Yesterday, I have made a post on Instagram that involves a question I’ve been looking into in the last few days quite intensively. I have not only been thinking about my own answer to that question, but I have been also trying to observe some external examples around me or in the history of the humankind. I’ve been actively talking about this question with the people around me and I think that writing about it here and providing you with this philosophical idea can help you understand the kind of person you are and the kind of influence the environment around you has on the way you make your decisions. The question goes: “If you were the only person who knew the truth, while everyone else would follow another path you knew was incorrect, would you still choose your way?” This question involves a few different core aspects to which I will dedicate the next couple of hundred words.
What Do You Base Your Decisions on?
We all live in some kind of a community. There are different people around us doing their thing, living their lives with their own views, values and principles. The core question we’re talking about today makes you really think about the extent to which you base your decisions on the opinions of others and even more, on the opinions of the crowd. When you see a line for lunch on the meal choice #1 nobody standing in the line #2, do you automatically stand in the first line, or do you still consider the second line? When you went to uni, did you go because you wanted to, because you really wanted to learn lots of academical stuff, or did you go because everyone else also went? Did you go because you wanted to learn or because you didn’t want to be the outcast, the so-called failure? Understand that this tag is only put on you by our society, by the mainstream. It has nothing to do with you actually not having the chance to succeed in your life.
How Confident Are You in Yourself?
The core question also makes you think about your own capability and confidence. Do you trust yourself to the degree that would allow yourself to make the decision based on what you know to be the truth? Do you doubt your decisions simply because someone told you that you’re wrong, or do you seek factual evidence? This is a very important aspect of our decision-making, as it allows us to understand how much value we put on our own ability to seek facts and how much we depend on the people around us. Can you be the one leading the crowd, or do you need someone else to lead you at all times? Of course, you need to be led in order to be able to lead, but can you make the decision to submit (so you can learn and then lead) on your own or do you also need to be led to do that?
How Do You Know that You Are Really Correct?
This question comes up in one specific case. In this scenario, you have already started doubting yourself. You have started thinking: “Oh, so since I am the only person who is going this way, there must be something I have missed, I might be wrong.” When you assume that you are wrong because the others are going in a different direction, you automatically delegate the responsibility of your decision-making to the crowd. Can you really succeed in what you want to succeed in if you do that? Even more, can you actually think of your own dream if you submit to the crowd instantly? On the other hand, do violent extremists think in this way as well? Do they think they are making their own decision based on their own truth, or are they following the crowd (the organisation they cooperate with)? Is there a danger of you becoming an extremist if you take this stance? Is being an extremist always the wrong thing? What if you are extremely dedicated to love and respect? You are also an extremist – is extremism always negative? How can you tell that what you’re doing does not hurt the people around you, if you are trying to make the decision purely based on your views? Questions like this follow me these days and I hope you will share your opinions with me, as I am very interested in your perspective on these.
This might have been a bit more philosophical than it usually gets, but it is also very important to think about these issues from time to time to make your stance on certain things a bit clearer. Please do leave a comment below to help me make my stance clearer as well. Thanks!
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