Freebirds Stories
Are we free to be stupid?

We live in a world where every one of us has gone through different life experiences, compared to the next person. A lot of elements can be similar but it has led to each one of us having a unique worldview, a concept and an approach to life that can be observed in our conversations the most. Have we observed, that our behaviours in social settings are guided by our cognitive biases, conformity and greed, which may be very irrational and illogical reaction to factual situation. This invariably leads to conflict, but does this make us stupid? To know that we need to know how we behave. Conformity, greed and biases are all a result of our fears, deep rooted in the human brain. We have shaped our lives and behave in a way to avoid what we fear, negative outcomes. But the point is, our fear influences our world view, opinions, likes and so on. Our world-view shapes how we behave. The way we behave can have characteristics that oppose others. Our behaviour is shaped by conformity(fear of not fitting in) and authority(fear created by those in power). This results in us being tamed and socialised and conforming to status quo. Now in social settings, where we encounter people whose world view has been shaped by many different factors. This creates conflict, because we are engaging with opposing beliefs. This is what drives our stories, the opposition of behaviours in a social setting that creates engaging conflict. We are faced with a vast amount of information today, this results in various opinions and worldview being open to share. Our socialisation, conformity and/or fear can cause a majority of us to have a similar opinion about something. Even though this opinion may be a common belief, it is likely to be false and when somebody opposes common belief, there is conflict. Often at times, we as humans feel entitled to our beliefs and instead of spending energy on analysing facts and meeting facts, we would rather prove our beliefs. We give all energy in proving our beliefs right. If our beliefs are proven wrong, it would mean, everyone we know who believes the same, the authority who told us so and our actions and behaviour up until this point were wrong and flawed. This trait is deep rooted in our human brains. These traits were useful to our ancestors may be in stone age or in the African savannah. Conformity was making sure that if everybody is doing this, I won’t die doing this. Greed was a way to collect extra goods in case of unpredictable harsh events. Overthinking and fear, run instead of analysing was a way to make sure, the beasts don’t kill and eat us. If you didn’t conform in the Stone Age, you may end up doing something that will kill you. If you didn’t collect extra material to ensure survival, you may die in a harsh event, like, if there was actually a lion in the bushes and if you did not run for your life, you probably wouldn’t be alive to pass on your genes. Unfortunately, Our human brain hasn’t evolved much since then, but the environment around us has changed. Today conforming can lead to suppression of individuality and creativity. Greed can lead to obsessive behaviour which stops you from enjoying the beautiful things of life. Enforcing beliefs that may have helped us earlier, may have helped our ancestors pass on important information, but today it creates a series of negative emotions. We must be able to observe objectively, critically think and analyse what is false and what is factual. We need to let people follow their beliefs, if they want to, changing somebody’s world view is not our life purpose. This sentence is part of my world view and it may contradict many. I understand in some extreme situations you need to change beliefs so you can do what you want to, but in our everyday mundane life we do not need to influence or change people, though whole advertising, social media, politicians and so on, all are constantly influencing all of us. We all do not need to have the same opinion, diversity is the beauty of being alive. But the conflict created by enforcing of our beliefs on others, the society is tearing apart. This is why we need to critically think. Be aware of the biases we have, what is stopping you from seeing the fact. Accept that what you know can be wrong. When you are talking about a subject are you only using information that supports what you know, or are you checking different sources and analysing to come upon a solution. We seldom do the latter, because it feels like so much work and energy consuming, and we end up using more energy to prove our beliefs. Instead of thinking what you want the world to look like, accept the world the way it is and deal with it in those terms. Now you know most common information and our beliefs are not a result of well-thought out research, we just absorbed them as social trend, most of the time unconsciously. We are free not to be open to facts, free to be stuck in our beliefs, we can refuse to be open to anything, keep conforming to fit in, continue to believe what people around us think, continue to blindly follow authority and that is why, we are free to be stupid! However the problem with this is, we continue to remain stupid and human stupidity continues unabated. Let’s not believe anything, I’ve said. I have just shared the facts from human behavioural psychology and evolutionary neuroscience, but what matters is, you start critically analysing this information by researching what is right and wrong. Question, what you believe, but stop telling others what to believe. You are in no authority to tell others how to live, no one is in authority to tell someone else, how to live. PS: I would like to recommend two lovely articles I love for you to read. Article about our beliefs: https://jamesclear.com/why-facts-dont-change-minds Article about cognitive biases: https://medium.com/bigger-picture/are-you-the-biased-one-948472822192 Thank you for giving your attention to this article, I hope the insights you received, have assisted you to learn something new which shall simplify your life for better.

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