work is not about shaming conspiracy theorists but rather on helping them climb out of the rabbit hole their minds have become stuck in. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚โ€
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His biggest piece of advice: be respectful and understanding. Remember: it couldโ€™ve just as easily been you under the same circumstances. ๐Ÿ‘ค
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๐Ž๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ก๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ. โค๏ธ
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Apart from our susceptibility to conspiracy theories, we all as human beings suffer from whatโ€™s known as cognitive biases. They are patterns of thinking which psychologically distort how we view the world. ๐Ÿ‘€
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Some of the most common biases include:
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๐Ÿง  Negativity Bias. Weโ€™re more likely to give attention to negativity than we do to positivity.
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๐Ÿง  Confirmation bias. Weโ€™re more likely to believe information which reinforces our worldview and more easily dismiss information which goes against it.
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๐Ÿง  Black-and-White (Dichotomous) Thinking. Weโ€™re more likely to see the world in polar opposite extremes. Good versus Evil. Us versus Them.
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๐Ÿง  Illusory correlation. Weโ€™re more likely to see patterns among things which have no relation to each other. Itโ€™s why in science thereโ€™s the principle: โ€œCorrelation does not mean causationโ€.
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But one of the biggest culprits, especially being illuminated now in our culture, is:
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๐Ÿง  The Dunning-Kruger Effect. Weโ€™re more likely to overestimate our ability at something weโ€™re actually really bad at. The unintelligent individual is more likely to overestimate his intelligence, while the intelligent individual is more likely to underestimate his intelligence.
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Or as philosopher Bertrand Russell put it in 1933: โ€œ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’ƒ๐’๐’†๐’Ž ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’ ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’๐’… ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’”๐’•๐’–๐’‘๐’Š๐’… ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’„๐’Œ๐’”๐’–๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Š๐’๐’•๐’†๐’๐’๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’‡๐’–๐’๐’ ๐’๐’‡ ๐’…๐’๐’–๐’ƒ๐’•.โ€๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚โ€
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Again, we ALL suffer from these biases, some of us worse than others. They are not limited to conspiracy theorists, although they may be more greatly illuminated through their example. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
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But the reason Iโ€™m sharing this all with you today is because during times of stress and anxiety, especially during these times of COVID-19, conspiracy theories are far more prevalent and far more likely to be embraced as truth. ๐Ÿ‘
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Conspiracy theories increased after 9/11. They increased after Sandy Hook. They increased after the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting. And they are now increasing during COVID-19. Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ve already seen the 5G conspiracy being shared. ๐Ÿ“ก
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More than ever, itโ€™s going to be easy to fall into these cognitive traps so I want to remind us all to be extra mindful of this. ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚โ€
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This is NOT a “conspiracy” problem; it’s a human problem. ๐Ÿ‘ค
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As Dale Carnegie reminds us: “๐‘พ๐’‰๐’†๐’ ๐’…๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’†, ๐’๐’†๐’• ๐’–๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’Ž๐’†๐’Ž๐’ƒ๐’†๐’“ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’…๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’๐’๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’„. ๐‘พ๐’† ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’…๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’†๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’, ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’‹๐’–๐’…๐’Š๐’„๐’†๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’—๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’‘๐’“๐’Š๐’…๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’—๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š.”
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๐Ÿคฌ โ€œ๐˜๐Ž๐”โ€™๐‘๐„ ๐๐ˆ๐€๐’๐„๐ƒ ๐€๐†๐€๐ˆ๐๐’๐“ ๐“๐‡๐„ ๐“๐‘๐”๐“๐‡, ๐ƒ๐Ž๐๐€๐‹๐ƒ! ๐–๐€๐Š๐„ ๐”๐!โ€๐Ÿคฌ
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The questions I challenge everyone to ask themselves:
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๐Ÿค” Do you possess your beliefs? Or do your beliefs possess you?
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๐Ÿค” Are you able to step outside your own ideology and understand your criticโ€™s points of view?
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๐Ÿค” Are you able to steelman your opponentโ€™s arguments and understand their position thoroughly before dismissing them completely?
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In addition, I challenge you:
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๐Ÿ’ช To get sources from multiple points of view, including information that may go against your beliefs. Not all information is created equal.
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๐Ÿ’ช Stay aware of your cognitive biases and genuinely seek to understand other people’s points of view. See if you can steelman their argument.
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๐Ÿ’ช Give others who disagree with you the benefit of the doubt. Donโ€™t automatically assume malicious intent. Perhaps you may learn something from them you didnโ€™t know before.
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This is not just a reminder for you all, but also for me! I need to hear these reminders at times too! Again, Iโ€™m not immune to a lack of self-awareness. It’s an ongoing process! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ
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WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER! โค๏ธ
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Below, I am providing you educational resources which have greatly helped me in developing my critical thinking skills! โฌ‡๏ธ
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๐๐Ž๐Ž๐Š๐’
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๐Ÿ“˜ โ€œEscaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respectโ€ by Mick West – https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Rabbit-Hole-Conspiracy-Theories-ebook/dp/B077YS5G2N
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๐Ÿ“™ “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts” by Carroll Tavris & Elliott Aronson – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003K15IOE/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_i2hTEbKGS6Q3H
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๐Ÿ“— โ€œThinking, Fast and Slowโ€ by Daniel Kahneman – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00555X8OA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
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๐Ÿ“™ โ€œYou Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways Youโ€™re Deluding Yourselfโ€ by David McRaney – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052RE5MU/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
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๐Ÿ“˜ โ€œThe Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Darkโ€ by Carl Sagan – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004W0I00Q/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
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๐Ÿ“• โ€œThe Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religionโ€ by Jonathan Haidt – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052FF7YM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
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๐Ž๐๐‹๐ˆ๐๐„ ๐‘๐„๐’๐Ž๐”๐‘๐‚๐„๐’
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๐Ÿ“ผ CrashCourse Navigating Digital Information โ€“ A 10-episode series dedicated to teaching critical thinking skills for browsing the Internet. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtN07XYqqWSKpPrtNDiCHTzU
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๐Ÿ“ผ CrashCourse Philosophy โ€“ A 46-episode series dedicated to teaching philosophical ideas, which in turn practices your critical thinking skills. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtNgK6MZucdYldNkMybYIHKR
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๐Ÿ“ผ CrashCourse Media Literacy โ€“ A 12-episode series dedicated to teaching the history and psychology of media. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtM6jSpzb5gMNsx9kdmqBfmY
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๐Ÿ“„ A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Psychological Research on Conspiracy Beliefs: Field Characteristics, Measurement Instruments, and Associations with Personality Traits – https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00205/full
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๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ๐„๐Ž๐’
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๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack โ€“ What Makes REAL Science? https://youtu.be/umo6pMCkcXs
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๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack – How Conspiracies Changed & The Decline of Expertise (Flat Earth, Anti-Vaxxers) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWkBccBtGAw
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๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack – Is ‘Fair News’ A Myth? – https://youtu.be/YRkkkxZZpAc
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๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack – The Internet was a Mistake – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf2pqa-tbm4
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๐Ÿ“ผ SciShow โ€“ The Science of Anti-Vaccination – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzxr9FeZf1g
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๐Ÿ“ผ SciShow Psych – Why Do So Many People Believe in Conspiracy Theories? https://youtu.be/ru4yrQFH1Uc

