education

Making Their Words Your Own

Culture today is very “ego-centric”, or more appropriately, “self-centered”. People are encouraging others not to think for themselves – an act of independence and freedom of expression – but to think about themselves. Culture says that it’s important for a person to have their own uniqueness – to be an island that stands out in the vast ocean – than it is to have a name stamp proclaiming agreement. People hate it when you stand with someone else, as if somehow you’re not supposed to agree with people who came before you or that somehow their expression ought to be exclusively theirs and you have no “right” to touch it or associate yourself with it.

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global issues, psychology

“Right” is not the right idea

An analogy I often use to demonstrate the term “rhetoric” is to say “ice cubes are cool, therefore ice cubes are awesome”. What is going on here is the alteration of an idea based on the abstracting of an original idea. Certainly ice cubes can be awesome, and the appreciation of ice cubes being cool makes them awesome (subjectively speaking), but the coolness alone does not make the ice cube awesome. Yet this change in an idea often goes unnoticed when the word attempts to describe a more complex framework. In short, we may find ourselves applying rhetoric without even realizing it. The word we are actually searching for may be more limited in scope and definition but be supported by reality. Let us start with an analogy.

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