The hypocrisy of society is reflected in its inclination to chastise individuals for being individuals while declaring that we should all be respected for our right to be so. The individuals among us are often belittled and ridiculed when we seek to encourage change because of a notion that if we try to achieve more, we’re automatically assuming a level of aloofness that undermines the validity of our neighbour’s struggles. The only time we’re allowed to be bold is if a presently recognised authority or personality (a.k.a. uninformed celebrity) bestows such acknowledgement on us as well.
We are a mentally lethargic society that seeks direction from academics and political leaders alike in our assessment of the merits of anyone’s argument, before we will apply a meagre dose of courage to actually think for ourselves. The distractions have become the substance, and substance is rarely recognised any longer. Too many times have I found myself being ridiculed for holding alternate views about a common misconception only to later see the same pea-brained bodies propagating the very same view because it was suddenly associated with a public figure. Public figure, celebrity, academic, and the like should not be mistaken for an informed source or an independent mind.
We have become masters at producing templates for individuals to adopt, and those that don’t adopt our templates are discarded as irrelevant. Our templates are disguised as frameworks and free thinking models, associated with a farce of freedom of expression, embellished with unspoken limits which, once crossed, finds the transgressor stripped of any credibility that they may have previously enjoyed in those superficial circles. It’s a matter of first winning the popular vote, and then being able to sway opinion, rather than winning the popular vote because you have an opinion.
This is not a vent, nor a cry for sanity to prevail, both of which would be futile anyway. This is merely an attempt to state the obvious, because far too often we miss the obvious in our efforts to appear informed or introspective. Stating the obvious without demonstrating any personal conviction in the process (unless you’re a celebrity) may afford you a rare opportunity to actually influence the minds of those around you to challenge the reality that they take for granted. Of course, even if they do pause for a moment while seriously contemplating the gravity of your observation, their moment of pause is often quickly followed by a nonchalant shrug waiting patiently for an endorsement of the truth they just contemplated before they find reason to act on it.
Those that act on a recognised truth independent of such endorsement quickly fill the ranks of the individuals that shalt not be. They are the eccentrics, or the weird ones. The ones that apparently don’t get it because everyone disagrees with them, while they smirk internally and smile politely externally having realised that a lost sheep will forever remain lost if their only sense of direction can be obtained from a shepherd. And all the while, the sheep will be goaded on to think for themselves and exercise their right to freedom of expression, provided they express themselves within the norms that have been deemed acceptable by the tokens that rule their brainwaves.
Yet another case of pervasive ignorance parading as collective wisdom. Or more importantly, the sane man appearing insane in front of an insane society.