Targets of Bullying and Critical Thinking

Having been a target of bullying in the past and spoken to other survivors of bullying through the years, I’ve noticed another factor that marks people for bullying- a virtue that bullies, authoritarians, and despots despise in others- virtues that make targets, well… targets.

People like us tend to think critically. We’re not like most people. Never do we blindly trust, follow, and obey authoritarian types who think they know more than we do. We question authority. We automatically ask ourselves, “If we follow along, what’s in it for them?” Then, we figure out what their possible motives are.

We Question Everything!

Those like us aren’t too lazy to read the fine print or do our research and figure out the facts. Also, we’re also superb at reading between the lines- reading subtext and deciphering context, non-verbal communication, and probing for incongruousness. If something feels “off,” we’re automatically suspicious of it. Moreover, we know that 2+2=4, not 5! And we know when someone is trying to manipulate us. We practically have a radar for manipulation.

We question narratives and probe the status quo. Also, we do things differently and make it a point to live life on our terms, not someone else’s. Therefore, we’re willing to take whatever comes with it. We refuse to be controlled by feckless fools who are drunk with power. We know all too well that power corrupts because we’ve been victims of it. Everyone is at some point.

People like us are not likely to be ruled by fear. We follow our own intuitions and are very creative with new ideas. We consistently search for better ways of doing, living, and being. Consequently, most people despise us for it. Why? Because most people are trained to follow, and they fall in line and take the safest way through life.

We’re Not Afraid to be Different!

However, we’re not afraid to be different. Again, bullies loathe us for that! And the unspoken messages we get from every direction are clear:

How dare you?

You dare to question those in power?

How dare you scrutinize the beloved and timeless status quo?

How dare you think that you can live your life your way?

Who do you think you are?

How dare you presume to know what’s best for you? Better than peers, teachers, supervisors, institutions, media, governments, and other entities of the ruling authority?

How dare you think that you know more about yourself than we do?

We’re the experts! Not you!

We have the degrees and credentials! Not you!

Oh, the nerve!

The audacity!

The chutzpah!

How dare we?

We Don’t Mind Rocking the Boat!

Oh, yes! People like us get those subliminal messages every day. Nevertheless, when we see that it’s all to their benefit and not ours, we’re not afraid to give the rule-makers a proverbial middle finger. We may not come out and say it, but we show it in our calm and quiet disobedience and refusal to go along. We do it by simply continuing to live our lives the way we want and in a way that gives us advantages.

Bullies hate us because we don’t walk lightly. We’re not afraid to make waves. We’re willing to rock the boat if we don’t like something. We don’t mind going against the grain if we suspect that “the rules” might harm us. Why? Because we cherish freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. And we’ll die before we give them up.

Only we can possibly know what’s best for us and no one else. Only we can determine what makes us happy and what will make our lives better. Also, only we can choose our individual destinies. And only we can define our individual inner realities. Nobody else in the entire world is privy to these things.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

The Nerve! The Audacity! The Chutzpah!

So, you have the gall to think for yourself. Make no mistake! People will hate you. They will demonize you. Others  will consider you a troublemaker, a rabble rouser, a riffraff! People will deem you a crazy person who’s “mentally imbalanced.”

Thinking for yourself or being an independent thinker, whatever you prefer to call it, is such sweet freedom. Yet, most people have always been afraid to do it because it’s much safer to follow the leader.  Safety and comfort always come with doing as you’re told without question or without even thinking about it.

Most choose to take the easy path- the safest route and follow the lead of a person in power. And they’ll do it, even if that person hasn’t the slightest idea of what they’re talking about. Moreover, they’ll comply, even when there’s evidence that the influencer is leading them to their own demise!

The Human Tendency to Allow Others to Lead You to Your Demise

People automatically take orders from someone deemed superior or powerful without ever asking themselves what the person giving the orders has to gain from their compliance.

There’s much truth to the old saying that people are less afraid of death than they are of ostracization from society.

I can certainly understand the fear of bullying, shunning, and ostracization. No one wants others to oust them from “the social club.” Because human beings are hardwired by God and nature to be social animals. Living as a part of a tribe was how we survived back during prehistoric times.  Whereas, anyone who wasn’t a part of a tribe risked starvation and extinction.

The Powerful Urge to Conform

However, it’s easier for the shunned to survive today. And I’d much rather have my freedom. Freedom requires the ability to pick, choose, and think independently despite what others may think of us.

Moreover, when you think for yourself, you step out of your comfort zone and open up unlimited possibilities for yourself. Thinking for yourself means trusting your gut and following your instincts. It means knowing that your gut will always tell you when something doesn’t sound or feel right.

Realize that there’s a reason people have intense hatred toward a person who thinks independently. It’s because the free thinker is least likely to be controlled or to fall for any tricks and manipulation.

The Freedom to Think for Yourself 

The person who thinks for himself is more likely to see right through smoke screens and fakery. Also, independent thinkers know themselves well. They think critically, and, again, they listen to their gut instincts. In that, they refuse to engage in anything that feels unhealthy or dangerous.

