A friend of mine is always saying that a few people think, but most people use labels so that they do not have to think. How true. We have analysts who explain world events to us every day on the evening news. This is very convenient. He saves us the trouble of having to figure all those complicated things for ourselves.
That reminds me of my first girlfriend. She was a little bit older than me and she was able to vote in a certain election that I was not allowed to vote in. This drove me crazy. I wanted to vote in the worst way. I knew every candidate and all their positions. Dating teen-agers do not talk about politics, however. We were too busy with peer pressure, complaining about our teachers and wondering if our parents would let us go to the movies on Friday. It was not until after the election that I enquired of my beloved's voting experience. She told me simply that she had voted for all the wrong candidates (at least in my opinion). I cried out, "Why?" She said, "I voted for who my dad told me to vote for." It was easier for her than thinking.
And now we are in an election year- a presidential election year, no less- and we have too many people who have the same beliefs. It is easier for them to let some pundit- Al Sharpton, Ted Kennedy, Pat Robertson or James Dobson- tell them who to vote for than to do their own research. Learning about the candidates is hard work, after all.
One of the problems that we face is that many people are in love with opinions and they ignore evaluation. Evaluation causes you to study and analyze. If you skip write to opinion, you can get through much more easily. Not evaluating issues will leave you more time to watch reality programming on television. Jumping right to opinion can make us seem smarter than an individual who wastes time considering options and implications.
Another problem is the very one that my friend identified so clearly. If I can label people, or issues, or news events, I do not have to go to the trouble of thinking about them. If I put you in a category, I do not have to be bothered with who you are, what you feel or what you believe. My life is a lot less complicated that way.
And that's what life in the 21st century is all about, isn't it? We have drive through windows for banks, restaurants and prescriptions. We have microwave ovens and cell phones and other convencience items to make our lives easier. That's what we really want. We want easy. And that is an antonym for thought.