“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”~Søren Kierkegaard
Harsh, I know, but true. And absolutely NOT aimed at any reader of this blog! This is me doing some thinking about the world we live in, but the folks I “meet” here are all thinkers. Frankly, you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t! So, that said, on I go:
The world has become a very noisy place. Everyone has an opinion, and thanks to the internet, everyone has a voice. Those of us who try to connect with people are constantly inundated. I spend an inordinate amount of time shifting through chaff looking for the wheat.
Now I don’t mind a difference of opinion. I actually enjoy a well thought out disagreement. And on some levels I don’t mind poor writing skills as long as the thinking is evident. But when people reiterate tired lies that have stuck around long enough to become “true” that’s when I start to get testy.
The thing that separates humans from the other creatures we share this earth with is the ability to think deeply. After thinking, we have the ability to write, sharing our thoughts with countless others. No matter how smart my cat is, she can’t do that bit. So when we don’t even try to think before writing (or speaking), we’re throwing away our greatest gift.
But Kierkegaard is also referring to the human tendency to conform. Society tells us the “truth,” so we mindlessly believe it. When he was writing, Society was largely religion and the state. Today what is driving Society? In America, religion has lost its power and we’ve replaced it with an even more powerful entity: commerce (which includes the entertainment media).
Think about the weapons of mass distraction constantly being thrown at us.