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But everyone says so....

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Elizabeth
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0 posted 07-20-2000 08:21 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

OK--how is one supposed to respond to the phrase "Everyone says so"? You imagine that most people would say, "Who cares what 'Everyone' says? I prefer to think for myself." (Of course, I could be idealistic in saying that, but that's beside the point.)

My view: First of all, who the heck is this 'Everyone' that people want to quote? Is it actually the vast majority of people, or is it one or two people being referred to as 'Everyone'? Is there truth in the ideas 'Everyone' is spreading, or is 'Everyone' fanning the flames of a gossip-fire that is based largely on mutilated truth, or even falsehoods? Is 'Everyone' informed, or just spouting off without having a clue as to what they are talking about?

Also, what if whatever 'Everyone' is saying is actually believed--but is in fact untrue? What if nearly every single person you know, save a few, is saying something along the lines of, "That guy is a perverted sick-minded loser and you should stay away from him if you know what's good for you!", and that is a made-up story? (And yes, people do invent things like that.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Should you go with the flow and hold the same view as the masses, or should you try to think things over for yourself? Just because 'Everyone' says something, does that automatically make it true because so many people seem to believe it? People tend to think that if that is the case, there must be some truth behind whatever is being said. But is there, or is this a matter of people who can't think for themselves spreading around the views, ideas, or gossip that has been brainwashed into them?

Elizabeth


I'm grabbing my hat and coat
I'm leaving the cat a note
Quick call me a ferry boat-getting out of town!


brownfox
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1 posted 07-20-2000 09:56 PM       View Profile for brownfox   Email brownfox   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for brownfox

ok... so you should have some individuality.  But, being abnormal, and deviating from society's norm can cause major problems.  You shouldn't always try to fit in, but use society as a compass - whichever society you are in.  Otherwise you are in trouble.  You wouldn't go to Saudi Arabia dreesed like an American woman would you?  
Elizabeth
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2 posted 07-20-2000 10:07 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

As doing so would most likely endager my life, I would hope not, Brownfox. Thanks for your reply, and...WELCOME to Passions!

But that really wasn't the point I was making when I posted this. What I was trying to get at was whether or not it's a good idea to listen to 'Everyone', not to be like them. But, thanks anyway! You made some good points yourself.  

Elizabeth


I'm grabbing my hat and coat
I'm leaving the cat a note
Quick call me a ferry boat-getting out of town!


Alicat
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3 posted 07-21-2000 08:33 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Hi there Elizabeth.  Good question.  'Everyone' or 'Everybody' has been used countless times as a rational for a certain action or decision, relying on peer and societal pressure to influence a person's thinking.  I'm sure you've heard both "Well, everyone else is doing it." and "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump as well?"  True, they are not in the same context, but serve to illustrate the conflicting methodology some will employ to affect personal decision.

I realize that there are many people out there who will 'go with the flow', as it is much easier to allow someone else to make your decisions than to make them yourself.  When you make your own decisions, ultimately, you stand alone, as the decision made is yours and yours alone, not a consensus of many.  I feel that the groups "they", "them", "people", "everyone", and "everybody" should be used as a barometer, or as mentioned prior, as a compass.  Perhaps "they" are on to something, or perhaps part of a 'bandwagon'.  That is where discretion comes into play.

To be an individual is to be independent.  To be independent is to rely on one's self.  However, we as humans need the Brownian motion of other humans to remind us that we a human.  So while it is OK to be apart from the 'crowd', be not totally separate from them.  Too often we have seen the effect of total isolation upon the human psyche.  More often than not, it is a downward spiral.

Bottom line:  Listen and learn from "everyone", using their successes and failures as lessons to draw your own conclusions.


Alicat

As I sit here dimly thinking
Watching modem lights a-blinking
Churning out poetic hash.
Lord, in all Your piety,
Help me keep my sanity:
Please don't let the modem crash! --Alicat


Elizabeth
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4 posted 07-21-2000 10:18 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

Good point, Alicat. I guess that's what I try to to do: use 'Everyone' as a compass. Of course, that's given the fact that I trust whoever 'Everyone' is, and more often than not, I don't.

Heck, 'Everyone' may actually have a point worth considering. I may consider it, I just may not agree with it.

Elizabeth


I'm grabbing my hat and coat
I'm leaving the cat a note
Quick call me a ferry boat-getting out of town!


Elizabeth
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5 posted 07-31-2000 11:44 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

Well since no one else has replied to this, I can see you all agree with me. I was hoping to hear more discussion on this. Anyone?  

Elizabeth


Why ME???
Stephanos
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6 posted 08-01-2000 01:25 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I don't believe in completely shunning the opinions of large groups of people.  Sometimes I think to myself "There must be something to this or everyone (theres that word!) wouldn't think this way".  But neither do I take the popular consensus as tried and true without question or testing.  You must search a matter (any matter) out in your own heart.  If you just take someone's word and especially if that someone is as vague as "everyone", you will not really know what you believe.  You will believe it because you assumed it was right on the credibility of this nebulous entity "everybody".  
For me personally I like to seek the understanding of God who is above the everybody and everything.  I figure if he had the wisdom to create the entire cosmos, all the way from quasars to the delicate finery of wild flowers in a grassy field, he must know the truth.  I also believe the scriptures (the bible) to be reliable as the revelation of truth, and not because "everybody" told me.  I experienced it's life for myself.  I guess to sum it up I like to have a infallible and reliable filter to run the waters of the masses through before I drink.  
 
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