I learned something very interesting this morning: I’ve lived my entire life being afraid the whole time (with the occasional foray into outright terror).I know
GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR A**E AND STOP SHOWERING YOUR CRAP ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA
This pandemic and the whole stay-at-home thing has brought out some hitherto hidden talents in some people.
People that I previously believed to be logical, down-to-earth and caring people have suddenly become neurotic prisoners of war, rabidly decrying the insult to their freedom and liberties by a corrupt, lying “System”.
They’ve become experts at digging into the dark places and finding articles and videos that show that what they suspect is true.
They’ve started calling people names, declaring that Barack Obama is related to Hitler and wants to kill off all the Jews, and that Bill Gates is a nasty little secret despot who’s aiming for world domination by injecting us all with microchips that will allow The System to control us.
Several things come up for me at this point. First, saying stuff like that is SLANDER. How would you feel if someone said things like that about you? What if someone twisted your words and added meaning to them that you didn’t intend?
I am not about believing everything I read, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I am definitely not going to spread rumours.
The next thing is: I am not an expert in most things and neither are you.
I hate to admit it, but it’s true! Okay, I’m an expert in some things: parenting, running a household, starting stuff and never finishing, even quantity surveying (yes, I have a degree in construction so I’m probably an expert, even though I don’t feel like one) but I’m not an expert in most things. None of us are. There is so much information available out there that we have to specialise in certain things in order to become an expert in them.
And therein lies the problem: there is so much information freely available, that we all think that watching some videos on YouTube or reading some articles that say the direct opposite to most of the things out there mean that i) we are now an expert, ii) our now expert opinion is valid, and iii) we have a right to spout that new expert opinion as though it’s the TRUTH and the rest of the world is a herd of sheep being kept in the dark by Forces of Evil, too stupid to see what’s really going on.
Just because we spend hours / days / weeks on the internet, reading and watching all this stuff does not make us an expert. Reading about the pros and cons of vaccinations or coronavirus or 9/11 does not make us an expert.
Do I think that our medical profession is too much under the sway of the pharmaceutical companies? Too right I do. I’ve just had the third operation to put right something that was caused by a doctor listening to big Pharma and not doing his research. And while I can do my own research and get myself informed, that does not make me an expert. It just gives me enough background to come to my own half-a**ed opinion and ask the doctor somewhat more informed questions.
However, it doesn’t give me the right to negate the doctor’s opinion. After all, they’re the ones with the degree and the post grad qualifications and the however-many-years experience. They’re the actual, real life, expert. If it’s their belief that I’m better off following a particular medical path, then their expertise in the matter surely counts for more than my kind-of-informed opinion.
I’m reluctant to say, “do as your doctor tells you” because I’m not ever going to hand over control of my life without getting as much knowledge as I can about something before making a decision. But I’m not going to be able to get to the doctor’s level of expertise before I need to make that decision.
Also, to disregard or negate what the doctor (or any other expert) is saying because we believe that they’re ‘being controlled by big pharma’ or they’re ‘just after our money’ or they ‘just want to get people out of there as quick as they can’ or ‘you’re just a number to them’ is a harsh criticism of someone who’s spent decades studying their craft and who’s also taken the Hippocratic oath to do no harm.
Again, how would you feel if someone said that to you? What if the tables were turned?
Obviously, there are doctors out there who are complete a**ses and who are in it just for the money, but doctors are human, after all; there’s bound to be a few of them.
A few months ago, I asked a friend – a retired surgeon – what his thoughts were on vaccinations and the anti-vaxxers in particular. I hadn’t expected his answer, or his anger. He was the doctor in charge of the last case of childhood smallpox in Colombia.
His comment was “If you’ve seen a child die from one of those diseases, listened to the screams, comforted them and their parents as they die, you would not be anti-vaccination. The problem is: there’s a price to pay. Vaccinations save millions but there are also a tiny percentage who react to the vaccinations and you get side effects like Autism. You have to weigh it up: is it worth saving millions at the cost of a few thousand? That’s what it boils down to. It’s harsh, and I don’t like to do it because I want to save everyone, I don’t want anyone to suffer, but we haven’t figured out a way to prevent these diseases with no cost. We are looking for a way, but we haven’t found it. We are doctors; we went into this profession to help people and we’re doing it in the best way that we can, but we’re not perfect.”
The final thing I’ve got to say on this (and I did digress a little there) is that, if you’ve got a load of time on your hands and all of this information/education/entertainment on hand, why would you choose to spend your time digging up things that make you more miserable? Seriously?
I love my crime programs, but I also find that my mood drops when I’ve been watching them. I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time watching TV and on the internet while I was recovering from the operation so I made a conscious decision to only watch things that left me feeling better when they finished. No more Waking The Dead, Silent Witness or Criminal Minds. They’re brilliant but bloody depressing.
Also, no more Donald Trump because he’s an absolute f*** wit, and definitely no conspiracy theories.
I focussed on what made me feel better, not worse. You get what you put your energy in to. I can guarantee that you’ll find anything you’re looking for if you look hard enough, even proof that 9/11 and the holocaust never happened. I’m sorry to go all nerdy on you here, but there was an episode of Star Trek: Voyager where Seven of Nine became convinced that Chakotay (vice-captain of Voyager) and the Marquis (former rebels) were in league with some alien baddies. She found heaps of proof, and things on the ship descended into chaos for a while.
The moral of the story: you’ll always find what you’re looking for.
That doesn’t mean it’s the truth.
And before anyone starts, I’m all for free speech and informed decisions and all that. This isn’t about that. For all that I’ve gone off on several thoroughly enjoyable tangents, this is actually about calling people out for spending their time not only making themselves feel bad but also wanting to share the badness around.
Seriously, people: get a grip. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves, stop being a victim and start living your own life instead of pretending that other people are stopping you from doing that and the world (and The System in general) is against you.
Obviously, all of this is said from a space of love and compassion… admittedly an irritated and I’m-at-the-end-of-my-tether-with-some-people space of love and compassion, but you can’t have everything!
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