Doors of perception: Think before you speak

Jake Stricklin, IV Leader Staff

We as a nation are facing a very serious problem. Our cultural concept of the ideal person is a severely twisted image, and it’s taking its toll on society. It makes us strive to become something we are not and instills insecurity and hatred within ourselves and between each other. It creates suffering, inequality and oppression.
Our ideal person is a man of superiority in every imaginable aspect. We are a nation of sheep playing follow the leader. Most of us are unsure followers seeking guidance and security, constantly concerned with others’ opinions about everything, especially ourselves. This is why many of us ignore obvious and distasteful truth in favor of accepted comforting and familiar lies. We are shaped and controlled by our own ideals. This makes our leaders a symbol of what we all wish we were, and us conformists a symbol of oppression in disguise.
Our symbol is most importantly physically above average. He is fit and attractive in the traditional American sense. He is very charismatic and often self-absorbed. He should be intelligent, but this matters much less than the former.
He is completely drunk with power. He thrives off of absolute control over others through money, physical threat, and political means. If you want a picture of one, pick up a copy of The Washington Post or some other political journal. The people we elect into office are prime examples of our “ultimate superiors.”
This concept has been blindly beaten into our subconscious mind since birth. It has unknowingly been injected into us by nearly our entire society. Our friends, family, loved ones, teachers, religion, and government are all feeding us the same poison.
The only exception is that crazy counter-culture. They are those who think differently, who live differently, and act on their own premise. They are judged, hated, rejected, discriminated, beaten, oppressed, imprisoned, and killed for refusing to conform to whatever is popularly accepted. People who are different, who don’t fit the generic stereotype, make much of society feel uncomfortable.
Even though there is a piece of that hidden deep inside of all of us somewhere, we are taught not to expose that to the public. We are taught to do what we are told by authority, and not to question it. We are bred for production and consumption; anything that opposes this threatens our leaders, so it becomes wrong. They do not want us to think for ourselves.
The majority of the counter-culture society only wishes to live their own way, regardless of what others may think. They fully empower themselves without letting others have control, and they aren’t shoving their lifestyle down the throats of the public. They accept different opinions even if they don’t agree.
They are men and women of all races, ethnicities, sexualities, social classes, and backgrounds. Anyone can live like this by rejecting the master and slave game. They can lead us to water, and even drown us, but they can’t make us drink.
America was founded on this idea; now we have fallen into the same trap. Without slaves there is no master. We desperately need change, and we all hold the solution within ourselves.
Keep your minds open and spirits free.