Saturday, February 6, 2016

Do You Have Willful Blindness?

Have you ever just sat bored flipping channels and you end up on a talk show like Oprah or Dr. Phil and you can't take your eyes off the screen or change the channel because you can't believe the fuckery you're hearing? A woman is on the show and she's there because her daughter is giving a full account of the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of a family member or step-dad(s). She's given details of the heinous things that happened to her, she has people giving their witness accounts, even documentation from medical records. She says she's upset at her mother because every time she tried to tell her mom, her mom didn't believe her. Her mom is crying swearing she didn't know. Her mother denies ever having any idea, and you're sitting there as parent yourself thinking; "What fucking bullshit! How the hell didn't she notice the changes in her kid? How didn't she see what was right in front of her eyes? This makes no sense, she's lying!".

Have you ever had a time your friend's boyfriend was cheating on her, and everyone knew, except her, and she didn't want to hear about it when people tried to tell her? How about when she catches him in awkward situations most of us would consider shady, but she blames the other party instead of admitting her man is an asshole? Yep.Willful Blindness at it's best.

Why even continue reading right? I'm just spewing bullshit; normal stuff we all see everyday but don't bother giving a second thought. Well, last week I saw someone else shared this post on dairy farming practices. It was video of actual footage of what happens in the dairy farms, and it's been on my mind for a while. Like this is something I feel so strongly about. In my next post I will share it, and talk about some alternatives and what you can do personally. It's right up my alley of informative choices we need to make in regards to our health, humanity, long term sustainability of our planet, and global warming. Anyway, this friend of mine shares the same video I did, and I happen to see someone commented that 90% of what was said is untrue. I think to myself; "what the fuck....you can do the research yourself, not to mention the countless documentaries available everywhere". I swear, I HATE when people who hear or begin to discuss something they spent literally no time researching, discredit facts. It's the worse thing that gets me infuriated and makes me ready to scratch your eyes out. All she said in the comment was basically: no these are lies. The End. Not even an explanation or further documentation of why. Like it's one thing to have an opinion, but in order to have an opinion you must have spent actual time gathering information to support your claims. If there's one strong thing about me, it's that I'm one consistent mothafucker. I consistently follow anything I'm committed to. I'm committed to results and truth. That's it, so I got really mad about that comment and commented saying yes it is true because xyz, etc., so that other dumb-asses would think critically before refuting claims based on facts. I do recognize that people aren't really dumb-asses most of the time in cases like this, but in the angry moment, it's like you must be a dumb-ass for choosing to ignore what you just SAW...not heard, or read which can arguably be misunderstood/misconstrued.

I had to dig deeper, because the more and more I talk to people about the world, the food industry, GMOs, farming, chemicals on a biological level, I fall upon deaf ears. I see eyes glaze over not from boredom but explicitly from a possible brain freeze, a lag in brain performance, or just an outdated processor. People just can't wrap their minds around things bigger than themselves and what's considered normal because this is the way it's always been even if it is wrong. Some people just feel helpless on a global scale with bills to pay, food to put on the table, and the daily grind, they can't even begin to consider that perhaps people being so busy was all apart of the "plan" for society. The busy bees work tirelessly to make honey while the 1%  lazily enjoys the fruits of the worker bee's labor. Bees work nonstop to produce honey as though there is never enough honey. This societal greed, where money is never enough trumps all facets of life. The day people started to care more about ratchet shit and made dumb people famous was the day when the 1% found a way to make us poorer and sickly. To pull the wool over our eyes and take advantage because money is the root of all evil.

*Do as you’re told: Are we all blind?

It’s easy to deride such beliefs and ideologies but most people, governments and organizations have them. As Greenspan testified, “ideology is the way people deal with reality. Everyone has one.” Whether it is the belief that military intervention saves lives, or big governments are bad or the only successful company is global, ideologies are what psychologist Anthony Greenwald called ‘totalitarian egos,’ locking up incompatible ideas, suppressing evidence and re-writing history.
Once enlisted, our totalitarian egos are strikingly submissive. Ever since Stanley Milgram’s 1961 experiments into obedience, we’ve known that, without reward for compliance or punishment for refusal, most people (around 65 percent) will commit unethical acts when asked to do so by someone in authority. Repeated around the world ever since with unchanging outcomes, the experiments showed, Milgram wrote,  “the capacity for man to abandon his humanity — indeed the inevitability that he does so — as he merges his unique personality into larger institutional structures. … It would not be true to say he loses his moral sense. Instead it acquires a radically different focus. His moral concern now shifts to how well he lives up to the expectation the authority has of him.” Authority is a capacity whose dangers few CEOs recognize. Ambitious employees will work hard to intuit what’s wanted, to infer what will make them successful in the eyes of the organization they have joined. And their moral focus will change.
Willful blindness spills into all areas of our life. Fear causes most of our willful blindness because we'd rather stay in our comfort zones than acknowledge painful truths and change however hard it may be. In this powerful and most thought-provoking video you will realize that we fought so hard for freedom and then we became slaves of a system. Caged by fear and willful blindness, distractions we call life, responsibilities, and obedience. People would rather not know what's going on because ignorance is bliss. Yet we look back on history and are told we need to learn about it so history doesn't repeat itself. Yet somehow history repeats itself so silently on the down-low while genocide is still happening on large scales so quietly. We don't have concentration camps anymore because that's too obvious.

