For those of you who haven’t heard, our Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology Kickstarter funded! Yay! I thought for the next few posts I would (as with my last post) again deviate from my regular posts on my Cosmothea Blended-Genre RPG or Cosmoverse Campaign Setting (I have been eating, breathing and sleeping Cosmothea the whole month of January, so a tiny break here, if you would be so kind), and touch on some other topics before digging back into the roleplaying goodies! Fair enough? No promise on the exact number of posts for this topic, and I admit upfront that I am currently too busy to edit this thing to the degree I probably should (so it might be a tad rambly or repetitive, though I hope not), but I still think it’s worth reading. Have a little faith in me and I hope by the end you’ll agree it was worth reading as well! Here goes…
Part 1: You are special! What a cliche! And yet, how true it is! Being special and doing something special are two very different things! Life is full of opportunities. Every day is filled with decisions, and sometimes losing is winning. Life’s funny that way! How we respond to our situations can usually make all the difference in the world. Life is a gift and sometimes working your tail off is the most important thing we should be doing, while at other times we really just need to take a nap or sit on the couch with a loved one and spend some time doing nothing together.
From my experience and my perspective, most of the world is fairly clueless about what’s really important in life and about what true success is. You only have to look at the divorce rate, crime and other societal ills to see that society has a pretty bent view on reality. We are part of society, of course, but it’s extremely easy and common to get sucked into societal ideals (mob mentality) and make poor choices or simply become unproductive or be less than what we could be. We start to believe nonsense when we hear it enough.
I recall witnessing a room full of people being told that brown-eyed people are less intelligent than blue eyed people, then later they were told the truth was blue-eyed people were less intelligent. They covered the gamut of eye colors. It was all very silly, but an interesting social experiment that made everyone in the room look really dumb. I’ve seen similar social experiments done in classrooms. The whole thing was an exercise in showing how quick we can be to believe something that isn’t true and jump on the bandwagon and act upon such nonsense, but I’ve seen it in other arenas as well.
Someone considered an expert in their field makes a claim and because they are an expert, others assume they are correct and then others who are not experts assume they are correct because, well, “those guys are experts,” and pretty soon people believe the nonsense just because, “Well everyone believes it, so it must be true,” and other nonsense. I see it happening all the time.
We need to make sure we are not zombies, but it’s Ok to read about zombies! Ever read a critic’s review of a movie, then see it for yourself and enjoy it less? Or ever see a movie you thought was great, and then hear a friend talk about it and soon find yourself liking the movie less? The movie didn’t change, just your opinion of it did. Now, sometimes what we hear is correct, but we need to make sure that we aren’t changing borrowing someone else’s belief systems or concepts without thinking more deeply about it. If you enjoyed the movie, you enjoyed the movie. Who cares what anyone else thought about it?
Sometimes we need to trust what the majority says. If a bunch of doctors or scientists say taking a certain pill will kill you, I’m not likely to take that pill. But we need to be discerning as well. We can’t be experts on everything, so we do need to trust others, but we also need to make sure we’re thinking for ourselves too! Sounds obvious, but I see the opposite happening more often than not, which is what compelled me to make this post in the first place.
But back to being special… I’ve found that as I shift my focus inward, I make more mistakes, not because I’m an idiot, but because I’m limited my ability to see the bigger picture and use all of the tools at my disposal. I’m not perfect, after all, so why rely solely on myself? Don’t hamstring yourself this week. Don’t believe everything you hear or read (including this post), and don’t be a zombie! I hope you return for Part 2 later this week!