Gift of the Millennials: a Healthy Skepticism
Gift of the Millennials: a Healthy Skepticism
By Michael Emero / filmsforaction.org
Apr 15, 2016
Have you heard this thing going around, saying there's been some sort of shift in humanity? Some have even named it, calling it "The Awakening". But I never take anyone at their word. I'll accept the given information as a placeholder, perhaps a good theory, but until I get the actual proof, I maintain a healthy skepticism. I remember it, but don't adopt it as fact until tested or verified. No assumptions. Really, this is the only rational way to have true free will in our current society- with all the thousands of insincere, biased, ignorant, increasingly insistent voices bombarding us. The sponsored, conflicting, unavoidable messages and claims permeate our brains everyday, so you've got to have a pretty defensive filter system not to become completely overwhelmed and misguided.
 
Think about a scientist. He doesn't just immediately believe and repeat as fact something a colleague announces, even if he knows and respects them a great deal. Even if it sounds plausible, even if it fits right in with his own existing views. A scientist makes sure, verifying data and checking sources to ensure that his word, his worth as a scientist, his reality, his pattern of thinking- the essence of who he is- isn't in the hands of anyone else. Someone that could unintentionally (or intentionally) misinform and mislead. A good scientist makes an effort to ensure his opinions are firmly separated from his beliefs; his possibilities clearly distanced from his certainties. So that his truth, his mental worldview remains as accurate and meaningful as possible, to be as effective as possible.
 
Why? Because scientists in general have two goals. One is to essentially discover the limits of verifiable truth, by whatever means we can think up to create or explore, and then use what we learned to build on and go further- and so on and so on. Electricity. Radio. Television. Computers. Space shuttles. Getting to the real answers is what asks the next set of questions. That's the engine of progress, be it scientific progress powering a civilization, or individual progress powering your life. The other goal is to make damn sure they only report the truth, because their career, livelihood and credibility both individually and as a community is based on producing hard facts that stand up to welcome peer review and public scrutiny.
 
Clarifying your thought processes this same way is the key to intellect, wisdom, overcoming your personal roadblocks, and defeating confusing lifelong negative patterns single-handedly. Many "surf" through life without having developed their discernment abilities or even realizing how important it is, floating along the currents of perceived peer and populace opinion, culture, and situational expectation. They trade opinions, biases and misinformation like a card game, unable or unwilling to impartially verify a factual foundation for their views. Increasingly, many among us are drowning in that white noise. For many nothing makes sense any more, leaving them unable to trust themselves or anyone else, running on automatic in desperate circles to nowhere.
 
Want to learn how to detect bullshit and never be easily played again? Want to have complete self-confidence in what you say, and learn to handle your life better? I'll teach you. Just have three categories for everything in your head: what I currently believe to be true; what I currently do not believe to be true; what I currently do not have enough information to say either way. Do your best to remain impartial, to hold yourself accountable, and to give yourself regular daily down time to reflect, process, and fairly reach those conclusions. There's no rush, and if new evidence arises, verify and adjust accordingly. This is truthful acceptance. When we consciously establish what our own beliefs are, and base them on fact, we cut through the bullshit inside and out. If something can't stand up to scrutiny, we are looking for it, we see it, we are not fooled, and we can learn from that too. If we don't bother to check, we are willfully blind, and become easily led fools. It's as simple as that.
 
But here's the key ingredient, the first step that makes all truth possible- internal truth. We know acceptance and truth when we admit to ourselves without judgement or conclusion where we've been, what we are, what we've done, who we've hurt, where our scars are from, who we never got to be, what we pretended, why, and how we're going build on that to plan a better tomorrow. No pretense, no excuses, no guilt, no shame, no remorse. Only facts to fight the future with. Just own it. The ultimate coming out. No more excuses, no more lies, no more willful ignorance, convenient answers or easy avoidance. Preach the truth, and practice what you preach. Face yourself, study it, accept it. We never learn from the lessons we don't face. We never grow from the battles we shy away from. We never live up to our potential if we spend our time trying to convince ourselves and others of what we wish we were, making us too busy holding ourselves back to ever actually go find out. We are all admittedly ignorant, imperfect, and damaged, but we are all those things together equally as one species. If you say you can accept someone else who struggles, lead by example and accept yourself first. Combat inflated ego and negative self talk alike; biased, inaccurate self-beliefs skew personal reality, severely handicapping effective external discernment and interactions. Or in other words- it's tough to smell someone else's B.S. while you're manufacturing and eating your own.
 
Having a core of truth is being free. It is the ultimate act of self respect. It is the easiest path to complete self-accountability. It allows for graceful adoption of new ideas and humble acceptance of correction, internally and externally, because the ego doesn't have to come before reality. For rational progress, our goal should be to act only on accurate awareness and current understanding of reality, not just someone's version of it that might not be to our benefit. Accountability and acceptance of provable truth are essential positive tools for humanity- individually, nationally, and globally. So would you agree that for sake of our mental health, government, environment, and collective futures it might just be time to raise the bar in our worldwide society, expecting and demanding intelligent honesty, respect and substance, starting with ourselves and ending with our leaders? Do you think just maybe, widespread recognition in the wisdom of acceptance, universal healthy skepticism, respect won and lost based on provable merit, and intolerance for divisive false narratives might not be such a terribly bad thing in our current globally interconnect human collective?
 
Welcome to The Awakening.
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Gift of the Millennials: a Healthy Skepticism