Is Our Cognitive Dissonance Slowly Destroying Us?

in writing •  8 months ago

Think about it, we all know what’s happening in our country--or world-- right now. We know that 90% of it is not what we want as citizens of the world.

What’s happening now is the desires and visions of the 1% of the 1%. This is what happens when money, greed and scarcity are the deciding factors in policy decisions and actions.

What’s happening now is not the will of the people. It’s the opposite. It’s the destruction of the will of the people.

The big picture is messy and dangerous. But I believe a by-product of these policies and perpetual greed are impacting us on very individual level that's impacting us as a collective.

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We’re all experiencing a cognitive dissonance with just about every aspect of our daily lives, and I’m going to make the argument that this perpetual dissonance is slowly destroying our well being as humans.

Think about it, we know that the butter we’re buying was shipped from a distant land, using a ton of fossil fuels and made affordable by subsidies that screw over the farmer who actually produced the dairy that created the butter in the first place. Yet we buy it. Because we need butter.

We know that the clothes we’re buying for our kid’s first day of school were most likely sewn by children younger than the child we’re buying them for, yet we must clothe our child and we don’t have the time or resources to make the clothes ourselves.

We know that the car we're driving is using up fossil fuel and heating up our planet at an alarming rate, but we have to get to work and our daily necessities usually require a vehicle. And we can't all afford a Tesla or even a Prius.

And yes, I can hear the counter argument here-- make your own butter, buy local and support your own farmers. I agree. I get it. But let’s be realistic. Like it our not, for most of the population, making our own consumables isn’t an option. It’s not affordable, practical or a skill set many possess. And many towns and areas don't have public transportation, I happen to live in one right now.

We can argue that this is the source of the problem-- our disconnect from the source of what we consume-- and I agree. But that’s not the point I’m making here.

The point is-- if we stay in this perpetual state of knowing we’re participating in a broken system, doing necessary activities that are detrimental to our communities, and that our limited buying power is further endorsing the destruction of distant eco-systems, suppressing emerging economies and harming children, then our cognitive dissonance is causing us great mental harm.

Slowly eating away at our hearts, our energy and our soul. Bit by bit. By continuing to participate in broken systems that we rely on to sustain ourselves, we’re slowly destroying our peace of mind, our society and our planet.

Yet, for many of us, we don’t even realize this dissonance is what lies at the bottom of our dis-ease. I mean seriously, how often does the everyday person stop to think about such things? They’re usually too caught up in the circus of survival in this world to even acknowledge that there’s a larger, underlying problem that is eating away at their well-being.

To bring back an earlier point, becoming reconnected with the source of our consumption— and making more conscious choices-- may just be the answer on a personal level. If we could simply find a way to participate LESS in the consumption economy, maybe we could find a way reverse at least some of our perpetual dissonance.

How can those of us who are a tune to this lifestyle help others to do the same? How can we remove the social stigmas surrounding popping tags at thrift stores for back to school clothes and make it affordable and practical to either make our own butter or buy it from our local farmer?

How do we reverse the consumption habits of a society programmed to worship the latest brand label and celebrity endorsement of sweatshop clothing? How do we help our neighbors disengage from the distraction entertainment that numbs them to the ills of our world and take a minute for mindful reflection of our role in the slow deterioration of our social fabrics.

Maybe if we can figure out how to lessen the cognitive dissonance we fight through everyday, we’ll have more time for the larger issues facing our society-- fascist overthrows of democratic societies, endorsement of dangerous dictatorships, pointless trade wars started because of ego or the heartless act of taking children from parents and placing them in internment camps. You know, our 2018 world.

I'm going to leave you with a quote from one of my favorite scenes from the first episode of Mr. Robot. This....

"Is it that we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man, even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children? Or maybe it’s that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit. The world itself’s just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our running commentary of bullshit masquerading as insight, our social media faking as intimacy. Or is it that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I’m not saying anything new, we all know why we do this, not because Hunger Games books makes us happy but because we wanna be sedated. Because it’s painful not to pretend, because we’re cowards. Fuck society." Elliot from Mr. Robot

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To the question in your title, my Magic 8-Ball says:

Outlook good

Hi! I'm a bot, and this answer was posted automatically. Check this post out for more information.

Cog diss indeed. I was thinking yesterday I'm at my happiness when I can do things outside the system, and unhappiness when I cant do to circumstances or law.. like why the flipping hack am I paying for a tarmac road on my street I never asked for???

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Yep! There is a certain beauty in doing things outside of the system-- even something as simple as publishing content on the blockchain instead of facebook. ;) I think if more of us ventured outside of those expected norms-- particularly in our consumption-- we'd find a little more relief and peace of mind.

And i def agree in the complete frustration of paying taxes for ridiculous things we don't need but the gov thinks we do. Oyy!

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Agreed 💛🤗

We like to build things, and when we can not build external edifices, we resort to building ourselves... a new personality or a continuation of the one we perceive to possess. In order to build this "self" we must purchase things that that "self" wants.

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Yes, you're right. Building and growing the self is such an internal journey that has nothing to do with "purchasing" or "possession". It's easy to become distracted and think we're working on self growth, when we're really just adhering to another external dharma that looks shiny on the outside but doesn't really get to the core of our dissonance. It's a tough battle that takes alot of self-reflection and exploration of identity. And that exploration of identity can be the really tough part!

