The most disappointing aspect of Brexit and Trump’s presidency is that it has highlighted that the public has been misled when making important decisions. This is not because we are not educated enough, nor is it because of subliminal messaging or the Russians. It is because of the process of GroupThink, which is causing us to be incapable of thinking independently.
Our Current Education System
Currently, the person with book smarts is the person who is going to succeed in life. This is because the current education system only accepts one type of thinking. The gifted bassist, the talented painter, the natural public speaker, will unfortunately become another accountant, another annoying salesman, or another unfulfilled bus driver. Non-academic skills are ignored and as a result of society thinking there is only one type of intelligence, children then come out of school thinking they’re stupid because they are not good at math or English. And on the other end of the scale and possibly more dangerously, you have the rich children who have had academic learning forced into them, come out of school thinking they are really intelligent because they did well in their exams. Society then tells them that because they got high results, they have to become doctors, bankers and lawyers. This then creates the doctors who don’t care, the greedy bankers, and the non-ethical lawyers.
Stuck in the Middle
And then what about the people in the middle? It is clear that Western society emphasises a lifestyle where everyone should be different. You’ll see ‘Be yourself’ or ‘You are special’ plastered on play centres and school walls and while this is great, the problem is that humans are being taught to think one way: Be different. but unfortunately, there are a limited number of ways to be different. This has introduced two types of people on social media: the hipster, and the person who hates the hipster. On Instagram for example, people are being constantly judged to portray themselves in a certain way. They need to put up a picture when they are abroad, when they are with friends or when they are doing any form of ‘living in their own unique way’. They are then rewarded with likes. “I got x amount of likes so people think I am ‘living in my own unique way’”. But if everyone is trying to be different, then everybody is the same. The hipster fallacy. And the same then applies to the person who tries to judge the hipster. They are so concerned with not being identified as a hipster, blind to the fact they too are just trying to be different. These people then argue against each other to prove that their way of living is the right way of living, while the wealthy live their lives of privilege, and the poor suffer in silence. We are becoming robots who are being deceived by our concept of what being different means.
This societal impact is so camouflaged that we are unable to think outside of the box. This then exposes us to be easily influenced by ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘Get Brexit Done’ without question.
So What’s the Solution?
Well firstly, start calling people out on emphasising the importance of academic intelligence. This can be achieved through money and resources, so it is giving the wealthy an unfair advantage. For teachers and parents reading this, try to cultivate the alternative forms of intelligence that your students and children have. It is more important that you have a child who is passionate about something with average grades than one who has high grades and no idea what he or she wants to do. Promote their potential and this will prevent their future problems. And finally, for the people in the middle. The only way to stop society determining your actions is to stop allowing society to judge you. Do what YOU want to do, admit when you’re not educated on something and stop other peoples’ irrelevant judgments influence your behaviour. Go to Thailand because you love Thai food, not because everyone else goes. Don’t spend time with your friends because you would look good on an album cover together. Spend time with your friends because they make you feel good. And finally, this is not political campaigning to vote left. It is just campaigning to make an informed decision. Vote for Trump not because Fox tells you to or because you hate democrats. Vote because you have read, understood and critiqued his policies. You don’t need to follow the crowd and you don’t need to be different. You just need to be fulfilled.
The Motus Movement.