Why We Should UNDERSTAND! โค๏ธ

โ†”๏ธ I’M A SPIRITUAL PERSON…AND A SCIENTIFIC PERSON! โ†”๏ธ

It doesnโ€™t have to be one OR the other; it can be one AND the other.

I donโ€™t expect my spiritual friends to understand the complexities of science and the search for objective truth. But nor do I expect my scientific friends to understand the usefulness of stories and metaphorical truths to help someone live a better quality of life. ๐Ÿ™Œ

The problems I see happening is when each side assumes malicious intent of the โ€œotherโ€ side. Each side assumes they are searching for the same definition of truth.

But from being on both sides of the coin, I can tell you they aren’t. They each have very different definitions and methodologies for their idea of โ€œtruthโ€. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Science is focused on precision; spirituality is very general. Science is quantitative; spirituality is like an art. Science is about objectivity; spirituality is about subjectivity.

Unfortunately, each sideโ€™s misunderstanding of each other puts them both at odds and in competition. They can so easily see each other as the “villains”. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

Problems arise:

๐Ÿ“Œ When the spiritual individual misunderstands science and cite studies which a scientist could easily conclude are junk or pseudoscience.

๐Ÿ“Œ When the scientific individual misunderstands spirituality and thinks the ideas that are taught are useless because they canโ€™t be measured quantitatively.

