This quote explains it all:
“There are lots of would-be censors out there, and although they may have different agendas, they all want basically the same thing: for you to see the world they see… or to at least shut up about what you do see that’s different. They are the agents of the status quo.”
There were times when I shared information that presented an alternative and sometimes, an opposite view of a group’s agenda, those information were censored.
Topics like moisturizer withdrawal were not accepted and were treated with scorn, in early ITSAN forums as well as some facebook groups whose admins widely promote their skincare products. The justifications for censorship often come in the narrative of “protecting the group” from the information I shared. I wonder if the censorship was done to “protect the group” or rather to “protect some authority’s interest”.
Recently, in my attempts to reach out to people with eczema and to share information on the dangers of topical steroids, many of them has lashed out at me for being steroid-phobic. Some told me to “keep my bigoted” comments to myself. I believe these people are the ones who are still heavily using topical steroids and choose to not see additional relevant information that could help them. If they took the time to look at the information presented here, they will realise that I’m highly neutral on the position of topical steroid usage.
In some ways, I’m astonished at the amount of hate directed to me. Besides, all I have done is to share information with my opinion. I’m not at all bothered in a single sense, just astonished, at the ways of firstly, how people can deliberately choose to ignore relevant information, and secondly (an even bigger problem), how people can censor information to prevent access of information to others.
Stephen King said it best. There is this group – the status-quo, and there is another group – the ones who have their voice, the ones who speak out and the ones who dares to make a difference. There is great comfort in fitting in with a group. Sheeps stick together in a herd to maximise their chances of living. However, that’s all they do – to live – an average life. And they want others to live the same average life as them.
However, the truth in the real world is that people who step out of the status-quo are the ones who make all the difference in the world. They are the ones who think differently, speak out with their inner voice, go against the establishment, think out of the box, envision possibilities. These are the groups of people who often face intense criticism for their work. Yet, the legacy they leave is ever more significant than what the status-quo can seek to achieve.
There are things that I’ll continue to do – sharing information. If you are threatened by my actions, it only tells me: you have something to protect, and it will serve you better to see the information gone or censored, rather than it be freely distributed. (Think Snowden and the US govt.) I’m heartened to know that some of my information has benefited others. That is all I needed to know to keep going and doing what I am doing.
Going through TSW forces you to think deeply what you want to do in your life. Do you want to be average? Or do you want to live a meaningful life by your own standards and leave a legacy you can be proud of?
I’d love to hear how TSW has changed your living philosophy. Share this post if you find it meaningful =)