The mindless society: Critical thinking as a lost commodity

We’re avoiding the hard work of deep thinking.

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Our society is mindless. It shows in our priorities, how entertainment rules us, and the fact that Hollywood is our biggest name. It shows in our presidential election, and in how the strategy of persuasion has become simply activating the emotions of others to win them to your side. It shows in how opinion-giving has become the norm, whether through Facebook posts, comments, blogs or everyday conversation. We spit out our words and beliefs automatically, often lacking any foundation of factual proof.

We are ignorant and comfortable in this, confident that our opinions are the end-all, know-all and we refuse to listen to the insight of others.

It does not matter that our opinions have not been mulled over, challenged or shaped. It does not matter what our opinions are founded on, because peeling back the layers would most certainly not be pleasant, or a good use of our time.

With all this information at our fingertips, we have become lazy, unwilling to do the hard work of searching. Rational and logic have fallen to the background, as emotions now rule, drive and motivate us.

Ethics and morality are looked down upon with hate, critique and skepticism. We have become a nation that goes through the motions of living, without ever pausing to reflect, meditate or think about our actions or words, and our effect on the world.

What scares me about this is that we are a democracy; a government run by the people for the people. We curse our government and speak on its flaws, but I for one could not bear to see our government given to the hands of the people. To the hands of a society where fools are bred. A place where fools are fed answers by a broken education system, kept busy by digital screens streaming constant entertainment, and never once left to the silence of meditation or reflection.

It makes me think on the depiction of the human utopia in Wall-E, where humans floated around on chairs, screens at their faces, so plugged in that their reality we made unaware to them.

It is a bleak picture I paint here. But I paint it for a reason.

I want to choose to live a life that is different. I want to spend time on my own, mulling out what it is I believe and see as truth. I want to learn and search for wisdom, to read and ask questions of others, experts in their fields, those who I respect and look up to. I want to think critically and learn from others. I desire the lifelong road of knowledge and truth, and I hope to find others who desire this as well.

And in my living, perhaps there will be a ripple effect, where others too will catch on to thinking critically and become mindful, and less and less of us will be mindless.


Author: Lindsey Laverty