๐Ÿ“Œ When the spiritual individual labels scientists and the breakthroughs they discover as โ€œdemonicโ€ and โ€œunnaturalโ€.

๐Ÿ“Œ When the scientific individual labels spirituality and the people within the communities as โ€œdelusionalโ€ and โ€œwoo wooโ€.

In other words, these 2 areas are not the same. Therefore, we should not treat them as such. We should respect they are 2 separate fields of inquiry into our existence called Life.

Let me add: Iโ€™m NOT saying I treat these fields as having equal usefulness. Iโ€™m not saying you should take the middle ground and believe both fields are just 50-50. I strongly disagree with that. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

I have my views and I have my stances towards each of them, but thatโ€™s not what this post is about.

My point with writing this post is the same point Iโ€™ve made in so many of my other posts: ๐’…๐’ ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’˜ ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’•๐’‰๐’˜๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’“.

Am I saying a scientist or spiritual teacher shouldnโ€™t question authority figures or experts outside their dedicated fields? Of course not. Thatโ€™s how we’re able learn and understand from the people in their fields.

Hell, I’m not an expert in either field and I’m still writing this post! ๐Ÿ˜…

But what Iโ€™m advocating for is an open communication between the fields, to bring the best of each other to the table while simultaneously respecting where the fields are going to irreconcilably differ.

โš ๏ธ THIS ISN’T EVEN LIMITED TO SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY! โš ๏ธ

You can also apply this to the political sphere, especially when it comes to Democrats and Republicans, “the Left” and “the Right”.

Van Jones argued in his recent book โ€œBeyond the Messy Truthโ€ one of the biggest problems facing our modern politics is that political parties are no longer uniting under the ideals of Conservatism or Liberalism, to bring out the best of their parties. Instead, they are uniting under a shared hostility of being anti-The Other Party. ๐Ÿคฌ

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt provided a similar argument in his book โ€œThe Coddling of the American Mindโ€ but in the context of college campuses. He cites instances where college students have forcibly interrupted and shouted down guest speakers they personally deemed โ€œoffensiveโ€. In one instance, a college professor disagreed with students about one of their social causes. Student protesters surrounded him, screamed at him when he tried to speak, and demanded he resign from the university. ๐Ÿคฌ

True story!

To put it simply: ๐๐จ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ณ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐. ๐“๐ซ๐ข๐›๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐. ๐‚๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐š ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฎ๐ฌ, ๐›๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐š๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ, ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ.

๐€๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ’๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

And I wonโ€™t pretend Iโ€™m immune from falling into these mindsets either. Iโ€™m not here to claim moral superiority with this post; I need to remind myself not to fall into these traps A LOT! Itโ€™s why I canโ€™t blame you if you fall into them either. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!

You don’t have to see someone else as your “villain”. It may be good for one’s online branding and business marketing to polarize, but it isn’t good for humanity’s sake.

Itโ€™s why we all need to be very careful about the environments we surround ourselves in, the people we choose to surround ourselves with, and what we choose to feed our minds on a daily basis. Itโ€™s not just about maintaining a healthy physical body but also maintaining a healthy mental mind. ๐Ÿค”

๐‘ญ๐’†๐’†๐’… ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡ ๐’‹๐’–๐’๐’Œ ๐’‡๐’๐’๐’… ๐’๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’…๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’”๐’Š๐’”, ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’Ž ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’ƒ๐’๐’…๐’š. ๐‘ญ๐’†๐’†๐’… ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡ ๐’‹๐’–๐’๐’Œ ๐’Š๐’๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’…๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’”๐’Š๐’”, ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’Ž ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’….

Did you know Van Jones is close friends with Newt Gingrich? They are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Van Jones is a Progressive Democrat and Newt a Republican. Van Jones notes in his book they disagree more than they ever agree politically. But despite that, theyโ€™re very good friends! ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Newt once shared with him this piece of wisdom:

โ€œ๐’€๐’๐’–๐’“ โ€˜90% ๐’†๐’๐’†๐’Ž๐’šโ€™ ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ โ€˜10% ๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’…โ€™ โ€“ ๐’๐’ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’๐’• ๐’˜๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’†.โ€

I think Jonathan Haidt was also right, in the same tradition, when he said the greatest wisdom you can find is in the minds of your โ€œopponentsโ€. Your “villains”. The people you label in your mind as โ€œpure evilโ€. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

BUT YOU AND I BOTH HAVE TO BE OPEN TO HEARING THEM OUT!

