Thanksgiving, Mindfulness, Social Media, and Conspiracy Theories
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends in the United States. Happy Holiday Season to everyone around the world. Certainly, this will be a holiday season like no other due to Covid-19. I can't imagine that anyone, anywhere, isn't hoping for a better 2021. 2020 has been difficult for the population of the entire planet.
At this time of year, I usually write an article about steps that can be taken to fit mindful moments into even the busiest holiday festivities. This year, some families and friends will continue to gather as usual and many will skip such outings and spend a quiet time at home. Too many families will have an empty seat at the table. Mindfulness can be a part of the season that might just help you keep your perspective and appreciation of the moment and for some, to reflect on their families and those lost.
Mindfulness is not religion, just as yoga is not religion. If it is part of your religion, it deserves respect. If it is not in any way religious to you, that deserves respect too. You may find social media posts that try to shame you for practicing meditation, mindfulness or yoga. They are out there. I've read them. You could also find meditation and mindfulness social media that only wants to monetize something that is very singular and personal. But why listen to me? There is no need for you to do so as this blog is a stream of consciousness, not a money generator or a demand to see things my way. I will share with each of you that my hope for the world is for people to think for themselves. Social media that sells fear and hate is about money. Social media that sells love and peace might surprisingly, also only be about money. We've all seen it - " like and forward if you agree." Ah, those clicks are worth money. Clicking and sharing doesn't make it bad. What makes it dangerous is sharing something that you know little about or that is designed to hurt someone or a group of people. When you pull yourself away from social media and have a mindful moment, be part of the moment and become calm. When you look at that posting at a later time, you just might assess it with a clear perspective.
I also hope that you are not tasked with entertaining individuals that are conspiracy theorists during the holidays. Conspiracy theories have existed for thousands of years. Conspiracy itself has existed for thousands of years. With investigation and fact finding, they can be proven or disproven. Sometimes they are never solved. Think of someone convicted of a crime based on blood type vs. a conviction based on DNA. DNA evidence is much stronger and definitive. Both require additional evidence. That's what a good detective does - he/she collects as much evidence as possible and does not rely on just one test or source of information. By far, the worst conspiracy theory is when it is told to you by a person that knows it is not true and has a stake in making you believe it.
This is how mindfulness can help you during the holidays: Find moments to just observe the moment. Give everyone the opportunity to speak their mind without argument. And most of all - read, learn, meditate, and think for yourself. Yes, you have rights. So does everyone else. Namaste.