Since July is a month to celebrate freedom, how about if we discuss how to keep our minds free? There are several ways that people, organizations, and the media try to control our minds, and we are so often easily swayed by them. Through awareness, however, we can avoid coming under their control and stay free. Freedom is good; wouldn't you agree?
First, let's look at how individual people try to influence us to their advantage. We have all received phone calls from scam artists who try to control us by using our emotions to our disadvantage. Scammers call this "getting them under the ether." They say things to elicit the strong emotions that are based in our reptilian brains, getting us out of our logical, objective higher brain. And the emotions they love to use are fear or urgency, anger or outrage, and greed.
For example, a scammer might want to scare you to believe that your computer has been hacked and you only have minutes to take care of it. They are using fear and the pressure of time to hook you into doing what they want, such as providing them with your credit card number. The best thing to do is to take a deep breath and hang up. (Better yet, never answer a number you do not recognize.)
But leaders also do the same thing, don't they? Whether it's religious leaders who scare you with talk of eternal damnation or governmental leaders who vilify a minority ethnic group, saying that they are out to take your job or are a threat to your safety, these leaders are using fear to control you so that you will do what they want. Stop. Take a deep breath. Go back to watching and listening to them objectively. Ask yourself: What do they want from me? Decide for yourself if that's something that is in your best interest and the best interest of those you care about.
Stay free, friends, stay free.