I can't begin to describe how many ways the average person is manipulated EVERY day of their lives... and how unaware of it they are. It's like they have their heads buried in the sand.. only guess what... many people have this image of an ostrich sticking it's head in the sand... I mean, you see that in cartoons right? Well, they don't actually do that. Ever. But I promise, some people believe they do because of what they've seen and heard.
I can't begin to list these things... but I will anyway.
This is something I've known for a long time and am passionate about but, nobody wants to listen... because, people just follow the norm. They do what people do. People are sheep. The bible was written thousands of years ago and humans were referred to as sheep even back then. why? Because of a natural tendency to trust and follow. This natural tendency has its benefits at times... I mean, you might want your children to follow you to safety in an emergency. If you think hard enough, you could probably think of some areas where such a natural trait is a good thing...
But sadly... our world is filled with lies, greed, evil, etc... LOTS of things are there to lead us astray. If the government(or any other "power" out there) wants you to think or act a certain way... they literally have ways of manipulating that. TV commercials as well when it comes to simple things like products.
Anyway... just now I was reading about the "weapons of mass destruction" that were such a big deal not so long ago.
During the invasion into Iraq... before American troops even got into Baghdad... it was reported that chemicals were found in a river that could ONLY be present if such weapons existed there. This was on every news channel... for ONE day... then, the story disappeared. This was EARLY in the invasion.
After that... month after month... it was reported that NO weapons were found. I know some liberals that would use that as an attacking point against George Bush years after he was even out of office. These bits of info and mis-info are USED to manipulate people. The government literally tricked millions upon millions of Americans into thinking that there were no weapons there... And people bought it. They used that info to call Bush an idiot... and say that the war in Iraq was a waste of time and a failure.
I'm not going to debate that with you right now but I need to point out... those weapons were there the WHOLE time and our government knew about it the WHOLE time. Why lie and mislead? They have their reasons and their reason is to manipulate YOU. Seriously.
Just the other month they reported that weapons were recently found in Iraq... now the story is... they were round in 2003... not only that but... in 2005 we started buying the weapons(wait, we had to buy them???) so that we could get rid of them. I'm a little confused as to how we could drop soldiers into the country, shoot at whatever we want, take out a dictator, etc... but when we find weapons that are illegal(in a world-wide sense), we have to purchase them? Eh...
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/world ... .html?_r=0
So, you've been had. The government duped you. And now that it's years later and you're finding out... very few(if any) will complain about it. Why? Complacency...
I wonder how many years they'll wait before we know more details about obama... hmmmmm
Here are some more ways in which you've been manipulated...
"that smells clean..." Ever say that? Or hear someone say that? What they're describing is no actually "clean" but a chemical smell left over from detergents and soaps. They do not actually "smell clean." They don't. But, the commercials show an overly emphatic person smelling some laundry with a big goofy grin on their face... ahhhh...... fresh... and, we buy into it.
MANY of such chemically smells, I don't like. Tide for instance... clothes washed in Tide smell gross to me. GROSS.
And don't get me started on deodorants... (too late, you did...) :p
I don't use anti-antiperspirants because of the aluminum in them... Something that stops you from sweating is not good for you... trust me on that...
But... that's another story.
There are few deodorant only sticks out there... for women, there's VERY few... not sure why that is. Women are more picky about whether they sweat or not maybe?
So, when I go to the store looking for deodorant, I smell each one. What I've found is that the majority of them(with all their fancy names like "island breeze" or what have you) have the same base smell... and, it smells like shaving cream. They all smell sort of the same and it's a smell I do not like.
But... people have been tricked into thinking it smells good. Even our senses can be fooled.
I remember when I was a kid, people joked about the smell of "ben gay", a muscle rub. All these years later, all grown up... and I've found my mother is one of the people that has a pre-conceived notion about that smell. To her, it smells like old people... I do not understand that. Muscle rub smells of wintergreen and I have ALWAYS LOVED wintergreen... Love it. And you know, I'm getting older and sometimes use muscle rub... and when I do... it smells SO good. My wife and kids will even start purposely sniffing when I have some on.
But somehow, some people choose not to like the smell because it is associated with something.
We associate so many things in both positive and negative, yet meaningless ways. Some time ago, Michael Jordan had a weird little mustache that was reminiscent of the one hitler wore. Because of ONE man... one evil man quite a few years ago... that style of facial hair is taboo... if you were to shave your face in such a way, people would literally question you and wonder if you were a nazi or something. Seriously.
Some things cannot be done because of their associations... I mean... a mustache is a mustache. It's hair. It speaks nothing of the soul or character.
People are also manipulated by what's "cool" or "in." How many people do the "fist bump" today? I still don't get it... and, have no intention to bump fists with someone. That is a social norm that was placed into our society... when someone famous on tv does something, it instantly becomes something to take note of and too often, imitate. Styles of clothes... hair... what music is popular? Just watch tv or ask your friends... they'll TELL you.
How many people have chosen to watch a movie (or not watch) based on popular opinion? Some movies that were popular... I hated... some that got bad reviews... I loved.
Speaking of movies... they dictate how people feel about certain things... like romance. TV manipulates you... you can deny it if you want, but it's true...
I don't know how many women I've known that have LOVED the movie "titanic" and raved about how "romantic" it was.
I'm going to be blunt here... that was a horrible movie and the notion that it was romantic is a load of poop.
The movie is about an affair... yes, an affair. Cheating. Yes, that's romantic. Oh, but the guy she was going to marry wasn't a good guy or... whatever. The fact is, it was an affair no matter how you look at it.
