We live in a time when all inclusive statements have some how become what we are letting into our thoughts. Words like ‘all’, ‘everyone’, ‘every’, ‘never’, and ‘forever’. Statements made including these words are nothing but generalizations and are dangerous. They encourage us to believe and support without any examination of the facts or details. When we allow generalizations to stifle our ability to think for ourselves we have in essence given up our freedom of thought.
We are not a very old country in comparison to others around the globe. We are not even three hundred years old. Yet as a country we have become the embodiment of enterprise, free will, making dreams come true, and freedom of speech. This rag tag combination of immigrants, exiles, natives have built an incredible place where everyone is free to speak and think what they want, as long as they respect everyone else’s freedom to listen, shout arguments or simply walk away. This freedom of the individual to do as they please also bites us in the fanny.
Living a life of freedom where hard work and ingenuity create prosperity somehow also bleeds into people thinking that what is best does not apply to them. ‘No one can tell me what to do!’ Leaks into our choices, our attitudes and our ability to all agree on anything. What is great for one group may hinder another, so how is progress and success truly defined if not at the individual level? Which winds us back to the generalizations we hear, read and absorb on a daily basis.
A real leader is not the one that can get the masses to follow them, it is the person who listens and helps the group reach consensus as to what is best for the majority. Some people will not like it and others may benefit, while still a silent section will go unnoticed. Being the loudest, the most general and the one with the most social media postings does NOT mean this opinion is right, or the only opinion. It means this is the opinion the internet is gravitating towards, and this is a generalization which implies that what is online is right. And remember all generalizations are dangerous.
It is time to begin thinking for ourselves, filtering out what is a generalization until we are able to understand the facts and the details. Giving away our own thoughts, ideas and impressions to anyone who throws out “all” sorts of messages is the moment we forget the fight and sacrifice made so we could be free to think for ourselves.