Enlightenment Is Not Necessarily A Shareable Moment On Social Media

This is something said to me before the age of social media, before the era of internet, and I will repeat it, because it is still relevant now.

Sometimes you read a book, or an article, or someone said something to you. This is an idea you don’t immediately agree with. It may be difficult to understand, it may not be obvious. And its advocates may be doing a very poor job explaining it as well. So it garners no “like” on Facebook, no retweet from you. But it burrows into you.

You forget about it but you still remember it, somehow. When the right moment comes you instantly realise the profoundness/usefulness of this idea. Then you realise how shallow/ignorant you used to be. It may take days, months or years to arrive at this point. But when it does you realise you have just “gone up a level”, you can almost hear the “ding”.

The other side of this story is that we should not pay excessive attention to “Likes”. In fact, I would go so far as to claim that the ideas you like in general only confirm what you already believed, or are already closely related to your beliefs. These “liked” ideas cannot be truly profound because you already know about them, more or less. So you learn little from ideas you like.

An idea that are truly alien to you cannot garner a “Like”, because it will be so convoluted to you it is as if written in another language. Some people may even actively savage convoluted ideas. They think convoluted ideas are all just bullshit. From my experience, sometimes they are right, but sometimes they are not. Sometimes reading bullshit is just a waste of time, sometimes those bullshit turns out to be pearl of wisdom.

The best chance of finding these alien but profound ideas is to engage ideas from as wide a range as possible. Get out of the bubble, read things with an open mind you know you will disagree with. The reward may be personal growth.



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Fashionably Questionable

Fashionably Questionable


100% contrarian. Sometimes I even express contrarian thoughts here. Living in Aotearoa New Zealand.