Responsibility and Critical Thinking

I’m going to start off with an apology. So here it is: Apologies that this one is going to be a little bit ranty.

That’s it, the only apology you are going to get.

So what’s got my goat? In plain and simple terms, People not taking responsibility for their actions. Here’s an example, I’m a bit of a chunky monkey and I’m aware of it, who is to blame?

*sees a hand raise in the back*
“Society”

Society you say? No, go sit down and get yourself a cup of tea. The answer on this one is “Me” I need to get back off my arse and exercise some more. This is me, taking responsibility for my actions and their outcome.

But you know I didn’t come here to talk about my chunky backside, although if you want I’ll happily write another blog post about it. I’m here about responsibility, cause and effect, and the ability to THINK for yourself.

The last few weeks have seen some very interesting events in terms of Brexit and Trump, two events I thought wouldn’t actually happen but it woke me up to a number of things. Firstly, I didn’t vote in the referendum, I was ironically in Europe on holiday at the time of the referendum. I did apply for my postal vote but when they did *finally* arrive I didn’t send them off in time. My responsibility to sort it, I didn’t so I tend to shut the hell up about the result and try to make the best of it. Our household was on opposite sides so our votes cancelled each other out which makes me feel better but it’s still not an excuse. So my responsibility on this front is to assist the process that goes forward.

Both Brexit and Trump are tied in with the current Facebook Fake News Fiasco. The amount of misleading, tripe I saw from both sides in both events is shocking. However it also highlighted something of the human condition to me. I’m one of those really annoying people who love picking at the why of something, drives the better half crazy, it also ties in with every political/D&D alignment test I take, I always get stuck straight in the middle. I realised that I take this “ability” to being an annoying nitpicking git for granted and actually the “tripe” people were sharing without fact checking was just a reinforcement of their own views.

People want to read things that reinforce their understanding of a topic and hate to hear otherwise. We’re a tribal race when you get down to it and it’s something that permeates through our societies. We form political parties, we support sporting teams, we align ourselves with those of a similar world view. If there’s a club for something that we do we want to join it, it’s our nature.

I’d like to think however we can build on that instinct rather than secrete ourselves into our own little echoboxes. Both Trump and Brexit was about the loudest shouters with neither side truly engaging the other.

What am I saying?

Learn to treat everything you read with a critical eye, even this piece. Everyone has an agenda even if you try your utmost to keep something free of Bias. Ask yourself, who wrote it? why did they write it? where does this person normally stand.

I’m not saying either side is good or evil, I’m saying view each point from the direction which it came and it’s opposition. Think for YOURSELF, don’t accept face value, ask yourself WHY!

Author: Jon

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