Have you ever wondered how it works that you think of something and then suddenly it is as if many other people also think that same thing? It happened to my this morning.
I scan through Facebook and on one of the philosophical discussion groups, somebody posted: “We have been mindfucked, and now the great unfuck must begin.”
How does that tie in with my thoughts?
Yesterday evening the wife and I watched New Amsterdam. The social worker is part of the episode. And when I see her, I know how it will end. Suddenly I realize that social workers and the welfare system are typecast in films and series. My words to my wife were, we have a serious problem and it is costing us much and we pay too much for it.
I do not watch a lot of movies or series, yet, I suddenly realized that there is a trend. My question is “WHY?”
If you look carefully, you will see the same thing with the church and ministers of religion.
Now, understand me here, I am not saying that the welfare system or the church is above criticism, not at all. They should be held at very high standards. I am not denying that bad things happen in the welfare system, foster care and orphanages and the church. You do not want to get me going about the church! That is something for another day, perhaps.
Both the church and the welfare system are the two institutions that work to make the world a better place. Bear with me for a moment and forget the negatives. It is the church how preaches peace and forgiving. It is the church who preaches love your neighbour, it is the church who preaches do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. Well, not really the church, the Bible, but the church is the messenger. Those are all positive values. If we were to live by those values, the world will be a much better place and a lot of our problems will disappear.
IF we lived according to the above mentioned Biblical values, we would probably need a smaller welfare system, if at all. I know a few people who came through the welfare system and are much better off than the alternative. It is never the ideal to grow up in an orphanage, but it is surely better than alcoholic, unemployed and dysfunctional parents? Since we do not live by the Golden Rule of DOING unto others, welfare has much less funds than defense (I might be wrong here). Still, the point is, the welllfare system has a positive goal and in most cases do good.
Which brings me to the why? Why do films and series like to focus on the negative side of the two positive institutes in society? Yes, I know it is sort of the Good Samaritan story.
A pastor in a sermon once changed the story to make it understandable to children and said: “The deacon walked by. Then the elder walked by. Then the pastor walked by.” To which one of the kids exclaimed: “The bastard.” Social workers and pastors who act against what we expect, raise the emotions. It serves the plot – but at what cost?
At 61 years, I am more and more questioning people’s motives and agendas. From the politician to the social media influencer, more and more I wonder: “What is the motive? What is the agenda? Why is it important to him or her?” “Why should I subscribe to this?”
What is my agenda? My agenda is to be more critical of the things I read and hear. To challenge it. To evaluate it against facts and my own value system. To measure it against reality (whatever that is).
Long ago I was at a seminar presented by an investment company. An ex-colleague (financial planner) was sitting behind me and shared her opinions loudly – all such unfounded generalizations. When I could not take it anymore, I turned around and asked: “On what good scientific research do you base those statements?” She replied: “I worked as receptionist for a law firm for 18 months. I KNOW” Indeed.
But that is my agenda. I hope, now that you have read this, you will ask yourself: “Is there merit in this?” I hope that you will be more vigilant about people messing with your mind. That you will be aware there are people deliberately trying to mess with your mind.
The sad part is this: the biggest influencer is not the media – it is my own prejudices, my own, unchallenged preconceptions, the unchallenged wisdom that gets conveyed from generation to generation. Those one-liners that have that easy rhythm and sounds so logical.