You're so busy with all these distractions, you've gotten so used to being focused solely on entertainment when you're not working, always having to do things on the weekend, going places, going on vacations because you're living a life you need an escape from, this seems too serious, too dark, too boring, too annoying, yes we know the world is cruel, yea yea, there's nothing I can do you're probably thinking. Why should you even bother watching this video some are asking, or continue reading this post? Why?

Because you've got willful blindness.

"Freedom Doesn't Exist If You Don't Use It!"


*Willful blindness: When a leader turns a blind eye

Why We Ignore the Obvious: The Psychology of Willful Blindness

Why Red Flags Can Go Unnoticed

Minding Their Own Beeswax:How busy are bees, really?
Don't understand the 1% ? Watch the movie: Margin Call. Research the Distribution of Wealth.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Box Full of Disagreements

Hey guys it's Monday =( This weekend was way too short!  =( 

I always identify with this show! One of my favorite classics. I'm Lucy and he's Ricky. I'm crazy, he's rational. I'm always doing something ridiculous, he's always serious, I always wanna go to the club, he's always saying no. I'm silly, dramatic and playful, he pretends not to like it. I'm bold and colorful, he's quietly grey. Yet together we make such an interesting sitcom. We're always driving each other mad!

I saw this and I thought "Yep that's pretty much all my relationships. When I don't care you can't even reach me, I'm just a wall. The point of disagreements is to reach a conclusion; an understanding. If we can't reach that understanding then I'm mentally done.You see when you care about someone, you try to understand them, and they try to understand you. The relationship can't work if it's one sided, and each individual's priority and level of caring isn't the same. You can agree to disagree but here's an example of what I'm saying:

Mary thinks her mom is too strict. She helps tremendously at home and pulls in good grades, she doesn't do drugs, or hang out with the wrong crowd but is tired of sneaking around. She has this discussion in a respectful way.

(Mary's mom is afraid of being disgraced by her daughter or being seen as she doesn't know how to control her own kid). This isn't explicitly communicated to Mary, but nonetheless fear based.

Mary tells her mom, this is who I am, I'm doing everything I'm supposed to and more but I need some freedom.

Mary's mom says no, this isn't how she was raised culturally. No is no that's the end of it.

Mary tells her mom, "Well then if it's lies you want then it's lies you'll get." Because if she would rather be comforted by a lie than told the truth, that's what's going to happen.

Conclusion: Mary's mother couldn't come up with any other supporting facts or statements that explained why she said no aside from her ulterior motive to keep Mary from bringing shame to her. Mary's mother decides that she'd rather know the truth because if she knows what her daughter is up to, she won't have to hear anybody outside of her home tell her, thus being disgraced. She will have less control doing so but be able to supervise and guide Mary's actions than trying to keep a bird caged.

*Critical Thinking:

  1. If Mary didn't stand up for herself and what she believed is it likely that she would turn inward and rebel, possibly start keeping more secrets because she felt her mom didn't care to understand her?
  2. Would she remain the happy Mary who was always cheerful and pleasant at home if the conclusion stayed at "no, end of discussion"?
  3. Does Mary's mom care more about  Mary or the outsiders; does she care more about what others will say?
  4. Does Mary's mom initially seek to control Mary's actions or guide them for Mary's best interest?
  5. Is it more respectful for Mary to shut her mouth and disrespect her mother behind her back by doing what she wants? When her mother finds out how will she feel then?
  6. Mary listens to her mother and stops any attempts for what she really wants because she knows her mother will be upset and not tolerate it. (Fear of disapproval) How well adjusted is Mary in the future; real world? How successful will Mary be in knowing who she is and what she wants? What's Mary's drive like? Does she go after what she wants? How likely is it that Mary stands up for herself?
The point of this example can be applied in any relationship where one person states a question or opinion, and the other person disagrees:

Disagreements are part of life. They shape who we are and who we become. Conflicts that remain unresolved just cause tension and distance to grow between individuals because two people couldn't find a way to agree. It's not about being right it's about finding that ultimate truth. What people call principles. Mary's principle was that she felt that she being punished rather than rewarded for all her good work. Motivation is the piece of the puzzle that drives our behaviors and actions to do keep doing good or do bad.

