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  • Writer's pictureKen Kowach

The Echo Chamber: Five lessons so we don't all end up hating each other

Bottom Line Up Front


As difficult as times can get, here are five lessons we should learn to live with, as we learn to live with each other, and with SARS-CoV2.


1. Stay laser-focused

2. Make informed and educated decisions

3. True love is not conditional

4. Charity is important

5. Don’t be sheep (Think for yourself)

 

Echo Chamber /ˈekō ˌCHāmbər/


an environment in which a person encounters only beliefs or opinions that coincide with their own so that their existing views are reinforced and alternative ideas are not considered.

 

From what I can gather, social media has become a complete echo chamber.



As of this writing, we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as nationwide protesting, rioting, and looting, due to the travesty of what happened to George Floyd.


Watching the video of what happened was absolutely sickening. It really does make me so angry.


It’s all gotten so bad, nobody even remembers the murder hornets or who Carole Baskin even is.


As I scroll through Facebook, I read about support for those protestors, even the violent ones. I read comments such as support for the looting of big box stores such as Target.


And then all of the following comments ensue. Typically, the outcome is a bunch of comments supporting the post. If not, there might be a troll that comes along and attempts to rock the boat.


I also read about Facebook posts saying things like, if you don’t agree with me, you can unfriend me. “I don’t care when or how we met, we aren’t cool, and you can unfriend me.”

Echo chambers. Big time.


With that being said, these days, I don’t really see the point in social media. It really doesn’t make sense to me except for people to push their own agendas, which typically even aren’t original to themselves.


They’re also a platform for Facebook et al. to monetize, by leaving spaces in your news feed for Ads, which the revenue goes to those billion-dollar corporations that run these platforms.


I used to justify my online presence with reasons like sharing things relevant to my family, but that is crowded out completely with flooding of polarized perspectives and silly memes (which is about all I really like nowadays on my newsfeed).


By and far, anything that I feel is worth sharing with my family members, I am texting them directly or within a family text group.


I hate to say it, but social media, which began as a wonderful tool to bring people together, is tearing us apart.


Somehow, we are constantly becoming further and further polarized, and I don’t want to be so negative about it, but it is certainly hard to overcome my emotions.


Anyway, this post isn’t about whether I agree with the rioting or not, or pandemic lockdown or not, or police brutality or not.


Instead, I am selfishly using my own created platform to vent, quite frankly. There are some that know that I strive to not be polarized on my perspective on things, and I promise you that, I am doing my best to do that right now. Are you?


And believe me, I’d rather be fishing.


You might be asking, what is the point of this post?


Well, let’s see if there is something we can learn from all of this since I typically talk about finances, personal wellness, and self-development.


Here are five lessons we can glean from the mess that our country/the world is in.

  1. Stay laser-focused

  2. Make informed and educated decisions

  3. True love is not conditional

  4. Charity is important

  5. Don’t be sheep (Think for yourself)


 

Lesson #1: Stay laser-focused

focused lens

This is probably the most important lesson for me to remind myself, and that is why I put it first.


For any of you that want to strive to be more, achieve more, and acquire more than what you have, remember this important lesson.


Jay Papasan and Gary W. Keller wrote a book called The One Thing. There are many concepts in it, but the idea behind the book is that, in order to become highly successful, there is that one thing, for each one of us, that we need to remain very focused on, in order to become successful at it.


Robert Kiyosaki talks about it in Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He explains that diversification is not optimal. He discusses it in the context of diversification of investing, which is playing it safe, reducing risk, but also hampering serious potential gain.


The point is, there is a lot to distract us these days, and there will always be.


If there are things that we want to achieve, we need to stay laser-focused on those, especially during difficult times, when everything seems like it wants to distract us or bring us down.


Practical ways to do this, as I have discussed before of course, morning routines, commonplace books, vision boarding, goal setting, visualization.


Remember folks, thoughts are things.


