Not all epiphanies or realizations that we have in our lives are going to be happy ones. Sometimes they end up making you sad at first but happier in the end. But for some that sadness might never go away. Whether it’s the sadness of the world or the situation, it stays with them. The truth is hard to accept. It’s hard to realize that your life and your perspective on the world is more wrong than it is right. Welcome to Critical thinking and writing with Professor Leither.
I want to start off by saying that I always considered myself to be pretty perceptive and well informed. I thought I was someone who paid attention to the smallest details. I was wrong. I did not see clearly.And these realizations came to me pretty soon after starting his class. The very first day of class he asked us, “what is happiness.” For me, this question brought on mixed feelings because I have never thought to describe happiness. What does it feel like? This was only the first in a long list of eye openers.
When you think about, we live our lives with blinders on. We become so focused in our mindsets that we forget to look around and see the situation clearly. Everything passes by us and sometimes even when we see something wrong we decide not to look for it.
I think I’ve known for a long time that there was a problem with the American food industry, but besides that I never looked deeper. Something that is so essential to my very being and I didn’t know the first things about it. “Eating Animals,” by Foer, opened my eyes to the animal industry and the injustices that go on there. I watched the video “Meet your Meat” and I was shocked and disgusted by what I saw. I never tried to look closer at this type of cruelty that goes on in this industry. The sad truth is, is that I am not the only one. I asked Santa Clara University students if they knew that their were problems with the industry and all 25 thought there were. When I asked the what problems only, ten could list more than one thing. Only One Thing. We have become so engrained in our lives that we haven’t even taken the chance to see a problem with a source of our survival.
This also applies to so much in our life. Have you ever taken a moment to realize that mostly the media is all violence and acts of crime and nothing else? How often is there a positive story compared to the negative ones? Our society is filled with negativity that comes at us from every angle even when we’re children. We hear and see these ideas subconsciously and don’t even realize that they affect us. Does anyone else remember a few years ago were Facebook made some news feeds happier and some sadder without the participant’s knowledge, and it showed that they would then post more with happy or sad posts depending on the feed they got (Waldman, Katy).
We are affected so much by the media and the stereotypes they give us, that often we don’t even know our hidden biases, and we make assumptions based on appearances and not by knowing the full story. With my research, I wanted to look at stereotypes with violence, so I researched on cases that shocked the world.
I went to the case of Andrea Yates, a mother who killed her children due to severe postpartum psychosis. But for those of you who have heard her case, you might not know how profoundly sick she was. You might not realize that she had tried to get better, before her ultimate downfall. But when people hear that she hurt her children they automatically make assumptions, before I knew all of what happened I did the same. Her case is horrifying, and the media has not helped her and made her into this sociopathic monster when in reality that’s not the case. Her husband the man who lost the most and had the biggest reason to be upset wanted people to understand her level of sickness, (“Andrea Yates.”)
I also studied the case of the famous BTK killer, Dennis Rader, BTK stands for bind them, torture them, and kill them. He was on the loose for over 30 years because people never suspected him. He was a church president, a boy scout troop leader, and a loving husband (“UNHOLY MESSENGER: The Life And Crimes Of The BTK Serial Killer.”). It took decades to find him because he is not the obvious choice, he didn’t look like a serial killer from the outside, and those judgments led to him not being captured. He even helped the police with his own case. (Tresniowski, Alex, and Lauren Comander.).
The blinders we put on throughout our lives do more damage than good. Yes, the truth can hurt sometimes, but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. My CTW class changed the way I think of things. When I watched the video “This is water” I realized that I have to live with my eyes open. This class changed the way I see the world around me. I see it for what it is both good and bad, and yes sometimes I do miss those days where I didn’t worry about the bad but now at the very least I can make a difference. By changing the way I see the world, I gain a clarity I never had. It may be hard, but it is so worth it.
“Andrea Yates.” Biography. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown, 2009. Print.
Tresniowski, Alex, and Lauren Comander. “Confronting Btk.” People 64.10 (2005): 79-82. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.
“UNHOLY MESSENGER: The Life And Crimes Of The BTK Serial Killer.” Kirkus Reviews 74.4 (2006): 175. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.
Waldman, Katy. “Facebook’s Unethical Experiment Manipulated Users’ Emotions.” Slate. SLATE, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.