Philosophy Writings

Encouragement of Wider Thought

Hello, I'm the only person with unique thought - the rest of you? Sheep.

One of the questions I pose in the introduction kind of relates to the NPC meme—the idea of people having no real thoughts of their own, if they do have thoughts they are merely a regurgitation of someone else's.

That line of thinking seems a bit sociopathic, maybe the wrong word but you hopefully understand where I'm coming from. The idea that I have unique thoughts and everyone else is sheep.

For a long time I put off this idea because it is quite narcissistic, sort of an "I'm smarter than everyone else" point of view. I put it off partly as well because it is a bit defeatist, I don't think you can really give up on people like that: if it is true that a lot of people either do not care or are 'sheep' then is there a solution to that?

You should think, and you should write.

I thought of something at least, and it does pop into my head quite often - it's the subject of this section: I would like to encourage wider thought.

'Wider thought' is vague, I know, but I have pinpointed some things that I am frustrated with about what I see from people, and where it goes wrong:

Quite demoralising right? Though ask yourself why any of this is: does any of it maybe apply to you, do you have any solutions? You should ask questions about how things are, why do you think the way you do, how can I understand why others think the way they do, and is there anything I can do, no matter how small, that may improve or set things on a path to improvement?

Not only this, but your ideas are worthwhile - a key part of feeling hopeless or defeated in all this is the idea that you cannot change anything. You are forever 'a cog in a machine'.

You may see it as overly optimistic, but I strongly encourage you to write your thoughts, maybe a page like this - a permanent capture of your thoughts about the world and what would make it better. Encourage other people to do the same, link together so ideas can flow from branch-to-branch (like the webrings of old). The World Wide Web via the Internet gives you the ability to get things into public view with minimal effort, just like this page.

Processing the vastness of everything.

You've probably heard it before but this is something I think that is very important for people to not just 'know of' but truly process: the fact that every single person in the world has a mind of their own, and a life story with years/decades of experiences just like you.

I say this is important because processing this, I believe at least, is one of the great tools to destroy our reactionary side when we come across people saying or doing things we don't like. They are a person... Why do they think that way? Am I definitely getting a full understanding of what they think? What is their life like? ...Can we get along?

What is their point of view about me?

I don't mean this in the childish "yeah they don't like me" kind of way either. I mean: imagine you are literally them - them in front of their device whatever it may be, in first person, with their family/friends, experiences, things like that on the mind (like you in your life)... they look at the screen or perhaps you directly... they see you in the third person, they're them.

This kind of thought humanises other people, you aren't just interacting with 'a person' - they're more fleshed out, like you might think about yourself. They are not NPCs, in their life you may be akin to an NPC.

From my experience, people seem surprised or weirded out at this idea. I think it should be more common, it might improve your friendships, and it may solve some of the divisiveness in your life and others.

Summary - ready for some topical thoughts?

With the above in mind, hopefully you get where I am coming from. Ultimately I believe people should think more, and value their thoughts - they should put their ideas into a permanent form, sharing with others and building encouragement to do the same - and finally, we should attempt to understand and build a bridge with people where possible, and break free of the reactionary thoughts that jump into our minds when we encounter things we do not like.

And a little tidbit here - you might feel self conscious writing your thoughts down; about 'sounding silly'. I feel that now as I write this page, but I will say to you: do not be afraid of judgment, we should encourage deeper thought rather than ridicule it.

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