One of my favorite lines from Jed McKenna’s Spiritual Enlightenment Trilogy is “think for yourself or not at all”. It amazes me how many people don’t think for themselves. It amazes me, even more, that most people don’t even think of thinking for themselves. I don’t usually talk about my day-to-day life or tell stories such as this but today was too beautiful of an example to let pass by without mentioning. The premise of this story? “think for yourself or not at all” or equally accurate, if it’s not self-verifiable then it’s just a belief…and no belief is true.
I work for an employer that decided to make the flu shot mandatory for employment this year. I err on the side of ‘no thanks’ when it comes to getting shot up with a curious mixture of ingredients so I sought and received an exemption. In a meeting today the subject came up because so many physicians have not yet gotten the shot. To make things interesting I mentioned how it just doesn’t seem very nice to make people shoot a toxic substance into their bodies in the name of “health”. Vaccines should remain a choice, not a mandatory ultimatum. I proceeded to be ransacked. The 3 managers in the room immediately dove into the pre-scripted talking points released months before by Corporate Communications, the propaganda machine of the organization (very similar to the book 1984 I might add). I let them go on about how I was going to kill our sickest patients by eating in the cafeteria or by using the restroom. I listened to claims of clinical studies (of which no one in the room had ever looked up or even knew the names of). I looked at open mouths and surprised faces that said, “how could you dare not follow us and get the shot?”. We had a little back and forth on the subject. I asked one of the ladies how she would explain that most of the whooping-cough cases last year in California occurred in the vaccinated child population. She stammered and said that it was because most of the kids were vaccinated……dramatic pause….. I waited for her to realize what she just said. She didn’t. She had no clue. I was speechless. I ended the conversation by asking one of the manager-nurses in the room if she had verified any of this “evidence” for vaccination herself or if she was just taking other people’s word for it. The answer she gave me was something like, “aaaahhhhhh???” with a quick change of subject.
Exactly. If you have not verified it (experienced it, seen it, smelled it…) for yourself it’s just a belief. Think for yourself or not at all. SIMPLE. It didn’t occur to any of the managers in this room today to think for themselves. They were being good little employees and were simply following directions from the “powers that be”. None of them realized that there is NO other ‘power’ than yourself.
Bottom line, whether it’s a job, a flu shot, your religion, your belief in God, your thoughts about the tree in your backyard – everything – think for yourself or not at all. Be your own authority. If you cannot self-verify it then it’s a belief. It’s a lie you are telling yourself. Question it. Question everything until you know.
Disclaimer – I really have no opinion on the flu shot one way or another. To each his/her own. There is “scientific evidence” pointing to both sides of the spectrum. I’m drawn to refrain from such activities and really have no opinion on what others choose to do or not do so if you feel strongly about this subject, here is not the place to debate it. The above was simply an example of people following the herd without questioning. The flu shot just happened to be the subject.