 

Lesson #2: Make informed and educated decisions



Remember that your perspective of reality isn’t reality.


Because you see something doesn’t mean that it exists. Does nothing exist to a blind person? Of course not. Conversely, as you perceive, that isn’t real but is your perception of reality.


There are many perspectives of reality, but there is only one reality, which is truth.

Truth is that which affirms propositionally the nature of reality as it is.” – Ravi Zacharias

If you understand that, now realize that all decisions that you make, or anybody makes in this world, is simply guesswork. It really is.


There can never be 100% certainty of the result of decisions that we make, or actions that we take. Of course, the simpler the decision or action is, the closer to 100% the certainty would be.


But there is no such thing as 100% certainty.


So make your decisions and actions as informed as you possibly can, within reason of course.

And deciding to take inaction is a valid decision and course of action.


 

Lesson #3: True love is not conditional


Credit: Catherine Leroy

This one might seem out of leftfield, but I think it is worth mentioning, especially because I typically only see “conditional love”, which is fake love, or a feeling/emotion.


When I talk about love, I’m not talking about the feeling or the emotion.


I think of sacrifice. I think of turning the other cheek. I think of doing what needs to be done, especially when you don’t feel it.


It is easy to love those who side with us politically and hate those who oppose us.


There are plenty of liberals who hate conservatives, and very outwardly too.


There are plenty of conservatives who hate liberals, and very inwardly too.


There are groups of humans, with a particular amount of skin melanin, who harbor feelings for other groups of humans, with a different amount of skin melanin. (So weird…)


Use lesson #2 and dig deep. Self-evaluate.


Are you truly willing to help people in need, especially when they don’t look like you, or think like you?


It’s easier to stay in your echo chamber.


 

Lesson #4: Charity is important



I’ve already written a post about this one. You can read more about it here.

But the reason I thought it was worth mentioning is that this one goes hand-in-hand with lesson #3.


Because companies are shuttered, because people are unemployed (at record numbers), and because many people don’t maintain an emergency fund


And because rioters are destroying personal property, (whether you agree or not with these actions), there are many people, for all these reasons, losing their livelihoods.


Even outside of these extraordinary times, people live in poverty. They go without, and in many countries, there is nothing else to turn to except for crime. They must steal to survive.


Some argue that taxation, and redistributing wealth is a good remedy to poverty. I disagree, but not because I necessarily disagree with the redistribution of wealth.


Charity fosters care in others. It hurts to give money away, and I don’t mean a few dollars. I mean hundreds of dollars (at least for the average American) every paycheck.


Taxation does not foster care in others. In fact, some would argue heavy taxation instills resentment in wealthy individuals towards the poorer population, and conversely engenders hatred within the poorer populations towards the wealthy.


Nonetheless, there are always reasons why charity is important. Just remember to use lesson #2 when deciding where your charitable contributions are going…


 

Lesson #5 Don’t be a sheep



This lesson may seem like the same thing as lesson #2, but it is different.


This one is less about making informed and educated decisions, and more about self-evaluation.


There are two parts to the human psyche.


Most call it the head and the heart. Logic and emotion.


Making educated and informed decisions deal with logic.


Not being a sheep deals with emotion.


It would guess that the difference here is knowledge versus wisdom.


Nazi Germany is a good argument for an entire country that got swept up into doing what was wrong, even though most knew what they were participating in was wrong.


Learn lesson #2 to think for yourself, and learn lesson #5 to act for yourself.


 

Conclusion


I will say this, that I am certainly not a perfect practitioner of what I preach. (I might be a chain-smoking medical doctor…)


I’m certainly no Tony Robbins or Jordan Peterson. Still, I think critically and carefully. I listen to reason and I listen to differing perspectives. And that means something.


I try every day to be a better person, and I know I’ve done a lot of wrong in my life.


But if you aren’t trying to be a better, more successful person, you should be trying. I know I am.


V/r


The Woke Hack



 

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