If everything’s being negotiable, will we have a collective breakdown?

No, no we won’t. Groups and especially the leadership part of groups really wish to introduce the catastrophe as a very much potential outcome of this new thing called choice. Everything not being mapped out on a list, categorized and totally, fully defined with no room for negotiation is bad, bad. However comforting it may be to have someone telling you exactly how to behave, what to do and think – could there possible be something good about having a free choice in life?

will we have a collective breakdown

You’re at this ice cream bar and you’re standing in front of this magic selection of flavors, colors and structures. So many choices, so little time. You want them all in a big cone but that would be so inappropriate so you have to make a choice – only three flavors. Come on, you can do it. What did that girl over there get? Banana? Banana’s great, but how about strawberry, or chocolate? Does vanilla go well with those? Oh, panic.

Like the above example, we’re faced with many, many choices every day. They include various levels of knowledge, information, data, emotional and rational input as well as consciousness. When the clock rings in the morning, it’s not like you’re having this big scientific research study on whether you should make the choice to get up or not.

You just get up, you’ve been there before, well aware of both what you have to do today but also how your body works. Maybe you’re one of those people who need caffeine immediately after getting up – again, not much of a choice there it seems, right?

It is a choice though, and so are many other things which have turned into habits and semi-conscious processes in people’s lives. Routine, traditions, decisions, even thinking patterns – are all just a bunch of choices.

This is the way things have always been, and it takes someone outside of that pattern to get involved in order for people within that behavioral structure to become aware. After which comes yet another set of choices – to start thinking about these things, exploring them, or to become defensive and accuse this other human being of having a bad influence.

 

Choices and being a teeny bit contradictory

Funny thing though, it’s not quite the same perspective shared as when going for vacation. Anyone who’s had the pleasure to be on one of those knows that for some magic reason, some behavioral patterns become a bit more emphasized than others.

Suddenly, making your bed isn’t the question upon which the survival of the universe depends, but having your glass filled with tasty things is. Imagine getting to work in your flip flops, favorite t-shirt and a big ass glass of [insert favorite drink]? Not that appropriate, right?

As dumb as these examples may be (oh, come on), the very basis is something totally different. Do you think much in life, or does it “just happen”? Have an honest look at yourself, don’t get all defensive.

It’s not that fun anymore, is it? Yet, in a world where some extremist groups enjoy emphasizing things which appeals to some people, it’s more important than ever to start get honest with yourself. Grand narrative approaches are falling out of the picture in a world where many of us are connected, yet these groups still keep insisting on them.

And they seem to succeed in some respects. Why? Because they grab something, let’s take migration as an example. They grab it, select only one piece (refugees), then explain how so many people come for other reasons (better opportunities) and how they now are lying and using the system of the host country. Conspiracy after conspiracy is built up and presented to the world through connecting these dots to something appealing.

Something appealing that seems to make sense, but doesn’t.

 

What is that appealing thing about extremists and their group thinking?

The answer lies in the question – it’s about the group, the belonging, the simplicity of blaming someone else for being ignorant about life choices. You know, like that previously mentioned ice cream thing? Suddenly, people find themselves being freed from responsibility about their own choices and especially the outcome from those made choices way back.

This is almost a religious experience. “I didn’t eat the pizza, it’s all your fault”. “My education was useless, boring, and now I hate my underpaid job – it’s that migrant’s fault”. “It’s the industry’s way of being, it’s not me”. And the story goes on.

It’s easy. It’s far too easy and in a short-term perspective, it’s really awesome, comforting. Yet, ignorance in the longer perspective is all but nice and cozy, anyone with a brain is far too familiar with that one. Extremists turn these concepts around, mutating them into fitting their worldview, and as fear grows – their idiocy makes sense to people.

 

Today’s massive collective fear on choices

We seem to experience a time in which again, changes are being presented as so large, scaring everyone away from choices (and their consequences) and leaving the decision-making to someone else. Someone else will handle it all. Why’s that an issue?

Because it is directly affecting you. You and everyone else. Ignoring choices, or being afraid of them, is not a good idea. It has never been a good idea nor will it ever be so. Choosing to look for safety in collectives offering to make your decisions for you, without questioning them – well, it’s what has got us in to so much serious bullshit as a human race.

Embarrassing things. Dangerous stuff. The opposite – reflecting, questioning, looking inside yourself and figuring out that making choices is what we do, it’s natural and the more we accept that bad ones are made sometimes, the less really fucked up ones we’ll make.

 

Don’t hate the group though, and do that love thing much more

The solution to this giant piece of bullshit is to use that brain we’ve all been given. Groups are nice and fun and necessary, in societies, in families, in work and friendships – there’s no need to dismiss them and they aren’t all bad.

Allowing the group to cross all lines and start making excuses to your way of thinking, to your choices as an individual is a giant turd of a problem – don’t do that. It has pretty dramatic consequences for people other than yourself, both short-term and long-term.

Instead, how about starting to acknowledge choices, all of them? Have a look at what you yourself do, think and feel and understand that those are the result of various levels of decision-making based on the choices you have emphasized.

Everything is negotiable, and it’s not going to lead to a collective breakdown. That’s what happens when ignorance catches the decision-making, delusioning (it’s a word now) its way to make you believe it.

Life’s really that simple, don’t let assholes complicate it.

Are you going to make some fabulous choices today?

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