|The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I'm not proud of this. I don't wear it as a badge of honor in the way that others seem to with their religious beliefs or political convictions. But it can't be denied. People just have a tendency to annoy me.
It's not because they don't think like me. I know plenty of people who hold opposing viewpoints on a variety of subjects, and only a small percentage of them ever truly get on my nerves. They can think whatever they want. At least they're thinking.
Maybe that's what it is. These people, the ones who aggravate me on an almost primeval level, are the ones who just don't appear to be thinking. They'll argue to the contrary; they'll swear that they have thought things through, thought them out long and hard, before coming to think what they think.
They aren't think. They're mimicking. They're parroting. They're pretending to think by saying things they've heard other people say. Odds are, the people they are copying weren't thinking either. They just heard it from somewhere else. They might have added something there, but what they thought was a clever little twist on it. But they didn't think of it, either.
People don't think anymore. They join. They agree. They choose up sides and shout what sounds like thoughts and ideas that they know their side will agree with, because there is comfort, safety, security in numbers. So the scream and the shout, they snicker and they jibe, they cajole and they retort with smug, smarmy, sarcastic grins displaying their joy in feeling that they've imparted some great wisdom or knowledge that they have earned through some sort of mental process that they would like to believe is thinking. But they haven't earned anything. They haven't deduced or discovered an great truth, have not realized or understood something on an intrinsic level. There is no revelation, no epiphany, no grand illumination.
They're faking it.
They're pretending because it feels good to know something, but can be so hard to gain that knowledge through thinking. And it feels so good, and they fake it so well, that they begin to think that they actually know. They don't know. They just think they know.
And so they regurgitate platitudes and sayings and slogans and catch phrases, they cough them up and spit them in our faces because they think they sound clever, they think they sound smart, they feel, for once, that the know what they are talking about.
These people need to stop talking.
They need to stop posting, and commenting, and sharing. They need to stop cut-and-pasting their personalities and process the information that goes barreling through their heads for once. They need to stop chugging ideas and information like energy drinks and cheap beer, like dollar menu burgers and candy bars. They need to chew their information slowly, roll it around, experience the flavor, sample it slowly, and then, god willing, ingest it, absorb it, and convert it into a useful energy instead of vomiting it back up and attempting to feed it others like they were hungry birds seeking nourishment from their blackened, partially digested bile.
They are not feeding the masses with their precious wisdom. They are spewing reprocessed swill in an attempt to be noticed and acknowledged despite having nothing worth being recognized for.
They poison my air with every belch of false knowledge, sting my eyes and burn my throat with every rancid expulsion of what they attempt to pass off as their thoughts. They have no thoughts. The are empty vessels spilling waste, chattering bedpans unwilling to Try, yet desperate to Do.
Stop talking. Start thinking. Before it's too late for all of us.