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People are so apathetic and won't change until something happens to them. They ignore as they are easily distracted by their "luxuries". I have given up hope on society. It is getting closer and closer to the movie "Idiocracy" every day.

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It is truly a struggle not to lose faith in humanity. I battle with it everyday. I tend to walk a line of optimism wrapped in some "gilfoyle-esque" cynicism. (I'm a big fan of the comedy Silicon Valley).

While this isn't a universal statement, I do believe there is a large enough demographic who is silently wrestling with this dissonance and either don't have the resources to embrace a different path (overwhelmed by putting food on the table and raising kids in this climate) or simply never take the time to breathe and explore this disconnect from source. It's not something we talk about openly-- even with those closest to us-- and its also not something we have the mental or spiritual tool kit to explore. We're not taught these things in school-- we're taught the opposite-- to adhere to the systems that power this consumer based economy.

I think, or rather I hope, we're entering a time when this awakening will occur. It's gonna be messy. And hell, we may already be in it, because shit is legit messy as fuck right now, but I do believe enough people want to change and they will look to those of us with different perspectives to help guide them through this change.

And, well, the pessimist in me does think that like it or not, that change is coming. So we'd better get our minds and our communities ready!

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You are correct @desertrat that there is a large amount of the population who know something is wrong. They are not happy with the system and they don't know how to break out of it.

I think the best way possible is tiny step so not overwhelmed. It could be the food you consume, stepping away from media, home school, plant herbs then food, stop paying taxes etc. There are small everyday things to start getting away.

Using the internet for research on how to do these things is something people should think about. Here is this tool (internet) where you can learn so many practical things instead of posting selfies or stalking friends on facebook. Also meet like minded people and encourage your way of thinking to step out of their dissodence.

Everyone is being herded into the cities now (Agenda 21). I give up because it is moving at a faster pace now to lock everyone under surveillance and control.

And yes it is up to us to guide the way for those who are confused. Tiny steps though and not inundate them. Luckily for me and my partner we are living rural now and the few people we bump into are farmers and they have alot of questions about water supply and weather control as they know it doesn't add up. I find them easier to accept my perspective as they go away and think about it.

Example:- one drank a bottle of Coca Cola everyday. And would moan to me about water rights and costs. I told them to research who owns Coca Cola and who are the companies buying up water supplies? Bingo they did and no more drinking Coca Cola. Small success and now I think about it and after your post I can't write everyone off as retards and useless.

what a fantastic post! THis is a VERY important topic, and i cant remember reading about cognitive dissonance on steemit before.. What you say is so true, and it does seem that most of the world and even my friends are living a life of cognitive dissonance.. It is SO hard to bring an awareness to others when they are just USED to accepting things as they are.. it takes a lot of energy and courage to see past the norm...

Im very happy to say ....

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I hope this encourages you to keep writing amazing posts and making this world a better place!.




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Thanks so much for the kind words and the upvote, @eco-alex !! And I love your insight too!

I don't think we talk enough about cognitive dissonance as a whole in our society and for many of us, myself included, I believe this dissonance is eating away at us very slowly. Yes, you're right, it is SOOOOO hard to bring awareness to others about our chosen disconnect from source and this blind acceptance to the systems that power our communities in an unsustainable way. I've tried in the past, but so many people, who have the educational capacity and monetary resources to choose more sustainable paths, simply do not WANT to have the conversation or are not equipped to question their chosen identity and roles in our consumption based society. The anger, discomfort and judgement that surfaces when the subject is approached is usually an immediate roadblock to any progress in acknowledging our lifestyle choices that keep us in perpetual dissonance.

And I'm guilty of this at times myself-- even with my level of awareness and sustainable lifestyle. I spend periods of "non-nomadic" time with family in a community that is a giant reflection of this dissonance. A beautiful beach surrounded by an ugly and unsustainable suburban-esque lifestyle-- minus the cool urban area. While I'm usually only passing through, I still have to fight to maintain the simple lifestyle that keeps me connected to source. It's the reason I wrote this article. My own cognitive dissonance is costing me (and not just in the vast quantity of yoga classes I take to maintain connection to source).

It truly makes me think about how hard it must be for those who feel the dissonance, but don't have the capacity (yet) to understand what the problem is. They simply keep chugging along in their hamster wheels, taking pills and engaging in mindless entertainment to distract themselves and not knowing why.

We're in a place, as a society, where if we don't address this disconnect, we'll see more suicides, we'll allow more atrocities to happen in our name and we'll remain complacent as our liberties are removed because we're so bent on maintaining the consumption economy that keeps us from acknowledging that we can't continue this lifestyle.

Sorry, that was long. I blame my post espresso/yoga class. I appreciate your insight and all the work you're doing here on steemit and on your discord. Diving into @steemit these last few weeks and finding communities like @ecotrain has been inspiring and motivating me to both write again and address my own roles as a teacher in my own little community. ;) Thanks so much!

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thanks for this great comment.. i think honestly we just have to take care of our own . and when others are ready they will awaken.. maybe the 100th monkey effect can help us deal with the stragglers..

In the meantime,, here is an awesome short video by denzel washington .. i think you might like it if you havent already seen it!

<3

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Yep! Spot on-- in both taking care of our own and that video! I hadn't seen that one yet, but have those seen those clips in other contexts. That's a fabulous compilation. I'll def pass it along.

;) Thanks and yes, keep doing the work and eventually it will trickle through to those who need it!

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