Posted by: barbaraneill | February 10, 2013

Dyspraxic sheeple? I doubt it!

I’ve often wondered how the so-called ‘one percent’ can get away with manipulating the remaining ninety-nine percent of the population so easily. Now I have seen a perfect illustration of how it works.

On facebook, I’ve encountered a post that shows a picture of what appears to be a huge hole in the ground though, in truth, it could be a picture of anything, as long as it’s eye-catching. The instructions tell people to type 1 in the comment box to see what happens. Of course, nothing happens. How could it? I was amazed, however, to see that well over 4,000 people had responded and from the ones I looked at, most of them had blindly followed instructions and typed 1. Occasionally, there was a protest that ‘nothing happened’!

In spite of my own comments, along the lines of, ‘this is a perfect illustration of how people will do as they are told, without thinking it through’ there were still comments of ‘1’ appearing at the rate of one every few seconds.

To say I was dismayed is putting it mildly. We are living in an age in which critical thinkers are often derided as ‘conspiracy theorists’ and not taken anywhere near as seriously as they (we!) should be. I believe that this stems from the problems of our education system, in which we are not encouraged to be critical thinkers but rather rewarded by praise, high marks and so on, for conforming. I believe it is healthy to question everything and then trust our intuition, but I also believe that would be quite challenging to many, who would find it far easier, though not necessarily more comfortable, to just do as they are told, hence the term, ‘sheeple’; an amalgamation of the words, ‘sheep’ and ‘people’.

Personally, it comes naturally to me to question everything. During my school days, I had no choice. Thanks to my dyspraxia, and the fact that the condition wasn’t recognised at all in those days, I didn’t ‘fit in’ anyway, and had to question everything because I often didn’t understand what was being asked of me. The habit has stuck which, of course, makes me a natural critical thinker and, also thanks to being dyspraxic, quite used to ‘going against the grain’.

I really do despair of how willing so many people seem to be to just ‘turn a blind eye’ and obediently do whatever they are told, regardless of whether or not it is ‘right’. I am proud of the fact that I’m perfectly happy not to conform just because I’m expected to do so. I am also perfectly happy to appreciate how important this quality is to me, and to acknowledge the fact that, in this respect at least, I have dyspraxia to thank.

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