29 April 2014

Why Are People So Stupid?

Why are people so stupid?
Not being rude, but do you ever wonder why people are so stupid? 'Speak for yourself' you might be thinking, but the fact you are reading this indicates maybe so. You might be one of many who find that others are self centered and careless. Perhaps you're frustrated that the planet is being decimated and it's natural resources used up. Are you feeling dismay that 85 people, yes just 85, have as much wealth as the poorer half of the world's population? (G.Wearden, theguardian.com, 2014) – and that no one is doing, or can do anything about it? You see images of poverty on TV and can do little but ignore it if you're hard-up yourself. Perhaps people around you talk of material possessions and mass media fads, and you find it all a bit primitive? Reality is swept under the rug - but that's got to be stupid.

A good book called Willful Blindness found here (US)(UK here)talks about how we purposefully ignore truths at our peril.

Understanding the concept of willful blindness might help us to counteract its effect. Trouble is, if you think about a child born into a religion, culture or general way of living – the child adopts that way of life due to the need for survival and dependency on those raising it. Therefore, the child tends to adopt some, most or all of those values, rituals and attitudes. Now look at your own everyday life and people around you, the influences and behavioral norms. In westernized culture the media is likely to have a big influence, as well as your education, peer attitudes and other economic issues – and this has occurred since birth. Now step right outside of all that, and look in.

Imagine the media wasn't predominantly consumer, profit and materialistically driven (early education too must play a role) – imagine it's focused more on well-being, social equality, support networks, learning, resource conservation, environmental stability, interpersonal behaviour and well, love. Those are the important things on Earth – not consumerism, sensationalism or materialism. This wouldn't be profitable of course, therefore not feasible, but wouldn't it create an amazingly different world? Attitudes would be totally different.

So, given that most people are exposed to media and influences that prioritize the wrong things like consumption, waste, narcissism and self-obsession, instead of life enriching things like social values and conservation, people seem a bit stupid to those more awake. All this causes the breakdown of social values, and damages relationships and emotional stability.

Spiritually, it has been suggested that many immature souls are being incarnated on Earth to meet the needs of the rising population, resulting in mass reckless and careless behavior.

What can be done? Talking about it helps. Communicating the actualities of life aids in awakening others to the real problems we face. Use social media, talk to friends and drop in conversations little helpful notions. A thought can germinate like a seed and grow throughout consciousness.

As an example, you may know a person who firmly believes the purpose of life is to acquire lots of money, collect possessions and other tools to make oneself appear successful and beautiful, and further to provide ones children with excess rather than the motivation to give care and compassion to others, better oneself spiritually, and to contribute to the world positively. Egoism engenders egoism. Try dropping a thought or two into conversation with this person that's outside of egoism, and new concepts may start to take root.   

When you encounter behavior in people that baffles you due to causes described above - it's possible that the ability to empathize (put yourself in someone else's shoes and see how they feel) is not functioning, along with any care or consideration for others, or the environment and communities. These behaviors cause us to think, 'why are people so stupid?' But if enough of us begin to think this, then positive global changes can really get underway. 

Why are Some People So Stupid - Video Version.