Sadly, we live in a culture of bullying- one that demands that we deny our God-given sixth sense. It’s easier to allow others to pressure us to follow along, even to our own detriment. Bullies in power demand that we deny our own needs and human rights. They send the unwritten message that we have no right to defend ourselves nor our families. They decry that we should put them first and ourselves and our loved ones last.

Power Corrupts

Therefore, they use people of great power and influence to persuade us to do their bidding. They pay Hollywood celebrities, sports figures, politicians, and media personalities to convince us. Their message is that we should go along with them and their way of thinking, living, and doing things.

On the other hand, individuality is strongly discouraged, ridiculed, and even severely punished, as is creativity, originality, and meritocracy.

Simply put, bullies in power demand that we do not think for ourselves but only the way they want us to think. And sadly, they successfully hoodwink the majority of us. They dupe us into believing that, just because the people giving the narrative have great power and influence, they automatically know what they’re talking about and “only want what’s best for us and the rest of humanity,” when, in most cases, the exact opposite is true.

Even Powerful People are Fallable 

Remember that these people are not gods. They are human just like the rest of us and they put their pants on one leg at a time just like we do. Understand that they are just as fallable and capable of error.

We must realize that power corrupts, and it takes a special and unique person to not be corrupted by power. We must understand that the vast majority of those in power do not have our best interests at heart but are only out to use us to fulfill their own agendas and end goals. And once they feel that we’ve served our purpose and they no longer need us, they will discard us like dirty diapers.

People in power, who are corrupt, often use beautiful-sounding words and phrases, such as, “for the common good,” and “for the good or betterment of humanity.”

The Masks Evil People Don

They often portray themselves to be the saviors of humanity or warriors and champions for social justice, all while working behind the scenes to destroy the very groups of people they claim to represent and care about.

In short, they hide their evil intentions behind the veneer of philanthropy, love, and goodwill.

Remember that Satan never appears as an ugly red devil with horns and a pointy tail, he always comes as our biggest dream come true, whether it be the man or woman of our dreams, or a sweetheart of a deal that’s hard to refuse. The devil always comes as an angel of light. That is why we should keep our focus on the person’s actions and not their words.

Dare to Think Independently 

That’s why it’s so important that we think for ourselves. We must also understand that there will be sacrifices for it and we will more than likely endure a truckload of hatred and vitriol from countless others, even those we think are friends and allies. Finally, we must trust that, in the end, when it’s all said and done, it will all be worth it.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

A Blessing that Feels Like a Curse

Now, more than ever, we must stand up for our God, our beliefs, and convictions. We must be true to ourselves, our hearts, and to the people who love us, and we must do it boldly and confidently. We must know ourselves inside and out.

In short, we must have the courage to be different.

The blessings of critical thinking and self-care can be dangerous today.

Sadly, in the last two years, this country has gotten so divided that people have lost family and who were once close friends over their beliefs, their convictions, their values, and their traditions. I’ve lost a few friends myself. However, I’m not afraid to lose people. It’s only God’s way of removing the people who were imposters all along and never deserved to be in my life in the first place.

Hey! I know it’s hard. But if you’ve lost people the last few years because of our divisive government and society, I want you to know that you did nothing wrong. Your beliefs and convictions are yours and you own them. And again, God is taking out your trash for you.

Therefore, sometimes, what is a blessing can feel like a curse. Some blessings require pain and sacrifice. But it’s always worth it in the end. And, who knows? You might end up with much more than you ever lost.

The blessing of seeing who people really are.

Although these blessings are quite painful, I truly believe that these last two years are a test. They’re a test to see if you’re strong enough to stand in your truth no matter what it may cost you. Never be afraid to be yourself, speak your truth, and risk losing a person you only think is a friend.

These last two years have revealed so much to us. Among the revelations are the true faces of those we thought were friends and were smarter. Moreover, these last couple of years have shed new light on the true intentions of our so-called leaders, whom we thought were loyal to us.

If nothing else, remember this:

You don’t lose friends, you lose frauds.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

You Should Never Apologize for Being Different

I’ve never been one to follow blindly. Never been one to conform without knowing what motives any authority figure had behind telling me to do so. I’m one to question everything. Always have been. And I’ve always done critical thinking and plenty of reading and research. That’s just me.

Through the years, this has gotten me into a lot of trouble. I’ve taken a lot of heat and lost many friends (or people I thought who were friends) for it. And it’s probably why I was bullied all those years in school.

But that’s okay. In fact, I embrace all of it!

I’d rather stand for something than fall for anything people feed me. I’m true to my beliefs and convictions and I’m not afraid of losing a few people over it. And I’m proud of that.

I’m not a follower.

No one ever said being a free-thinking person was easy and I don’t expect it to be.
And when people get pissed and withdraw friendship over my choice to question a narrative, I only see it as a weeding out of fake friends and people who aren’t meant to be in my circle.

To know who your real friends are, you must be your true authentic self, question status quos, trends, and popular narratives, then call BS when you see or hear it.

