Monday, March 4th, 2013. Filed under: Censorship Consciousness media and politics The Awakening
Michael Forrester, Prevent Disease
A common theme seems to be steadily intensifying with those who disagree
with information on the internet–a fear of the unknown. There is a
constant need to insult or criticize content which disagrees with their
own sense of truth. Although confronting fear
won’t always make it go away, many researchers suggest that people must
alter memory-driven negative attitudes about feared objects, events or
the unknown to overcome the fear itself, allowing open-mindedness and
multiple perspectives to override negativity.
When people retain negative attitudes
about anything that disagrees with their own version of reality, they
are more likely to experience a continued sense of fear than people
whose attitudes are less negative. Physiological markers such as heart
rate and anticipatory anxiety always increase when measurements are
taken in people whose attitudes remain negative.
Much of our concept of ourselves and our attitudes as individuals in control of our destinies underpins much of our reality or what we think about our existence.
Some of these attitudes are often based on a powerful association
between a fear and a negative feeling that is so strong, that many
people can’t see or even think about the fear without experiencing that
automatic negative reaction. For example, many people around the world
devoted to their religion absolutely fear atheists. They refuse to
relate to their position. They will not even conceive the right of
atheists to their own opinions and feel extremely threatened by any
content promoting the principles of atheism. The same can be true if we
reverse the two roles. Neither position will ever advance the other if
each can only think negatively about the other. This creates
self-righteousness, divisions of superiority and of course ignorance.
Negative reactions to the unknown instills a sense of weakness in our
character, specifically a lack of strength in our own convictions. When
people have the need to strongly chastise others for their opinions and
information they present, it shows a genuine deficit of attributes
related to confidence about our own belief systems, morals and values.
Those who have confidence in their doctrines do not have to identify
all those things they dislike so much in others or attempt to magnify
those flaws to please their own conscience. In essence, they feel they
must right-fight to support their own belief system since in their minds, a competing system must be incorrect.
There is always improvement in our outlook when we change the
attitude representation. To change the likelihood that negativity or
fear is automatically activated when one is placed in a specific
situation, we must positively view the opinions of others as valid
regardless of our own perception. If somebody see’s the sky as “green”
instead of “blue”, instead of immediately declaring their state of mind
as incorrect, we can think about how interesting it is that they see the
sky “green” and perhaps ask ourselves why their perspective differs so
greatly from our own.
Many of the websites I contribute towards constantly receive
criticism for their content, however NONE of them approach other
websites or choose to email individuals who have oppositions to their
own views. Why? Because they know they are entitled to those views. They
don’t engage them and they certainly don’t wish to begin any type of
conflict with those who think differently than they do. Everybody has their own path in life
and their learning is unique, allowing them to experience that
uniqueness and growth at the deepest levels of their being. Their views
are no more correct or incorrect than any other, especially since truth
is 360 degrees and all perception defines our reality.
While many may disagree with that, it is the belief system of what is
now millions of people on Earth. People are entitled to their own
opinions, but if they feel the need to encourage websites or authors to
change and direct their content towards a mentality that agrees with an
opposing view, perhaps these same people should be looking into their
own belief systems to discover why they feel so threatened or wronged by
simple words. The same words can both positively and negatively affect
millions of people. The difference lies in how we perceive another’s
reality to be different from our own. We are all very much the same–just
experiencing and learning at different rates. No one rate of learning
is more superior or advanced than another, just different.
It is an opportunity to really learn something about ourselves–that
judgement on others is only a judgement on ourselves. Other people in
our lives serve as our own reflection
of the imperfections we seek to correct in ourselves. We attract every
person in our life for a reason–to show us who we are. If you think
everybody in your life is around you by coincidence, you’re not paying
attention to the very valuable lessons they are teaching you.
When we embrace our uniqueness and understand that every human being
is here for a purpose and to follow a specific path, our judgement,
criticism and control over others disappears. In the end, would you
rather be right, or would you rather be kind? Be kind, with love and
compassion, but most of all, allow others to just be. I can guarantee
that if you practice this, you will be amazed at how quickly your
outlook on your experiences will change. Most of all, you will never see
information as a threat again.
About the Author
Michael Forrester is a spiritual counselor and is a practicing motivational speaker for corporations in Japan, Canada and the United States.