Don’t believe everything you read

a Swaledale sheep at Malham Cove, Yorkshire.

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been saying it for years on this blog, and also in my private circle of friends, to whomever is willing to listen: don’t be a sheep. The world is full of sheep, willing to believe (or disbelieve) anything they read, wherever or whenever they may read it. Like a stalk of grass in the wind, able to change their opinions the moment a half-assed rational thought it put into their head; just like a virgin sophomore, willing to follow the “leader” as long as it makes them feel accepted by the crowd. Eternally afraid of going against the grain, of upsetting the trends, wanting to be a part of the overall whole, these people would rather others do their thinking for them, or even worse, delude themselves that what they are thinking and what they are doing are their own “free will” when it is anything but.

In being desperate to be “right”, they trick themselves into believing what they believe is “right”

No where is this heard mentality more obvious than on the Internet. And possibly why the Government of Malaysia is thinking about setting up some barriers to police it. Lies and half-truths become the gospel on the Internet. Unblinking sheep repeat the bleetings of other sheeps (and some herd masters) and soon everyone thinks that it is true.

Teoh Beng Hock was murdered. Anwar Ibrahim is a raging homosexual. Najib’s wife ordered Altantunyaa’s murder. BN buys votes in elections. We’ve seen it and heard it all and worse on the Internet. And just because it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right? Just because a reputable website such as MT or MC reports it, it must be gospel, right? Just because the Facebook page has 100,000 followers, it must be the truth? Just because it was reTweeted thousands of times and is on the Top 10 trending list, it must be right? The herd can’t be wrong, can they?

Yes, they can.

But it all can’t be wrong, can it? No, not all. Then how do you tell the difference? Try this, i do this when in doubt. If it sounds too convenient to be true, it probably isn’t. If it sounds to good to be true, it definitely isn’t. If you want to believe it, then before you do, ask yourself why you want to believe it. Challenge yourself, challenge your beliefs, ask the difficult questions that the sheep can’t and often won’t. Even if you’re right today, you might be wrong tomorrow, and vice versa. The only way to keep yourself on an even till is to ensure that there is always someone at the helm. Don’t let others steer your boat. 


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