It’s Better to be Deaf than to Hear the things You Only Want to Hear

I’ve been reading this novel, 1984 and there was a scene where the main character, Winston, had a flashback to a time where the thought police didn’t exist and the government wasn’t tyrannical. The thought police gather those who commit thought crimes, who then get executed and erased from history. A thought crime is when you start becoming self-aware of your surroundings, and it’s taught that people are trained to see whether you’re following the status quo. Fear is instilled within the people of Oceania which ultimately makes the government more powerful. They’re taught to not think for themselves, to accept any given information only based on the fact that what the government says, is what’s true. I wonder before all of this, how this came to be, how individuals failed to defend their self expression; this is just fiction, but questions still dawn on me. If totalitarianism took over, how would our generation react to this change and would anyone even react at all? Is it possible to lose our own control to a higher power that is the result of our decisions? In some ways I believe it can go either way, there is an equal possibility of our government streaming to totalitarianism and it not. Again, I’m not saying the government is what can make the state totalitarian, but ourselves that hold the most control. For those of us living in America, we’re able to express opinions without having someone validate what we say before we say it. We have one of the greatest gifts mankind can hold, which is free speech. We’ve been practicing free speech for millenniums and it seems as if our creativity is limitless. But like all generations, there is always a flaw. We silence those who we don’t want to listen to, even if it’s working for our benefit and this becomes arbitrary. It’s through our selfishness that we begin to silence the things that we don’t want to hear however this is limited to trolls online or offline because honestly trolls are just ridiculous, no one needs to pay attention to them. You need to be open to new ideas, if you’re only listening to the things you want to hear, you’d be better off being deaf. The majority of this generation would be better off not being able to hear anything and I say this because we act without reason, we adapt to what our ancestors or the generation before us did and we don’t learn from it. We don’t understand that some things are wrong and we don’t question it, we merely accept it, just like how the sheep-people in 1984 accept whatever the government tells them what to do because they make the decision unconsciously to think without logic. We are the problem and we need to fix it. There was once an experiment where monkeys were put into a cage with bananas stuck at the top of a ladder, each time one of the monkeys went to get the bananas, ย the other monkeys would get soaked with water. The other monkeys eventually beat up the one that reached for the bananas and so that monkey was replaced. The new monkey did the same thing and reached for the bananas, and the other monkeys would get soaked so they beat up the new monkey and so they understood that every time anyone reached for the bananas there would be a punishment. The new monkey understood this and when another monkey was put in and did the same thing, the new monkey joined in on the brutality. This is a paradox to how things are now or have been. These technical terms like “girly” and “manly” are examples of gender roles that we should abide by, but why? Who decided the color pink was “girly” and that drinking beer and watching football is “manly”? This is only a portion of how we as a society hold our values and punish those who are beyond what is considered the “norm” just because the people before us acted this way. But at the same time, we’re learning to question ourselves and why we hold such values and this community is growing. This is a vast improvement and I can only hope this movement presses forward.




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