Your Brain Can Be Fooled

How do we know what we are belong told is true?

How do we know if what we believe is real?

We are all told things from the day we are born about life, other people, history and events. Politicians, teachers, religious leaders, advertisers, propagandists, to the covid doom sayers and conspiracy theorists and even our loved ones all want us to share their point of view and to believe what they tell us.

Currently with wars and the climate changing we are facing so many decisions both individually and collectively that will effect the future of planet Earth. How do we know any of it is real? The story below, that I was told many years ago, makes me think about how easy it is for us to believe what we want to hear and not question it’s reality.

The Story Of Two Men

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room’s only window

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’

The bottom line is that you don’t have to believe what you are told. Keep an open mind and consider what is it the is behind the words? Why are they being said? Don’t believe everything that you are told unless you have some evidential truth to go on.

Positive discrimination is a powerful skill.

And, by the way, it is okay to enjoy fantasy and fiction. It can be fun.

Take care

Sean x


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