Yet another in a series of posts on the notion of ambiguity. Last time I talked about the fact that navigating ambiguity is really a matter of maturity of our ability to think critically and solve problems.
On the other hand, when we lack that confidence, we only want to face easy problems. For anything that requires real thinking and independent reasoning, we prefer to have someone tell us what it is we’re supposed to think.
I see it nearly every day in people I talk to. Have any discussion of politics, and you’ll immediately hear people spouting the “party line” and the propaganda from whatever brand of faux news they listen to. Challenge them a little – ask some hard questions – and most folks start to splutter and spit. They don’t feel confident in their ability to arrive at an independent opinion – they need their opinion shaped for them.
We all complain about how polarized our country has become over the past 30 years, with everyone becoming more extreme. In my opinion, that’s 100% a result of the kind of “news” programming people watch on TV or listen to on the radio. They plug themselves into a propaganda machine, and drink the Koolaid. I believe that if we all shut the media off and refused to allow ourselves to be the sheep they want, we’d find that we’re not nearly as polarized as we’re led to believe.
Give it a test drive. For 90 days, refuse to consume any “news” or opinion programming on radio or TV. Refuse to read the OpEd page. Just talk to people, and discuss what’s going on. Talk to people with new and different opinions than your own. After 90 days, I give you a money-back guarantee that you’ll find you are far less in lockstep with whatever brand of propaganda you consumed before.
Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author.