Words bear meaning, but do they have the power to change people? Do they really have the ability to delve into the listener’s heart and mind and thus change them, for better or for worse? There’s two arguments: 1) People are zombies and feed on whatever they’re fed; and 2) People don’t really change unless some drastic event occurs or action is taken in their lives, then they’ll respond accordingly. The first theory is social in nature, and the second is biological (animal response to stimuli). I’ll try to take these on one at a time.Regarding the first theory, media tells us what to wear, what to pay attention to, how to handle people, and how to handle ourselves in our everyday life, as if the media knew us better. I think that the media has become a superficial mother figure for the lost adolescents in this country who actually doesn’t help them find their identity in the right places; but rather misleads them and fills them with lies of social conduct. How far does the media extend its hand to the people? Too far, in my opinion. Stop it, media, you’re not helping anyone in the end; everyone eventually looks back to their youth with some thought similar to: “what the hell was I thinking?” because only later in hindsight can one understand the external social/cultural/economic/political forces that drove their behavior.
I want to keep this brief in fitting the title-yes I am bashing the media because it misleads the people to believing falsehoods that should have never grown wings and left their ugly nest. In fact, that tree should just be cut down and uprooted.Regarding the second theory, people can only be changed through direct action. I’ll tell you from personal experience that you can think yourself to death (humans have an incredible ability to rationalize everything in their life to fit their current circumstances no matter what-it’s a protective mechanism, which is why too much thought can actually be anxiety-inducing). The only way to convince someone of something is to prevent the over-rationalization of behavior and make an active demonstration of your point. Talk is meaningless and I cannot believe how much time I have spent listening to people argue passionately over something without any change in the outcome! Neither person changes their ways as a result of the heated debate. Their strongly rooted value systems get in the way of change, and I believe that we all become that way sooner or later. It’s hard to change people because we have these ideals of self and others.
Religion, democracy, love, self-sacrifice, patriotism, nationalism, pride-whatever it may be, it involves people holding on to it and our holding on to our values makes us who we are. How are those values instilled to begin with? I don’t know, but that’s another topic I might cover someday. The point is, for now, think to yourself how you best managed to convince someone to see it your way, and vice-versa. If you can’t, then imagine what it would be like to try and convince someone who is deaf to your values, so to speak-all you have is action to guide you. Also imagine someone convincing you of something. How would it have to be done? Would words alone do the trick? These moments of change define people by nature-we can be stubborn, and it requires action more so than words to change us, myself included.I leave you with one thing: don’t make promises to people (for example: promising your friend you’ll come to the party when really you’re only half-sure) and just do things as they come. It’ll help us all live in the present moment without the anxiety of the future or the rumination of the past, and it’ll make us more dependable to the people who we call our friends.