A Matter of Perception through Proper Word Phrasing
Many people these days use highly negative (and to some extent toxic) terms to refer to the situation we are all experiencing. I find this highly ineffective and irresponsible and I'll explain why. The human mind tends to take things very literally. It is like a child and despite what many psychologists say, it's not that intelligent. In all honesty, it's dumb AF. It is the consciousness that has the attribute of intelligence, which has more to do with how well you manage your mental faculties rather than the mind itself. Of course, a sharp mind is a potentially useful asset, which is why education is very important.
Anyway, the human mind has a lot to benefit from how we phrase things because it lacks the intelligence to discern between the positive and the negative unless to delves into the information and exercise discernment. Naturally, this is not an easy task, which is why we often outsource it to machines through data science-related methods. This way we can guarantee a level of objectivity since the mind on its own tends to be highly subjective. So, if we use this impressionable tool in tandem with information that is biased (even if that bias is merely an emotional one) it is bound to be affected in the same direction of the bias. After all, not everyone is detached like a Stoic or an experienced scientist. If that were the case, I’d be writing a very different article right now (perhaps one related to my blog)!
So, how can the phrasing of the conditions and situations we experience change into something more positive, so at least the mind doesn’t panic and manages to handle the situation more effectively? It’s simple: we can use more neutral or positive terms to describe these situations. So, instead of saying "pandemic", we can say "Covid-19 situation" or something like that. Instead of saying "lock-down", we can say "movement minimalism" (MM) for example, a term I'm particularly fond of. As for "social distancing" we can use terms like "physical spacing" or "buffer-oriented interaction" (or BOI for short). The possibilities are limitless!
You may think that I'm not taking this situation seriously and that I'm mocking it. However, that's not the case. I take it very seriously but I am also aware of the effects panic and depression can bring to society (I was around when the last recession happened and the images of closed stores around the central streets of Nicosia still haunt me to this day).
So, I recommend you take a break from all the torrents of negativity that besiege us through the TV and the internet and think for a minute: does worrying about this benefit you or anyone else you care about? You may not care about countries that are infected right now (unless you are in one of them yourself), but you surely must care about your well-being. If that's the case, consider what I'm suggesting and try it for a few days. It doesn't cost you anything plus its effects may positively surprise you. In the spirit of Nassim Taleb's philosophy, this is a classical antifragile situation, so you might as well view it as such. Cheers!
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