It is preferable not to believe in something you are ignorant of than to believe in something you are ignorant of.
Do you ever wonder if what you know or believe in is actually false or not?
We live in an opinion driven world. A world in which people wish to be heard at all cost and feel appreciated for their ideas or opinions. With ideas, opinions floating around and often times, the most popular seem to be what is right. What seems to be more interesting is people’s responses to opposing views or opinions. How people respond when their views are being questioned by others. Either they feel offended, get defensive or dismiss any possibility of engaging into any form of conversation on the issue by simply ignoring.
What is brainwashing?
According to Merriam Webster,brainwashing is defined as ” a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas”. Other dictionaries such as the Cambridge English dictionary defines it as ‘‘to make someone believe something by repeatedly telling them that it is true and preventing any other information from reaching them.”
Everyone at some point in life has either been deceived or brainwashed. We’ve either been persuaded into believing something new which are misleading or made to accept views which are contrary to what we initially believed in. People can be brainwashed directly from the source of information or indirectly through someone who is already brainwashed and obviously unaware about it. However, knowing whether or not we are being brainwashed on an issue is something we definitely have to be interested in. At least for the reason of simply combatting ignorance.
Different factors play a role in how we finally find ourselves transiting from a former believe or views into another usually in a short period of time. Such could include societal influence, population or just mere feelings. The question always remains how do we know if what we believe in is actually genuine or not. Or in other words how do we know if we are being brainwashed or not?.
1. Hyper sensitive to opposing views.
It is impossible to defend what you have no idea about. We can’t for sure know everything. However, it is important to be able to defend any views we have any time we have an opportunity to defend them. Whenever we have an opportunity to defend our belief, we ought to be very comfortable defending them because of our strong conviction of such views rather than being very sensitive about them. In fact any time our thoughts and views are being opposed to is just an opportunity to express ourselves on why we own such view. Therefore, being sensitive or emotional in the form of hostility, fear etc. whenever your view is questioned can either mean you
- can’t defend what you believe in even though it can be genuine or
- are not willing to understand why you believe in such views.
In both cases you will realise there is the absence of considering critical thinking in order to really understand and own at least an opinion as to why you choose such believe. Without which there is a high probability of you being brainwashed.
2. Constantly doing what you know little or nothing about.
Similar to the first point, sometimes we find ourselves doing or believing in things we actually know little or nothing about. This can be due to influence by the society in which we live in, the number of people believing it or the lack of willingness to use our reasoning in trying to understand why we believe in them and how useful it is to us. Regardless of the what we decide to believe in, it is always necessary to at least give a careful thought on why you decide to take such stand. Without which we become puppets of a particular belief or playing into the narrative of those who intended people like you fit into them.
3. Tell me what I want to hear.
Another way to show to show a high probability of one being brainwashed is when they mostly surround themselves with what they want to hear. This makes them show less regard for facts and truth because it never sounds right or could be offensive. This form of in-box thinking impedes change both to the society and to the person as well. As humans desiring change, one element we need in order to achieve such change is the ability to think out of the box. Without which we will be wanting change but not willing to change.
The principal reason for people being brainwashed is due to ignorance. Ignorance results from the lack of interest in challenging their thinking capacity. Meaning others do most of the thinking for them. We may not know everything about our beliefs or views but wanting to know more should definitely be a priority in order to get a better insight. And one way to know more is by being open-minded.