What does the word Brainwashed mean? well according to the Oxford English Dictionary it means to
“Pressurise (someone) into adopting radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible means”
So to force someone to a way of thinking that is not there own or to one that may not even necessarily be right and to change their beliefs in a certain area whether that be religious, political or to just get someone on your side. Does this happen throughout life? Yes, it does. Do we know this is happening? Yes, we do. Do we know how this is done? Yes and no. Because sometimes it’s not so obvious that someone is getting brainwashed but other times you can clearly see it, apart from the person who is getting brainwashed.
There are many different techniques used by people, organisations, governments etc to get you to do what they want you to do. If you are mentally strong and can see through the campaign you will not be so easily influenced. However, the people that are being targeted will not realise it until the necessary change manifests itself. These changes are slow and gradual. Small ‘insignificant’ changes are put in place that can be easily accepted by people without any altercations. Once these have become the norm then the process is stepped up progressively and so the cycle continues until the target/goal is achieved.
One of the ways we remember things is through repetition. It helps us to learn and develop, but then this depends on what we are repeating on a daily basis. If its beneficial for us we will develop, if not we retrogress.
Governments repeat messages through news via T.V, newspapers/magazines, radio etc when they want to push their agenda. Businesses do exactly the same when they want to promote their product or service. They both repeat their message several times throughout the day using different mediums so it becomes ingrained in the minds of the populations. There are many examples of this i.e. iPhone, Samsung, Coca-Cola etc etc etc. These brands are known the world over. Many professionals use repetition as affirmations to help them in their daily lives. These are used to either overcome problems, meet personal/business targets, to reach certain milestones and the list goes on. The words are almost like incantations because they help you to reach the desired result.
Your critical mind does not get the chance to analyse the information and just focuses on the instructions. How do you convince someone to put harmful chemicals and smoke into your body? You make it appear cool, that everyone is doing it or if you want to be part of our group you have to smoke. How do you get someone to put a contagion in their body? You say it will take away their troubles, make you happy, make you feel invincible et al. Words are like magic, they make people do things they wouldn’t normally do.
Psychologists have worked out how we communicate with each other. We use different channels when we interact, 7% verbal/spoken language, 38% tonality and 55% body language. Hence, what has the most impact on us is our surroundings and how people respond to us using their body language. This type of behavior encourages certain beliefs and evolves into a culture for that group of people or that area. The second most influential channel is the tone that is used by people we associate with when they are talking to us on a regular and daily basis. These two areas have a long-lasting effect on us and develop our thoughts and beliefs.
The common wording used in equality and diversity training is “we are not born racist, but we are taught to be racist by our family, friends and society”. It’s not human nature to hate, but it is taught. If a person can be coached to go against his\her nature, then it should be easier to nurture them back to friendship, a person that benefits humanity and not destroys it.
When the term brainwashed is used it is seen as a negative, but when hear the term educate it is seen as a positive. However, both really depend on the agenda/intention of the person sharing the information and doing the persuading. If the information is for the benefit of the community then it should be accepted as good, but if its to fill the pockets of a certain group of people at the expense of another group of people then this should not be accepted.
In order for people to stop themselves from getting brainwashed, they need to educate themselves. They need to cut out all the noise and go to a quieter place to think about the information they have received/heard. As far as possible you should try to verify the information you have been given. Get out more and talk to people from different backgrounds and cultures. You do not get an education from only books, you have to get out and explore for yourself and learn. Why are we taught that tragedy and sorrow sells papers? Start to read more good news stories, look to see what other groups of people are doing to help the society and join in.
Brainwashed can mean to believe that the others (whoever the “others” may be) are bad. However, you can also be brainwashed to be a better person/individual. The direction you take depends firstly on YOU, then on the person or people that you talk to and the literature you choose to read and the places that you frequently visit. Amongst other things.
So if you:
- Focus on personal development
- Accept the differences in people
- Look for what is good in others
- Help your community to progress; and
- Accept that there are good and bad in all communities
Then we can at least start to move forward to a peaceful future. We can work on everything else as we go along.
So if you’re going to be brainwashed then at least
be brainwashed to do good for all.