Sheeple think they’ve got it all figured out. They overestimate the power of their fragile, understimulated minds, and it’s no wonder sheeple allow emotions to guide their decision making. Why trek the frightening tundra of consciousness when you can permit your mind to freeze over, forfeiting any self-discovery, forfeiting any chance at a rational mind? Instead of going within, sheeple welcome their psychological programming. They shed the burden of courage and introspection. The light waves penetrating their pupils and the audio waves assaulting their ears instruct them on what to think, what to say, and what to do. The media encodes useless opinions into their brains and convinces them that the opinions are their own. Sheeple are predictable. Their response to stimuli is akin to an animal. The media pounded its cacophonous sermon into their heads, and the deplorable sheeple cried, “Amen.” The unholy tenets consist of decorating your body and possessions to feel “unique,” distancing yourself from the ones who suffer to feel “safe,” and selling your soul to feel “approved of.” Modern civilization prepares sheeple for the completion of the dehumanized hive. Why else are they systematically reduced to fumbling, instinctual animals? Why else is the feminine, docile man promoted and the rebellious, self-sufficient man under attack? The wealthiest among us judge us by how committed we are in serving the wealthy. Sheeple serve their tyrants and call it an extraordinary privilege.
If we truly want to connect with others, let’s do without networking. This term is irreversibly damaged. It’s spoiled at its core, and it’s designed to be abused. No matter how compassionate we want to be, with networking, there will always be an agenda. Authentic conversations aren’t possible when our personal ambitions aren’t the furthest topic from our minds. Our insecurities, our salesmanship, and our desire to impress need to be squashed in favor of complete focus on the person in front of us and what we have to offer others. Compassionate speech and reciprocation must drive authentic conversation. Networking, in contrast, cheapens our conversation. We mar true communication by this aggressive drive to improve oneself, which of course, is concealed by a smile and a firm handshake. Similar to meditation, if we approach socializing with the mindset of getting something, we’ve already miscalculated and created situations ripe for disappointment. Let’s communicate without an agenda. Let’s be at ease. Without our ambitions gnawing at our consciousness, we’re free to give ourselves completely to others, and there’s plenty of individuals that do need our help.
The poor and middle class need opportunity, not a patronizing crutch to rely on. They don’t need an overprotective nanny, and definitely not a societal shunning. Yet this is what both sides of the political spectrum give. As usual, partisan politics exacerbates the problem. The left appears to treat the symptoms of what ails the poor and middle class—underemployment and unemployment. The left wants to give these downtrodden individuals something that’s been depreciating in value since the removal of the gold standard—money. Unsurprisingly, the right’s motives are equally dubious. The right wants to abandon their fellow downtrodden citizens as if they’re coyotes left to fend for themselves in cities and towns that cannot provide honest work for everyone. If the downtrodden people were an infected limb, the left would dispense pain medication, and the right would indiscriminately snip chunks of flesh. Taking the analogy further, the right may even want to completely sever the infected limb. Even if the right were to commit such an atrocious act as to murder the poor and middle class, the infection will remain. A new poor and middle class will emerge after the harrowing elimination. This new vulnerable subset of society will fulfill the role of the old exploited classes, the proletariat. The vulnerable classes have little control. The poor and middle class did not set the economic systems in place. The poor and middle class have no authority over the guided or misguided fluctuations that constitute the global economy. In other words, the lower classes are not the source of the economic infection.
I can acknowledge my faults. I’ve made claims without the support of thorough and meticulous research. Thank God for libraries but unfortunately, knowledge monopolists stow away our researchers’ work for profit. Databases, such as JSTOR, guard these bits of information as if they’re weapons, as if they can degrade truth itself and reduce it to a commodity. By examining my own writing with an unbiased, critical eye, I’ve discovered that, in the age of hyperbole and moral disintegration, truth seeking presents a daunting challenge. This is why we each have our own path. You cannot take my word as unadulterated, absolute truth, and I cannot believe your every word unquestioningly, without analysis, without inspection, without suspicion, and without deliberation. We must leave our minds as open as our lungs are to the air. We’re all grappling with incomplete information and we cannot, while we sleep, register every bit of existing knowledge in our neural database. However, hubris, like a reassuring whisper, tells us otherwise. Hubris is a conniving, deceiving phenomenon.