A few days ago, I listened to a Joe Rogan podcast where he interviewed Daryl Davis. Daryl is an African American musician who is not only known for his amazing talent on the piano but also for converting over 200 people OUT of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.

On the podcast he went in-depth about how this all happened, but the biggest detail which stuck out to me hearing his story was in how simple his solution was!

๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’… ๐’„๐’Š๐’—๐’Š๐’, ๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’…๐’๐’š ๐’„๐’๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž. ๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’”๐’‰๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’–๐’ˆ๐’‰ ๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’ ๐’†๐’™๐’‚๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’†๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’” ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’‚๐’‡๐’“๐’‚๐’Š๐’… ๐’๐’‡.

He learned about what they believed about African Americans, and he (again, respectfully) challenged their ideas. He invited many of them over to his house for dinner! They even invited him to their Klan meetings! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

It wasnโ€™t long after that one of the top Klan members handed Daryl his white Klan robe and said he was leaving. Again, this was just 1 of over 200 Klansmenโ€ฆ!

But the solution Daryl provided is not so different from the story of Megan Phelps-Roper either! Megan was a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, a group widely known for their extremist views towards homosexuals (โ€œGod hates f**sโ€) and Jews. ๐Ÿ˜”

From birth, Megan was raised in the Church as her grandfather was the founder. Because of her upbringing, she was raised to see a very limited view of the world around her. She only knew what her family told her. She was taught the people hating her and her family meant that they were righteous in their beliefs. ๐Ÿ“–

It was only when she created a Twitter account to promote her Church was she exposed to other viewpoints. Anonymous people she had never met were now pointing out logical inconsistencies in her posts. One of those people in particular was a lawyer she debated and eventually became good friends with.

But the difference between him and other people who simply threw insults at her? ๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’.

Eventually she started to doubt what she believed. She went to her folks for clarity, and she didn’t get a satisfactory answer. Eventually she left the church along with her sister, and her family shunned her. Today she now shares her personal story with others, to provide an inside view when it comes to religious extremism.

And sheโ€™s also now married to her lawyer friend! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿค” WHAT DO ALL THESE STORIES HAVE IN COMMON? ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡-๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’•๐’†๐’๐’–๐’”๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’๐’‘๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’•๐’–๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’•๐’ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’๐’†๐’„๐’• ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’”.

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’† ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’๐’†, ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’Š๐’“๐’”๐’• ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’. ๐‘ต๐’ ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“ ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Š๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’๐’”๐’–๐’๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’Ž๐’†๐’… ๐’‚๐’•.

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’˜๐’† ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’š๐’†๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’–๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’…, ๐’ƒ๐’–๐’• ๐’Š๐’• ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’†๐’‡๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’…๐’ ๐’”๐’.

These all may sound like common sense. But how many people do you see using this common sense on a daily basis? How about yourself?

Sounds like it’s back to basics, right?! ๐Ÿ˜…

BUT I GET IT!

Seriously, I do!

Your need to โ€œbe rightโ€ is the same reason for my desire to โ€œbe rightโ€. โค๏ธ

Holding onto our limited understandings of the world is emotionally comfortable. It feels safe, secure, and it lets us choose only to let people into our lives who we can guarantee wonโ€™t make a mess of our emotional homes.

Because to be open to new and contrasting ideas, ones which challenge our sense of self and personal identity, can trigger great existential pain in us. Who would want to feel that kind of pain?! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

To admit Iโ€™m wrong requires me to also acknowledge the identity Iโ€™ve built around myself is not as sturdy as I once believed it was.

Just continuing to hold onto what I believe and tuning out everyone else who disagrees would provide me the Certainty I crave to an uncertain life.

But thereโ€™s 1 problem:

๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐จ๐ง ๐š ๐๐ž๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ, ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐š ๐ฌ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ.

So, I get itโ€ฆitโ€™s not easy! Not even for me! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚โ€

BUT THERE ARE SOLUTIONS!

These are solutions we need to start addressing sooner than later, so much as we are going to live together and not die together.

๐Ÿ™Œ We need to learn to tolerate the fact there are 7 billion other people on this planet who may not think the way we do or believe the things we do.

๐Ÿ™Œ We need to learn to develop modesty and humility, that there are other people we can learn from and perhaps teach us something we didnโ€™t know before.

๐Ÿ™Œ We need to develop the habit of giving others the benefit of the doubt. Take the person who cut you off in traffic. You can choose to assume they are a โ€œhorrible driverโ€. But you can also assume they may be in a rush to get to their loved ones at the hospital, to assume this person doesnโ€™t normally drive like this.

