I will never forget the day when I learned that a lot of the information I was taught about Christopher Columbus was wrong—a lot was omitted may be a better way of putting it. A part of me did not even want to believe it. How could it be wrong? How could there be so much pertinent information left out? I mean this was in our history books for crying out loud! I learned this in school—an institution that at its very philosophical foundation was meant to educate us. How can one be 'fully educated’ when they are not even presented the full story? That’s about as counter-intuitive as teaching your child to run before they can even walk. After all this was settled, it really got me thinking—what else may I have been taught that was wrong? What else did they leave out? Hell, what stories did they leave out all together?
Overtime this questioning of the soundness of my education transcended to the questioning of everything we are taught—or conditioned—to believe and actively participate in society.
What I learned was life changing.
In growing up, one thing I learned that could not have been any more imperative was questioning everything around us. When one questions the things around them and why they are there, it allows us to get a much more vivid image of the reality behind the lives we live. In understanding the real reality in comparison to the apparent reality most of us actively participate in without question, we get a better understanding of how the world really works around us and how we play into it all. Understanding all of this is the step in the right direction to learning the full truth about life and how we live—or should live—it.
A lot of people claim to want to know truth but do not practice the necessary rituals to do so. One of the most crippling aspects to identifying truth is bias. Once you eliminate your bias on things it allows for the emotional and psychological barriers we all have to be lowered—thus allowing us to accept and find full truth.
What most people fail to realize is that a lot of what we do, learn, and actively participate in society is all based off of bias and another individual's perception of what the world needs or how it should be. We buy designer clothes and other material goods because society has conditioned us to believe that they are important. We learn the material that we do in the classroom because someone thinks that material is imperative to being a well-rounded educated individual. We do not know any better, thus being why we trust that individual to provide us with factual information that eventually shapes how we live our lives. But just like in the classroom and what we learned about Christopher Columbus, sometimes what we are taught or conditioned to believe is not always the full truth—and sometimes it is not even truth at all.
You ever wondered why we have money? I mean it sounds like a pretty dumb question, but think about it for a second. Now I am going to ask another question, do you believe money to be real? I mean we have what is the physical dollar bill, but really think about it. If you are a little unsure as to how to answer that I advise you to do research on it. You’ll be shocked at what you find. Then after you research that ask yourself, why do so many people literally slave their life a way for the sake of acquiring money? Because society demands it. Again, this is a bias perspective at work here.
What about this, ever wonder why in society men are expected to be the breadwinners and not women? Or why women in general are viewed as subjugate to their male counterparts?
Why is it that the US is the most prosperous country in the world yet, is the leading country in mental illness? The two leading mental illness are anxiety and depression. Why is it that US has two times more people with anxiety and depression than any war-torn country and three times that of Africa?
How did ISIS come to be and why are they constantly growing?
Why is more than half of the world in poverty?
Why is the United States' debt so high and how does the existence of the dollar bill play into it?
Why are most people willing to pay taxes to fund an already grotesquely funded military, yet cringe at the thought of their tax dollars helping out someone else?
Why do we identify ourselves under particular races when race is not even real to begin with?
Why is it that we can assimilate under 'race', religion, culture, status, etc. yet cannot be united by the fact we are all human?
Why is school facilitated the way it is? Better yet, why has college tuition skyrocketed over the last couple years along with book prices?
Why is school considered to be the bedrock of our society but yet when making budgetary decisions education is one of the first sectors to get cut? And not to mention why is it one of the least funded sectors if education is so imperative?
Why is it that the only time we learn about black history is during Black History month?
Why are there numerous 'required' courses on our European history but in regards to the history of minorities only elective courses are available?
Why do all the important events of American history seem to revolve around our european ancestors?
Why do we celebrate Christopher Columbus day despite all the fucked up atrocities committed by him and the early settlers?
Why in the last decade have we had more prisons built than college universities?
Why does the US have the highest incarceration rate per capita than any other country in the world?
Why do we have private prisons and why do they receive money based on keeping a certain level of capacity? Wheres the logic in that?
Why do political figures and our nations leaders identify under specific religions when the constitution requires the separation of church and state?
Why did we even declare the war on drugs and terror?
Why are certain drugs illegal?
Why is tobacco still legal when it is one of the only substances that if “used as directed” leads to death and other horrible diseases that inevitably lead to death?
Why do we deny the validity of things that are based on subjective thinking like philosophy and spirituality, but rely heavily on subjective topics like economics and religion? All of them use facts to comprise their various subjective theses yet only two are considered to be valid and the other two--hogwash.
These are just a few questions I delved into over the years. We often times actively participate in rituals that are considered to be normal aspects of our everyday lives, but do not even think twice about them. I am writing this article to inspire you to start thinking about the world around you and why things are the way they are. Things in life are not just arbitrarily in place. Someone, somewhere is behind everything we see, believe, and hear. It is up to you to do the research and determine truth from fiction so you can liberate your mind from the mental oppression we willingly engage in on a day-to-day basis.
A man by the name of Steve Biko once said:
“The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
I am a firm believer in the fact that knowledge is power. But to have knowledge is to know truth. To begin to find truth we need to free ourselves from bias and be open-minded to new ideas, especially the ones that contradict our very own belief system. All the ideas and perspectives that are brought to our attention will not always be factual, but it is up to you to determine so—free from bias. We often times forget how imperative it is to question what we believe in. Questioning what we believe in--or having someone else do it--can bring about a new perspective to the world that can forever change the way you view it. I know if I did not have someone question my beliefs I would not be the person I am today.