You Are Strong Only When You Question — Say What You Believe
“I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely — or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!”
― Oscar Wilde
We are at a crucial point in our society, where the cult of political correctness has managed to intimidate the majority of society into reluctant obedience.
We must decide what kind of future we want for ourselves and our children. We must decide to speak up now or risk being enslaved by the chains of conformity.
Do we want to let the extreme minority voices rule the reasonable majority?
Albert Einstein is believed to have said that the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.
We have been indoctrinated to believe whatever the media wants to show us. We have been indoctrinated by the school system to memorize facts and never question what they show us. Many of us were only shown a slice of human history for most of our time in school. Many of us didn’t really care about education at the time either, so I guess it’s quite understandable.
How many of you are afraid to speak your mind on social media platforms? How many of you have seen your friends, acquaintances, family members, celebrities, or anyone in recent times shamed and intimidated into submission for speaking their mind? How many of you practice self-censorship day after day, afraid to rouse the tyrannical cultural mob? How many of you are scared to have your lives ruined, simply for standing up for what you believe in?
The people who try to silence those who dissent against popular belief are scared of individual thought. They silence opposition not because their ideas are intellectually superior, but because they are fragile. They don’t know how to coherently and confidently defend their ideas against scrutiny and hide behind complexity, rage, and slander.
They want to shut down debate and conversation so that they can stay safe and certain in their ideological bubbles. They don’t want to doubt their current beliefs, they refuse to grow and to acknowledge that they might be wrong. They don’t want to find out or even discuss what the truth may be — why should they when they’ve already figured it out?
We need people to speak up now more than ever. We need more people to be vocal and question the moral authority that a minority of people have designated for us, the majority.
Many of us in modern society are cowards. We never speak up and say what we really want to say because we all believe we will suffer alone and be ridiculed. We think we will lose everything and gain nothing, so why speak up at all?
We engage in something called diffusion of responsibility: everyone waits for the hero to emerge and save the day, but never expects to be the hero themselves. You can be the hero that saves yourself and everyone else if you are courageous enough to face the intimidating and oppressive force of the mob.
We are allowing other people to think for us. We are lazy and unwilling to examine our own beliefs. We echo words that we’ve seen or heard before and insist that they are our own. We look confident on the outside but we crumble under critical examination. We are the herd, led mindlessly by the shepherd, unable to go off into the distance on our own and sticking closely with the others.
We must display some backbone when we face adversity. A lot of people have no confidence in their ideas and their principles. Why? Because they don’t spend time thinking about what they actually believe.
They have a general understanding of what kind of life rules they live by and what they might believe in, but when push comes to shove they are willing to abandon everything and betray everyone just to save their own asses.
The important thing to think about here is to pick your battles. You don’t want to say something completely outrageous that is intentionally trying to rile up controversy. You want to speak carefully about your ideas and minimize your mistakes as much as possible so that your detractors will have nothing to criticize you for.
You don’t want to engage in debate, but rather in conversation.
You don’t want to strawman and contort the views of your opposer — steelmanning will bring them closer to accepting and listening to your perspective.
If you want to live as an individual and a free thinker, you must be ready to defend your ideas to the grave.
Stand your ground and never apologize for stating your beliefs and your honest thoughts.
Although you want to be open minded and ready to change your mind if the opposition makes irrefutable and reasonable points, make sure you give them a good challenge and not fall victim to intimidation.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.