Again, Iโ€™m by no mean flawless here! I will need these reminders from time to time too! Consider these solutions above not just a reminder for you but also for me!

But whoโ€™s with me on this? This is my call-to-action, minus a product you can purchase from me! ๐Ÿ˜œ

WHO’S WITH ME TO BE THE CHANGE WE WISH TO SEE?! โค๏ธ

COVID-19 & The Limits of Selfishness!

โš ๏ธย THE LIMITS OF SELFISHNESS!ย โš ๏ธ

Most of us at this point have experienced significant life changes with COVID-19. It’s not just affecting our daily lives but also in how we live them.ย ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ

I know some of you will read what I just said and go: โ€œYEAH, THAT’S PUTTING IT LIGHTLY, DONALD!โ€ย ๐Ÿคฌ

By no means do I mean to sound like Iโ€™m downgrading the situation. Iโ€™m taking every preventative measure advised by the CDC and WHO.ย ๐Ÿ’ฏ

I also have loved ones who are way more susceptible than I am to experiencing severe symptoms, so I feel an even bigger responsibility to protect them at this time!ย ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ

I urge you all to take this seriously. ๐‰๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ˆ ๐ฆ๐š๐ฒ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ ๐ฌ๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐š๐ง ๐ž๐ฑ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก! I don’t think you really want to fathom the possibility that your careless actions could be the cause of your loved one’s deaths. I sure don’t!ย ๐Ÿ‘

Speaking of which, I’ve recently become fascinated in seeing people’s responses to the whole situation.ย ๐Ÿ”Ž

IT’S BEEN ALL OVER THE PLACE!ย โ†”๏ธ

The Anxious One treats it like itโ€™s the apocalypse. Scrambling through the local stores like a scavenger, they overflow their cart with the essentials. But those โ€œessentialsโ€ may also include lots of toilet paper, guns, and ammunition.ย ๐Ÿ˜จ

The Entrepreneurial One treats it like itโ€™s a business opportunity. Reportedly there was 1 man who drove 1,300 miles across Tennessee and Kentucky to hoard 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer just so he could resell them online for prices as high as $70 each.ย ๐Ÿค‘

The Paranoid One treats it as a confirmation to their distrust and cynicism. Their prejudices towards China, foreign governments and their citizens are amplified. They see they have been given permission to tell others they โ€œknow whatโ€™s REALLY going onโ€. Tyranny is coming for us all!ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

The Carefree One treats it like itโ€™s all hype and thereโ€™s no reason for concern. Large groups of people were still found to be gathering on Miamiโ€™s beaches to celebrate their Spring Break. 1 college student told reporters: โ€œIf I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, Iโ€™m not going to let it stop me from partying.โ€ย ๐Ÿบ

So, what am I supposed to take from all this?!ย ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ

If thereโ€™s one common thread I can find, and from the many more responses Iโ€™ve seen as of late, itโ€™s our inherent selfishness, right on display!ย ๐ŸŽฏ

BUT WAIT! Before I come off sounding like a cynical person myself, let me explain! This post is NOT going to be a polemic!ย ๐Ÿ’ฏ

First off, selfishness is not fundamentally bad! We need it for our survival, for our self-preservation, for us to develop skills like independence, self-reliance, and self-love.ย โค๏ธ

In my own life, selfishness has been a HUGE gift for me to work on myself and become a better person!ย ๐Ÿ’ช

If we as humans didn’t possess any sort of selfishness, our lifespans would be cut drastically short! We’d have no motivation to preserve the 1 life we have now!ย ๐Ÿ’€

So, as I like to say: LET’S NOT THROW OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER!ย ๐Ÿ˜…

Yes, we do need selfishness. But what Iโ€™m also saying is we donโ€™t need it to the extent our ancestors did thousands of years ago when they were fighting saber-toothed tigers in the wild!ย ๐Ÿฏ

Because in these rough times, our selfishness:

๐Ÿ‘Žย Has cost us to go in droves to our local stores and hoard excess amounts of items

๐Ÿ‘Žย Has cost us to run out of essential medical supplies and N95 masks for doctors on the frontlines caring for sick patients

๐Ÿ‘Žย Has cost us to needlessly blame each other and mass groups of people we’ve never met