Sometimes you can agree to disagree but like the game of chess, you keep making moves until someone wins. Someone takes accountability if there's an injured party. You have to keep having that discussion until both people are on the same page or can see where each other stands and take it as valid. Two topics that people are told to not discuss are religion and politics solely because we can never sway someones' mind on something that affects them personally based on one's own life experience or something that is part of their identity, deeply rooted in their upbringing, culture, and belief system. I feel that agreeing to disagree on things that have nothing to do with religion or politics is a cop out. It's a pathetic way to say you know what I don't care to understand your viewpoint, I don't want any other perspective but my own because this is all that has been instilled in me and this is all I want to know.

So for the sake of argument why do we even bother fighting with that person that disagrees? On a human level, we need to connect with others, to be understood. I can't stress this enough because I have this with my husband, it's a mind, body, soul connection, and that energy is so amazing you want to have that with every soul you meet. We need validation from people we love to know that this person cares, this person wants to know me to my core. Otherwise we're left with a bunch of fake superficial relationships. Genuine people take the time to know you, to fall in love with your flaws and help you grow and blossom, to call you out on your bullshit and make you see the faults in your thought processes. To help you see a different way because your way isn't the only way. My way isn't the only way, but my mind is open to try to see outside of the box, because I realize there isn't a box. I will explain and explain to the ends of the earth because there's more to life than rigid rules society creates for us, there has to be more. Also what's more to note is just because we both get to the same place it doesn't mean one route wasn't easier, faster, and more efficient.

Well wait a sec I know some might be thinking, "Michelle, well you don't have the best relationships to speak of, in fact you had very volatile relationships growing  up..." Yes exactly, that should make me an expert in fact. I assert myself and remain civil; diplomatic even. I seriously took the time to examine this. Not because I don't have anything better to do, or I have too much "Free Time" but because I'm evolving, this is my job, to seek out the truth, and live those truths. To weed out who's good for me and who's bad. What I did uncover when I sat down and wrote the names of all the girls/women I knew my entire life who were in fact the example of Mary above, (myself included) not in exact scenarios but facing the same struggles with parental disagreements I counted 89. 89 solid names with stories and backgrounds that have brushed upon this double life. Many of whom as far as I still know and talk to, have tensed pasts but still have good relationships with their parents, but all on a superficial level based on continued obligation and fear of disapproval. Their mothers have no idea who they are genuinely, because their words, actions, tones, body language, and behavior are so different, almost night and day, all under the fake umbrella called "respect". Mothers and fathers do the same because a blind eye is turned on many things. [In my next post I'll explain this willful blindness concept.] What happened to these 89 girls/women now that they're grown ups or have been grown up for as long as I've known them? They still struggle! They continue hiding things! They hide important things, things that we should be able to discuss openly with our elders, trying to find that wisdom they supposedly have, they hide petty things, hide their boyfriends/love interests, they hide their sexuality, they don't know what they want in life, they're insecure, they tolerate a lot of crap from love interests, in some cases abuse, they don't ask for what they want and make sure they get it. Some who have come out and given up the double life are better for it, in some cases the relationship strain exists but mostly because mom and/or dad still disagrees with their daughters' choices. What's more interesting to note is, as I sat here writing down the names of every female I encountered and their stories, the vast majority have an Indian cultural background...Every well adjusted name that didn't make the list shares a much genuine deeper bond with their parents, mostly moms, rooted since childhood...

The only box there is, is the box of disagreements we all carry around. The box full of neatly packed disagreements that alienates individuals from the ones we love and the ones who love us, that stomps the love out, that breaks bonds, that doesn't help us grow, that create superficial relationships, that push out everything that makes people unique and become conformists because they're afraid to be disagreed with. This neatly packed box we all carry around are filled with emotions based on false information, assumptions, and ultimately affect the choices we make in life. It affects our belief systems that cause racism, that cause discrimination, that cause war. In the end it's those differences that will help you in life, to find the ones who will love you flaws and all. What's more important is how genuine they are.

Thought Provoking Reads: 

*Handling Disagreements: Avoiding Poison Patterns

A Thank You Letter to the Men Who Didn’t Have the Balls to Claim Me.

Caribbean Parents Need To Stop Beating Their Children!

Ad rem vs. ad hominem >
For any comments on the critical thinking section, please reference the question number. I look forward to hearing from you!