Those of us who advocate for a less invasive, less authoritarian government presumably want to preserve democracy. If that’s the case, their reasoning is sound. They laudably want to resist a government that slips into an explosive tyranny. However, I believe they overestimate the power of government as it appears to lay prostrate to the whims of big business. In case we haven’t deprogrammed ourselves from our hypernationalism, it’s fair to say that we’re subjected to an inverted totalitarian government. This means our tyranny has no face, no creed, no color, not even a pulse. The only images representing our despot are the logos branded onto our clothes, cars, food packaging, gas stations, and credit cards. Corporations rule. Do we really believe that we hold equal political sway as a banking firm that submits bills to Congress? Is our participation in the democratic process illusory when monied interests capture the attention of legislators, and are we duped by the occasional display of decency as corporations and their associates, government officials, say they respect our rights, rights which we hold self-evident? Government and big business act as though they seek all pervasive and indefinite control. Expanding power and influence for the wealthy, not protecting the welfare of the people, too often guides policy making.
When making a purchase, we’re declaring the worth of the company responsible for the sale – let’s not overlook the magnitude of this. The American public’s choice of Walmart over their local stores illustrates this perfectly. We not only allowed, but indirectly encouraged our small businesses to wither away and die off. These are entities that tend to care about the local community, but the American public voted with their dollars, and the gloom of cheap prices, cheap labor, and cheap quality products came roaring to the forefront. We sought cheaper prices, but what we really wanted was to fulfill a vision of a community that upholds family values, not a dehumanized labor market. Make no mistake, we’re not entirely innocent. We fed this pillaging retail monster with our unconscionable and reckless spending. Companies like this retail giant cannot dominate the market without us, and as long as we stay ignorant of their nefarious dealings and their wicked agendas and stay spiritually broken, we’re easily fooled by their false promises.
Spending power has nothing to do with success. Reducing ourselves to commodities marks our complete failure. There’s nothing more irrelevant to success than accumulating the most matter, because winners aren’t confined to an economic system. Winners aren’t defined by how much gold or silver they’re able to hoard. Winners aren’t defined by how many assets make up their wealth portfolio. Currency simply isn’t an accurate unit of measurement when determining success. However, we must define success before we declare its attributes. Success, instead of procuring the most matter, is good action, good as in simultaneously beneficial to oneself and to the rest of humankind. Greed and licentious self-indulgence may be temporarily beneficial to oneself, but it corrupts society. The path to success can only be followed in a noble fashion; for this reason alone, Jesus didn’t need material wealth, power, and money in order to achieve success. Similarly, Mother Nature, doesn’t need to force us to respect her. Nature automatically commands our respect for such an intricate, life-sustaining design. Exploiting us for material gain or belittling us based on our net worth is the hallmark of failure, not of nature’s successes. Our spending power defines how much money we have, not the brilliance of our wit nor the purity of our moral consciousness.
People aren’t idols. Our legends, which usually aren’t remotely close to reality, remind us that people are not idols. When we haven’t had direct experience with people in the flesh, all of our knowledge about them arrived to us by proxy, thus any incoming indirect information is vulnerable to manipulation. However, our own perception may beguile us. As with many dysfunctional families, we can spend an exorbitant amount of time with people and never know what images or thoughts stir, rattle, and occupy their minds. Let’s keep in mind this lack of experiential knowledge and the limitations of language when we presuppose someone is pure evil or incorrigibly flawed. More importantly, let’s challenge our idea that someone might be immaculately good. Icons fawned over by the media aren’t worth the deification they receive. This blind praise of false messiahs not only has roots in ignorance but in lack of self-understanding, and I’d venture to say that those who lack self-awareness are the ones who smack their lips about our “heroes” and our “villains” who dominate the world’s headlines.