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Learning To Discern

Learning To Discern

The Wolf Will Always Be Bad If You Only Listen To Little Red Riding Hood.

“The wolf will always be bad if you only listen to little red riding hood”, is a phrase I came across when reading the lectures of a lawyer. In the copy of his lectures, he pointed out what he calls a fallacy in human nature…the bad habit of always listening to whoever is more congenial, whoever says only the things you want to hear. But is it human nature or is it programming?

Although I agree with his opinion which is based on many years of professional experience, I would differ with him in labeling it a condition of human nature. Personally, I would say it is the result of a cocktail of conditions and events; with two ingredients as the most predominant: unhealed wounds and programming. The first leads to the erosion of self-esteem, which often leads to a person lacking the ability to trust his or her own choices; as such, it is easier to follow the crowd and avoid being singled out. The second is the result of a society so focused on producing cookie cut versions of people, that it uses as its greatest tool, a superficial concept of acceptance as a reward for willfully fitting the mold and playing to the crowd.

I will agree that the society we currently live on, has much work to do; as we have fallen prey to instant gratification as the norm, and popular opinion being single out as “the rule” or what goes. A society so focused on “cancel culture”, to the point of eroding within themselves any type of self-resilience, for they rather only listen to whatever paints them a very fantastic world…it matters not if the world they are creating is more a surreal one, with no actual way out…a fancy jail if you will — but as long as it does not force those in it to confront themselves or to confront anything they may see as unpleasant, negative, different, then they will happily drink the poison of delusion and ignorance.

The system is designed to poke at our wounds, destroying the construction of a healthy ego, while feeding a very superficial persona. We live in a world that seems so connected and yet there is an unprecedented number of people who feel lonelier than ever; this of course leads to the desire to be accepted at any cost, even the annihilation of self over a role. We are so emotionally drained that we rather hear the version of little red riding hood, because she knows how to manipulate a crowd with her congenial manner and her always willing to be charitable demeanor (so long as one does as she says), over the wolf with his fangs and drooling jaws. Often the wolf doesn’t even get to give his side of the story simply because without saying anything, he has already committed the cardinal sin of not being a puppet to society’s every whim. Add the fact his story is not one to be pleasing, but one which will force those who hear it to look at areas of human nature, society, and life in general, which are kept hidden or at bay due to their real, raw but unpleasant nature — the result is often the same by those who have bought the Kool Aid….at best “cancel” the wolf, at worst kill him.

“It is also a reality that there are cases where little red riding hood represents exactly what is being portrayed and the wolf will behave exactly as it was expected by the majority”…. what can we do to avoid generalizations? the answer is simple yet not as easy to implement, for it requires self-discipline. We need to learn to discern. We need to learn to use our gray matter and think for ourselves instead of regurgitating whatever we are told to repeat as the ultimate truth. But the art and discipline of thinking is not for the faint of heart. We often confuse having thoughts and ideas with knowing how to operate our thinking process, yet they are not the same. Until we learn to understand our thinking process and have the discipline to train our mind to observe and analyze not just pleasantries, but to look beyond what supports one’s preconceived ideas, we will remain at the mercy of the crowd and incapable of individual discernment.

“Not everything we hear is true; deep inside we know this, and we run from it because it generates anxiety in us; as more and more, we are lacking the strength to face life as is, versus the toxic but sugar-coated version that is presented to us. Therefore, it is imperative for us to learn to take a stand and face the fact that life is made of beautiful and monstrous things…that is just reality, and running away won’t help. “We are aware that behind kind words, sometimes dark interests or clever manipulations are hidden. We also know that it is not good to confuse the truth with the opinion of the majority. But what is the truth? Classical philosophers such as Plato or Aristotle, defined truth as that which corresponds to reality”….as much as that is a wise saying, the real problem is that the truth is like a crystal with many faces that can be seen from different perspectives, and just like no two pair of eyes see the same thing; for their reality is presented uniquely by the way the light hits the cornea; likewise, my truth will not be the same as yours, because I see the world through my personal experience, my emotions and my biases.

A mentally mature mind is the one that accepts the above reality and uses it as compass. Being mentally mature is not hiding behind the above reality to avoid confrontation and continue to allow the illness that is consuming society to grow. Being mentally mature is simply recognizing that at best the truth will lie most likely somewhere in the middle. Being mentally mature is the ability to recognize that when it comes to human beings there is no absolute truth, but a truth. To get as close to that truth as possible, we have to learn to discern by stepping outside of our biases and learning to step in the shoes of others, without getting stuck in them.

“It is necessary to know how to recognize all those popular or imposed truths; understanding our reality is made up of multiple points of view, voices, and particular cases, which contain within themselves a personal story but very few times do they contain the absolute truth”. It is necessary to know how to intuit and discriminate between simple yet charismatic or congenial noise vs. what could be raw, unpleasant and perhaps even brutal but noble sincerity.


Sofia Falcone

Sofia Falcone
I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges and hopes, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves.

Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Sofia Falcone.

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