By Joy A. Kennelly
What I always find interesting is watching group think in action; whether it be in school, work, TV, film, or on any of the social media platforms I regularly frequent. Makes me wonder where critical thinking has gone in our society when basic truths that are easily proven accurate are disregarded because no one wants to rock the boat, research their beliefs, or go against the common opinion.
Even when it's wrong.
Now I understand where Bob Lefsetz is coming from when he challenges musicians to create a revolution. I find that young people today that I have met seem shocked when anyone stands up against the status quo, or speaks out against group think.
I'm finding it more and more on Facebook, Yelp, and now even Posterous which is nothing more than censorship in its worst form. Where's public discourse? Where's the opportunity to explore opinions other's might hold to see how well your own hold up against scrutiny or discussion? Where's the freedom and competition to do business when only certain businesses are allowed?
Isn't this what America is built upon? Isn't this what our original founders came to America to enjoy? Freedom of speech, opportunity and religion? I find it disturbing when only one side is allowed to be represented and will always speak out.
I find when I do, sometimes I help change people's opinions, sometimes I help others to be bolder, and sometimes I help others to understand the other side a little better.
Then other times, I see close-minded, small-minded and insecure people who can do nothing more than attack me and others on the internet, before running away to hide from a response for fear of someone actually challenging them or causing them to actually think.
It's rather humorous actually which is why I don't mind because their cowardice and pettiness reflects more on them than it ever will me. What you see is what you get and that's why I continue to have liberal friends as well as conservative ones. They know I'm fair and they can trust me to always speak the truth. Even when they may not agree with me.
There's a mutual respect.
If we continue to be a PC society and only allow one side to have a voice, then pretty soon we won't be America. I encourage all start-ups, social media sites, newspapers, media in general, and others who hold sway over the general public's information business offerings, politics and education to consider the fact we are a stronger, better educated, more accepting and better prepared country as a whole when there is balance in information and opportunity.
Accept the fact you may not always agree with someone else. That's life. Get on with it. Value diversity of opinion and thought because often those in society who challenge status quo create greater opportunities than those who don't.
There are other ways of doing things than your own if you open your mind and your heart to it. We are all unique and special. Allow your uniqueness to shine through and stop allowing yourself to be cowed into submission by group think and doing something just because everyone else is doing it.
Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't make it right. Only safe.
Live dangerously. Speak out against injustice. Live with the consequences of your decisions. Accept responsiblity. Stop blaming others for your lack of success.
Create your own.
You will find those who agree with you and support your decisions. And generally they are the leaders who have withstood criticism, blame, personal attacks, and everything else those who live in fear and group think will throw at you to keep you down.
But when you get past the personal disappointment of experiencing those cowards for who they really are, then you begin to live a life that is on a different level with more evolved, more intelligent, more courageous, more satisfied people who are on the same level and path as you.
Or, as Henry David Thoreau so eloquently stated it, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to their graves with their song still in them."
Don't be one of those men (or women.) Live your life. Be fully human and alive. Be fair and respectful. Make tough decisions and stick to them. Those who disagree now will always come around later. I've seen it happen time and again.
Time heals all wounds and wounds all heels.:)
And lastly, be bold.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
I read that quote years ago and love it to this day. It's been true in my life and so many others. I'm not sure who wrote it, but it's brilliant which is why I'm sharing it here today.
That's all. Now enjoy your day. That's an order.:)