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Freeing our minds

Do you find that you spend much of the time feeling angry and frustrated? Furious at how local and global events unfold but powerless to do anything about them other than vent on Facebook?

After reading the Wingate Dumbocracy in last month’s Westsider, I pondered my colleague’s theory that uninformed opinions are negatively influencing society’s collective mentality and subsequently (inevitably) government policy.

I’ve concluded that our need to have an opinion on everything is not only dangerous – it’s making us unhappy.

Our relationship with the world around us is a little like our relationship with the people who are closest to us; life is far easier and happier if we maintain a certain level of harmony and choose our battles, whether it’s over who does the washing up, who left wet towels on the floor, or the fundamentally obvious flaws in Australia’s foreign policy. I’m not saying turn a blind eye to all, if we did that the self-serving minority controlling the money and the power would pounce with glee and run amok, it would be like the Industrial Revolution all over again.

Naturally we still need to appoint informed individuals within society to sense check, audit, oversee and occasionally arbitrate between business, government and the public – and every now and again marshal society’s people into action to right the clear wrongs. But in the meantime, perhaps we could benefit from not taking on all of the world’s issues – just the ones that directly affect us and that we can (and will) actually do something about.

A mind free of first world outrage and unburdened by social media fatigue is surely a more cheerful one.

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