Thoughts on Self Respect

Throughout my time in university, it has always been my opinion that we live in a world plagued with mis and disinformation. Today, I still believe that and yet I interpret that in a much different way than I ever have before.

To begin, let us take a step back, let us think about what produces information. Generally, it can be said that information is typically the product of a mixture of data and thought. Data in and of itself simply exists, and thought is something done by a party, whom has interests, to make sense of the data.

Sometimes information leans more heavily toward data and sometimes information leans more towards thought. Yet, generally it is hard to intertwine the difference of the two when perceiving information.

Thought is of course impacted by the history of the party producing the information and their interests. The result of this, is information is skewed in a particular way towards ones own interests, whether they are aware or unaware of that fact. Sometimes, this can produce what some deem truthful information and sometimes it produces faulty information. The result of this, of course being mis and disinformation.

I always thought that mis and disinformation were modern ideas, yet only in recent times have I learned that no, it is not in fact a recent idea. Although the the forms of media have changed, human nature has not. As long as information has been presented there has been mis and disinformation.

So, what does this talk of human nature have to do with self respect?

Well, to be truthful in beginning to write this I was unsure, and yet I did it anyways as the result of following my intuition. However, through writing this by following my intuition I have realized exactly what it has to do with self respect.

Self respect is something that everyone has to a certain extent. When people exist at the extremes, of either high or low self respect, others can generally notice it and derive a certain sense of energy from it. When around those with a higher sense of self respect, one feels better about oneself and when around those with a lower sense of self respect, one feels worse about oneself.

I used to worry about mis and disinformation on a personal level. I thought “who am I to be able to decipher the signal amidst the noise.” I still think this is a genuinely valid concern, especially at a social level. And yet, I no longer worry about it.

It is true that there is more dis and misinformation out there than ever. Yet, it is also true that there is more information accessible to everyone than there has ever been, and with that comes that the earlier stated fact. Today, all are free to view information from a wide variety of sources and form their own nuanced opinion. That is not a tragedy, but a miracle.

I will never have all the information and that is beautiful, I know that.

Yet, I also know that if I am never sure of myself I will never be able to make decisions and navigate this crazy thing we call the world. It is my duty to gather what I deem to be enough information for a certain decision and act on what I deem to be enough information. Hell yes, mistakes come with that, but that is okay. I am not afraid of mistakes.

Today, there is more information in the world than there has ever been before. This piece of writing is one of my own contributions to this great mass of work. Make what you want of it, above all I encourage you to disagree with as much of what I said as you can.

Is this a jumble of thoughts with no true cohesion? Perhaps it is, or perhaps it is not.


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