More than that... like our everyday tv shows these days... it was about lust, not love. The idea of "falling in love" quickly is nonsense. Those feelings are hormones in your body... that begin with lust and desire. Love is not something you feel... it's something you do. That's another story though.
But in this movie... these two people meet... and the very first day they've met, they fall in love and have sex.
How do you fall in love with someone you don't know? How do you get to know someone in less than a day? Please, think about this. Why? Because this idea of having sex after just meeting someone, or falling in love that quickly is becoming something that we too often apply to our own REAL lives and it has real consequences. The burning desire you might have when you meet someone the first day is anything but love. But our society is accepting and teaching that we have every right to fulfill those desires.
Speaking of rights... another point of manipulation... this one is part political and part sexist...
abortion. I'm not here to debate this one with you. You wont change my mind on the issue of abortion. What I want to point out is something that, sadly, only those that already are against abortion will honestly hear and understand. I wish I knew how to reach those that are "pro choice" in such a way they could hear and believe these words.
People pushing to allow abortions(even encourage them) USE words to manipulate. The key word is obviously "choice."
We live in a society of self... where, everything is about us... how it applies to us... how it affects us... how do we feel about it? me me me...
so, manipulating people using a "choice" is EASY...
They prevent people from even being capable of thinking about whether or not that "fetus" is a living being or not... by using that choice. They TELL women "hey, it's YOUR body..." and we already believe today that NOBODY can tell us what to do. Hey, I know that feeling. My second semester at JBU I was told what classes I had to take... I defied them and took only classes that sounded tolerable. We all want to do what WE WANT to do. That is human nature. So, it's not difficult to get some people to believe that abortion is all about them and their wants and needs. Once you get focused on YOU, it's difficult to see anything else. So, even though I don't get it... it should not be surprising that SO many people still cannot see a developing baby as a growing and living human being. It's very sad that this happens but our sheep like character is what helps it happen.
People need to think for themselves. Sadly, many do not and are not aware of it.
Go do a search on "independent thinker". You'll find that MOST people are not... Many of you reading this will tell yourselves that you're not one of those that follow... Do the research... look at the numbers. MOST of you are... most of you are sheep.
Wait... you? Yes you. Insulted? offended? It would hurt to think of yourself in that way right?
I have known people that have taken on styles(clothing, hair, etc...) that were VERY different from society's norms. They would TELL me that their choices were their own... they didn't do these things to "fit in" but ONLY because it was who they were and what they wanted to do.
EVERY single person that I have met that was like this... if you looked around at their friends... they ALL did the same things, wore the same things, listened to the same music... etc. Some people, like these, are aware that people are sheep... and in an effort to now be like the crowd... they find themselves following another crowd... but, they're STILL following.
Back to the bible... As I mentioned earlier... the bible calls people "sheep." Again, this is simply human nature.
It is something you can resist if you choose to but it's not easy to fight human nature. It takes a LOT of effort. Should you fight it?
That totally depends on where the flock is leading you... or, who your shepherd is.
If you focus not on trying not to follow... but on following the right things and people in life... you'll be okay. You also have to study and learn how to discern truths and lies. Our "digital age" makes it even more difficult for people to figure that stuff out.
I could go on with all of this. We're manipulated every single day... it's all around us... it's often subtle and because it's so common, it does not even appear to be something we'd call manipulation. How many things in your life did you chase after because they were THE things to do... only to look back at them now and wonder what you were thinking? Hair styles? short lived popular bands or songs? bell-bottoms? The list goes on and on. Your thinking changes as society's thinking changes. That is the nature of sheep...
Many of these things are harmless... you want to go buy 200 beanie babies because it's THE thing to do? that's okay... but, other things can be more serious. How the media and the government shape what we believe IS quite important. Seek truth... always.
How about global warming? You have STRONG opinions on that one? What if I told you both sides of the debate were wrong?
Oh I could write so much about this. It is easy for me because I have always been different. I have tried following at times... in 7th grade I found myself being taught how to fit in... some nice classmate told explained how my clothes and how I wore them were wrong. I had people teach me what kind of music I should listen to. I had to have people teach me these things because I did not automatically know how to fit in. After the last half of middle school... and then my high school years... I gave up that pursuit. It was never real. It was not me.
I genuinely question more things than the average person. I am not so much of a follower... it's something I am sometimes proud of... but, it can be a blessing and a curse at times. Because I don't comply and go with the flow... I question the norm OFTEN... And many of you... yes, all of you, follow the norm. So, when I question the norm... some people find me questioning them... which, steps on toes and offends at times.
I find myself split in how I feel sometimes. I am SO proud to not be a follower... to try and live my life the way I see best and not how the world tells me... I try really hard to do what is right... but at the same time, it can be lonely. When friends and family cannot accept choices you make or beliefs you have because it's simply not what is done... it can leave you feeling alone... As far back as 6th grade I knew I was different in some way... and I'd look at other people and wish I was like them. To this day, I still think about that. I look around and am glad I'm not like everyone else... but, everyone else seems to get by in life easier than I do and then I find myself wishing I was like them.
By nature, I am not and will never be like the majority of people... and that's okay.
In case anyone reads this far. Following is not always bad... as long as you're following the right people and ideas.
I choose to do my best to follow Jesus. I fail sometimes... but, it is my desire and my goal...
Who is your shepherd? Who is leading you?
I pray that nobody will be offended by any of this... and that people will consider it. I encourage you to seek truth... not feelings, not ideas, not political or religious affiliations... not what your friends and family teach... not what the tv teaches... but actual truth.
The truth is out there but far too many are satisfied with what is presented them.
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