written by: Stainless
In any mammalian group, it is the collective that decides the course of action.
You can see this manifest in the age old tradition of a mob, each measuring not by what is right, but by what is acceptable by the whole. This relativist thinking is a danger as many have turned to their basest instinct when freed from personal responsibility.
To paraphrase a movie, “A person is rational, people are dumb, ignorant and panicky”.
To guide yourself by those around you, while sometimes a useful measure of progress, is rarely the path forward for a person aiming for perfection, enlightenment, or whatever term you assign to “self-improvement”.
Only by holding yourself to a higher standard, and the conviction that will come from not accepting the status quo, will you hold to the path. There will be those who seek to bring you down, who might ridicule your efforts, bring doubt into your mind.
It is always important to confirm your convictions are your own. Any idea forced upon you, no matter the source, must be tested and thought on. Only when it’s wholly yours will it have power.
Be warned as well of the base nature of the herd, the clamoring for quick and easy answers to difficult questions.
The path of the enlightened will always be thorny, there will always be the obstacles to introduce self-doubt. A firmly held conviction will take you through those times. Truly knowing what you want, having the will to achieve it, and doing it in a way that is healthy for those around you; these are the tenets of wisdom.
In many things today you will see the herd mentality rear, in the media both online and print, on forums and panels, in a million comment sections. In your lunch-break at work. Trust yourself to know what is right. Wisdom found within is always purest. Be wary of the dark urge to seek an easy way. Little joy comes from only rest, and that which is brings is fleeting.
If I have one piece of advice to take with you, it is to seek wisdom wherever you can, but not to take it at face value. Ponder it, think about it, twist it in your mind until it breaks and the logic unravels before you.
Think for yourself. Know yourself.