๐Ÿ‘Žย Has cost us to not take information and guidelines from authorities like the CDC and WHO seriously

Selfishness may be the easiest tool for us to use because itโ€™s part of our nature. But itโ€™s also the easiest tool for us to abuse because we so often use it unconsciously.ย ๐Ÿ”จ

Our perception of ourselves and the world is filtered entirely through an Ego of Me!ย ๐Ÿง 

As writer David Foster Wallace put it:

โ€œ๐˜ž๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ญ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง-๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ. ๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ถ๐˜ด. ๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ-๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ต: ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’Š๐’” ๐’๐’ ๐’†๐’™๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’”๐’๐’๐’–๐’•๐’† ๐’„๐’†๐’๐’•๐’†๐’“ ๐’๐’‡.

๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ ๐˜–๐˜œ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ ๐˜–๐˜œ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ ๐˜–๐˜œ, ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ ๐˜–๐˜œ๐˜™ ๐˜›๐˜ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ ๐˜–๐˜œ๐˜™ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ. ๐˜–๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต, ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ.โ€

So even if a part of me wants to perform an act of moral grandstanding here for you and pretend Iโ€™m the most selfless person in the world, Iโ€™d be lying! I acknowledge the parts of me that are highly selfish!ย ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

The only difference may be in how much I allow this selfish part of me to control my life.ย ๐ŸŽฎ

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ฒ๐ž๐ญ…

I have hope. I like to believe there eventually does comes a point in a person’s maturity where one becomes more aware of their selfish ways and discovers a new paradigm, where they see selfishness no longer has to be the sum of their life.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

This realization hit for me at a point in my life!ย ๐Ÿ’ฅ

I like to believe thereโ€™s a point where one sets down their Ayn Rand egoism and over time more easily remembers how:

๐Ÿคฏย There are 7.7 billion other people on this planet

๐Ÿคฏย That the world doesnโ€™t revolve around us but around the sun

๐Ÿคฏย That our planet is just 1 of many inside a galaxy we call the Milky Way

๐Ÿคฏย That our galaxy is just 1 out of an estimated 2 trillion galaxies

๐Ÿคฏย That these galaxies extend within a universe estimated to be 93 billion light-years in diameter and is continually expanding…

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธย โ€œWELL, WHEN YOU PUT IT THAT WAY DONALDโ€ฆ!โ€ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

We can pretend we’re each the Center of the Universe, but actually we are just, as astrophysicist Carl Sagan called our planet Earth: โ€œa mote of dustโ€.ย ๐ŸŒŽ

Or to present you the same point I’m making but in a more direct way, Iโ€™ll use the lyrics of Kendrick Lamar: โ€œSit down. Be humble.โ€ย ๐Ÿ˜Ž

So again, itโ€™s easy for us to be selfish. As Wallace put it, it’s our ‘๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ’. But itโ€™s REALLY hard to stay selfish at the forefront of your life when you embrace bigger perspectives of the world and our place within it, intellectually and especially emotionally.ย ๐ŸŒŒ

So what now? What can we do, each of us, in order to become a little less selfish? Iโ€™ll leave you again with the words of Wallaceย โฌ‡๏ธ:

โ€œ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’๐’š ๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’๐’Ž ๐’Š๐’๐’—๐’๐’๐’—๐’†๐’” ๐’‚๐’•๐’•๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‚๐’˜๐’‚๐’“๐’†๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’„๐’Š๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’๐’†, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’“๐’–๐’๐’š ๐’„๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’‚๐’„๐’“๐’Š๐’‡๐’Š๐’„๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž ๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“ ๐’Š๐’ ๐’Ž๐’š๐’“๐’Š๐’‚๐’… ๐’‘๐’†๐’•๐’•๐’š, ๐’–๐’๐’”๐’†๐’™๐’š ๐’˜๐’‚๐’š๐’” ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’…๐’‚๐’š.ย โค๏ธ

๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต r๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต, ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ.โ€ย ๐ŸŒŒ

So as we continue about our days, I encourage you all to remember these words. There is a time and place for the individual, but right now the time has come to turn our focuses towards the collective.ย ๐Ÿ‘ช

And no, that doesn’t automatically make me a “Communist” for saying that!ย ๐Ÿ˜œ

If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones. Do it because the voice in your head tells you it’s the right thing to do. Do it so you remind your survival brain who is the one that’s in charge of your life!ย โœŠ

๐ƒ๐จ ๐ข๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐š ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐ .ย โค๏ธ