In the beginning of Jonathan Black’s book “The Secret History of the World”, he attempts to persuade us to alter the way in which we perceive established concepts of our reality. I believe this is vital in trying to understand the nature of our lives in context today and to clearly see the truth. In other words, what we see, feel and think is not necessarily the truth of our reality but what we are manipulated into seeing, feeling, believing or even experiencing. Much like the job of the fictional character Don Draper in the award-winning series “Mad Men”, we are sold everything that we could possibly desire. And in a world where we generally expect to have our desires met quickly, acceptance of what we are sold occurs virtually without question. We rarely care how we get something or where it comes from so long as the manipulated desires are met. In order to see the truth and gain a better understanding of ourselves and the society in which we live, we must first gain control over ourselves and our desires. We must alter our perception of how we’ve been trained to think. It is truly amazing how we have been conditioned especially over the past several decades. We no longer interact with one another to the degree we once did. Instead we text, email, tweet and use so many other forms of social media which has, to a great degree, curtailed our social interaction skills with one another. Our ability to formulate thoughtful, coherent conversations and communications have been replaced with text speak such as lol, btw, ty, brb, emoticons as well as others.
We are conditioned to monitor our credit scores instead of our academic and intellectual development. Iphones and Ipads are must haves even to the point of stealing these devices from others. One is looked down upon or easily dismissed without the proper car, home or job. Our looks, possessions and status has taken center stage over our basic needs and requirements.
Now it cannot be denied that some technologies have improved our lives and our ability to communicate with one another over great distances. Some have actually been beneficial in relating news and other concerns to those with limited access. But what of those who now text or email one other within close proximity or even within the same residence? Our youth are now conditioned to spend more time inside doing as little as possible instead of interacting with each other, developing necessary social skills that re-enforce respect for different ideas, cultures and backgrounds. Even the education that is received today seems to be important only in the context of which institution it is obtained from.
Changing ones thoughts, beliefs and subsequent actions is never an easy task especially in the face of overwhelming influences to the contrary. However, in order to see reality, to comprehend the truth, we must overcome the false perceptions that we have been trained to accept. Only then can we begin to challenge the false reality that has been instilled within us and proceed to truly change the world for the better.