- Cut back on the news. Way back. Even though we supposedly live in a country with freedom of the press, the news is skewered. It is filtered, regurgitated, and processed in a way that tends to instill fear in the public and fearful people are much more easily led.
- Cut back on TV. There are some educational programs but a lot of the stuff on TV is crap. Again, most of it revolves around the element of fear/anger/hatred and can literally raise your blood pressure. Why succumb to this voluntarily?
- Look at who you surround yourself with. The phrase "you are only as good as the people you hang out with" is true. You hang around idiots, you become an idiot. You hang around drug dealers, you will either become one or be found guilty by association. Hang around intelligent, straight thinking, forward moving people and you will become that product of your environment.
- Have basic skills--math, science, logic, history, English--all of those classes in school were meant to give you the skills to survive and move forward in our society. I am always amazed when people do something dumb (one guy loaded a new refrigerator in the back of his truck, didn't tie it down--guess he thought it was so heavy it wouldn't move--headed off down the freeway and it promptly blew out of the truck and shattered all over the freeway. Did he flunk physics? Also, the next time a kid at the fast food restaurant can't figure out how much change I get because the computer didn't tell him, I'm gonna go ballistic. Don't they still teach math?). These basic skills when used appropriately will help people figure out simple--and more complex--things in life.
- Question everything. People are either too dumb or too trusting and they don't question ANYTHING. From the PayDay lender: "we want to help you in your time of need so here take this money at 300% interest". Ask: What's wrong with this picture? Why would someone want to give me money? What's in it for them? Are their terms reasonable? What are my other options?
- Know your rights. If you don't know what they are, you don't have any. Start by reading the US Constitution. Then read your state constitution. Research applicable rights and laws that pertain to any situation you find yourself in. The only person who is going to look out for your best interests is YOU.
- Home school your kids. The state of public schools is frightful in many (not all) areas. Teachers spend half of their classroom time being policemen or social workers; this leaves very little time for actual education. The home schooled kids I know are intelligent, well socialized, and a pleasure to be around (a friend said it's because if you spend that much time with your kids, you have to teach them to be the pleasant people you want to be around).
- Take a stand. When you feel you are in the right, when you have a defensible position, take a stand no matter what society or your peers think. Many people would rather roll over and play dead than stand up for themselves, stand up against things that are illegal/immoral/unethical, or worse, let the government think for them.
- Don't follow the crowd. The crowd buys $400 purses on credit. They persecute people based on rumor. They excuse behaviour that is inexcusable. There are ways to fit into society (good manners, good attitude) and there are times when you need to do your own thing (like being debt free when everyone you know lives on credit).
- Experiment, explore, and continue learning. Growth stops when learning stops. There is always more to learn, always ways to improve your lot in life, and always room for taking control of (and personal responsibility for) your life.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
10 Ways to Stop Being Brainwashed
I'm not sure if I am getting old and crotchety or the world really is going to Hell in a hand basket. I believe my grandfather felt the same way many decades ago so maybe it is a generational thing--at first you are young and don't know any better, then you get older and know too much. Anyway, my latest rant is about people who are brainwashed. They hang on the latest Jerry Springer show thinking that is what real life is supposed to be like. They listen to people selling all kinds of crap, fall for their lines, then wonder why they are in debt. They follow the crowd and don't think for themselves; casting blame on everyone but themselves if things don't work out the way they expected. Here are a bunch of ways to stop following the crowd and stop being brainwashed by society: