The Extent of Our Indoctrination


by Augustine Tan

During the first few years of our life, we were taught by those who raised us on human behaviour, how we ought to act in front of people, what was appropriate and what was rude. We were never exposed to the important matters of life, as the adults handled them for us. And so, left in our childish world, we learned about the world through books, television and friends our age. As we grew older, we discovered and experimented on things, finding our own answers to questions others could not or would not provide us with.

All this time, we rarely questioned the state of the world. We were put in classrooms with equally clueless people, who were struggling to find identities for themselves. By the time we knew about the corruption of the world, we ignored it altogether, opting instead to write lengthy essays on the topic, in the hopes that someone will read it and do something for us. Outside school, we spent our time minding our own business, living blissfully without much care.

When we entered adulthood, we were more than ever subjected to the law. We followed the rules set by the government, learning to keep a straight face whenever things did not go our way. We made a living attending to our busy jobs, having little or no time for ourselves and those around us. We eventually retire and make plans to enjoy the remainder of our lives.

This story, of course, is not a true reflection of life. People have different ways of life, but the majority of us are stuck in this paradigm. The moment we are in contact with society, we are indoctrinated. We follow how the crowd behaves, not wanting to look like a fool by acting different. When a leader emerges, we follow his words, but feel ourselves inferior because we are not better than him. When we lead, we sometimes doubt our own choices. We turn to entertainment to ease our burdens by laughing it off, but little do we know that the flashing images are implanting subtle suggestions that will influence our behaviour.

The awake person will require some time to realize the extent of his indoctrination. He will acknowledge it and try to change, but the programming will still be there. The process of untangling from the indoctrination is a long and arduous one, but when he finds his footing on his own, he will be able to think clearly for himself.


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