And I’m willing to accept it and everything that comes with it.

2 Questions You Must Ask Yourself to Avoid Toxic Conformity

In today’s world, we are beginning to live under the thumb of toxic conformity. Certain people in power desire to control the masses by media lies and misinformation, censorship, ridiculous mandates, and other ridiculous laws, bills, and orders.

In fact, these powers that be don’t even try to hide their lies and sins anymore, which is a sign of real danger. Because if there’s no incentive to hide wrongdoing, and crimes against humanity, then it means that there’s impunity and the freedom to go on committing violations of basic human rights. Worse even, it’s a green light to escalate these abuses.

I believe that most people have forgotten how to think critically and have lost their voices for fear of not only censorship, but social shunning and cancel culture. Be that as it may, instead of taking the words of these, dare I say, tyrants and traitors, as the gospel, people need to start asking themselves these questions:

1. Who are these lies, bits of misinformation, censors, mandates, and laws really benefiting here? Me? Humanity as a whole? Or the people making all the rules?

2. What will our compliance gain us?

I believe that once we answer these questions for ourselves, we’ll know what we must do to preserve our human rights and liberties. It’s time that we each think and do for ourselves and give these powers that be the proverbial middle finger.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Never Apologize for Being Different

I’ve never been one to follow blindly. Never been one to conform without knowing what motives any authority figure had behind telling me to do so. I’m one to question everything. Always have been. And I’ve always done critical thinking and plenty of reading and research. That’s just me.

Through the years, this has gotten me into a lot of trouble. I’ve taken a lot of heat and lost many friends (or people I thought who were friends) for it. And it’s probably why I was bullied all those years in school.

But that’s okay. In fact, I embrace all of it!

I’d rather stand for something than fall for anything people feed me. I’m true to my beliefs and convictions and I’m not afraid of losing a few people over it. And I’m proud of that.

I’m not a follower.

No one ever said being a free-thinking person was easy and I don’t expect it to be.
And when people get pissed and withdraw friendship over my choice to question a narrative, I only see it as a weeding out of fake friends and people who aren’t meant to be in my circle.

To know who your real friends are, you must be your true authentic self, question status quos, trends, and popular narratives, then call BS when you see or hear it.

And I’m willing to accept it and everything that comes with it.

Critical Thinking- Another Reason Targets are Targeted

Having been a target of bullying in the past and spoken to other survivors of bullying through the years, I’ve noticed another factor that marks people for bullying- a virtue that bullies, authoritarians, and despots despise in others- virtues that make targets, well… targets.

People like us tend to think critically. We’re not like most people. We don’t blindly trust, follow, and obey authoritarian types who think they know more than we do. We question authority. We automatically ask ourselves, “If we follow along, what’s in it for them?” We figure out what their possible motives are.

We aren’t too lazy to read the fine print or do our research and figure out the facts. We’re also superb at reading between the lines- reading subtext and deciphering context, non-verbal communication, and probing for incongruencies. If something feels “off,” we’re automatically suspicious of it. We know that 2+2=4, not 5! And we know when someone is trying to manipulate us. We practically have a radar for manipulation.

We question narratives. We probe the status quo. We do things differently and make it a point to live life on our terms, not someone else’s. And we’re willing to take whatever comes with it. We refuse to be controlled by feckless fools who are drunk with power. We know all too well that power corrupts because we’ve been victims of it. Everyone is at some point.

People like us are not likely to be ruled by fear. We follow our own intuitions and are very creative with new ideas. We consistently search for better ways of doing, living, and being. Most others hate that about us. Why? Because most people are trained to follow, and they fall in line and take the safest way through life.

But we’re not afraid to be different. Again, bullies loathe us for that! And the unspoken messages we get from every direction are clear:

How dare you?

How dare you question those in power?

How dare you scrutinize the beloved and timeless status quo?

How dare you think that you can live your life your way?

Who do you think you are?

How dare you presume to know what’s best for you? Better than peers, teachers, supervisors, institutions, media, governments, and other entities of the ruling authority?

How dare you think that you know more about yourself than we do?

We’re the experts! Not you!

We have the degrees and credentials! Not you!

Oh, the nerve!

The audacity!

The chutzpah!

How dare we?

Oh, yes! People like us get those subliminal messages every day. And when we see that it’s all to their benefit and not ours, we’re not afraid to give the rule-makers a proverbial middle finger. We may not come out and say it, but we show it in our calm and quiet disobedience and refusal to go along. We do it by simply continuing to live our lives the way we want and in a way that gives us advantages.

Bullies hate us because we don’t walk lightly. We’re not afraid to make waves. We’re willing to rock the boat if we don’t like something. We don’t mind going against the grain if we suspect that “the rules” might harm us. Why? Because we cherish freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. And we’ll die before we give them up.

Only we can possibly know what’s best for us and no one else. Only we can determine what makes us happy and what will make our lives better. Only we can choose our individual destinies. Only we can define our individual inner realities. Nobody else in the entire world is privy to these things.

With knowledge comes empowerment.