Judgment is certainly not a skill that many young people have at the top of their lists to try to get better at. In this world, the attitude that all viewpoints are equally valid and important may be meant to reinforce the importance that every voice is heard, but it does other things as well. Frankly, it teaches that all ideas are of equal worth and so judgment is subjective. All lifestyle choices are equally valid, and all opinions and decisions are as well. This is a very real and very powerful attack against good judgment.

The idea of having good judgment at its heart means that not all ideas, behaviors, and decisions are as good. Yes some choices are very bad and lead to a lot of suffering. Some views, opinions, and motivations are extremely harmful. Not all lifestyle choices are good. We do need to have good judgment in order to weigh one action against another, or one idea against another. That is not always as easy as it seems. When so many voices are screaming that all ideas are good in one breath, and screaming that this person or this idea is bad in another, the goal is not to inform but to obscure. Judgment suffers and inexperienced people find themselves in deep trouble before they know better.

We do need to judge every day, all day, in ways we really do not realize. Our minds are pattern recognition devices and cannot help but make sense of patterns, and give us sense out of the information collected. Sometimes it works well and keeps us safe. Sometimes it makes mistakes, and often is tricked by clever people into giving us a false sense of reality that does not actually exist.

In learning good judgment, we MUST remember a very very important concept. REFERENCE POINTS are of course points of reference that we use to orient ourselves. In driving, reference points would be things like lane markings, reflectors, and signs on the roadway. Without even thinking, our mind instincively knows where our lane is. It takes little effort to stay in the proper place.

When driving in the midwest, I was driving at night in the rain. The city I was in did not have reflectors between the lanes on the road surface, and the painted lane markers were old and worn. In the daytime or in normal weather, this would be fine. On that rainy night, no one could see any lane markings. As this was a wide freeway in a busy city, that was a real problem. I went in the lane closest to the side of the road as that was a reference point, I could count on. It worked out for me.

Our minds make patterns and use reference points without us even thinking about it, or even consciously knowing what our mind is doing. We see a reality that is there because our mind is making patterns out of what information it receives out of the ways it has been taught to do so. Those with power and connections have studied methods to get people to follow directions and stay in their place for thousands of years. They have put more time and resources into persuasion, manipulation, control, and anything that can change the reality of the masses to what they want it to be. When you now look at the average young consumer of media, you can see someone who has never been trained in manipulation techniques and how to fight them. Never is it usually taught a completely unbiased and genuinely accurate curriculum on understanding the process of gaining judgment and fighting the many control mechanisms that exist. In other words, our youth are walking into the most complex, well organized, and systematic mind control system while being prepped for that by our own school system.

Many may think this is going to the realm of conspiracy. The term conspiracy in this usage was actually deliberately used to get people to ignore everything they are seeing without giving enough thought to it. If you wish to truly open your mind, you have to look at cause, effect, and how our minds work. You cannot do that by believing everything you are told. If you could, there would be no need to research techniques you can use to build judgment. It would have been taught better in school. The media and society as a whole would have already helped kids learn these lessons as well. It is far too important a thing to not learn. There is only one explanation. If it is not being given by all the systems we have in place to deliver information to masses, it is not something they really want to give all that badly. There is no other alternative. Yes the world wants to manipulate. Just like slave masters have always done, we are not given tools to break out of the chains we are in. The only difference is that this here is a prison for the mind. We can feel free to get temporary pleasures, but as for very real tools to break the deception, that is not something easy to get. Anything preventing us from very good judgment and discernment is not helpful to our long term health and prosperity.

Yes we can go down that rabbit hole quite a lot. Those that know need no convincing though, and those that do not will not be able to see no matter how many proofs I give. So, best to go back to the details of reference points, motivation and judgment.

Just as with the example of driving on a road, knowing good, bad, and making every other choice in life depends on reference points. What toothpaste do we get? Well we depend on the reference points. What do the health experts say? What do dentists say? What effects do you see? In this example, the reference points are mostly from the experts in the field. So for those who say fluoride is actually dangerous and not fit to be in such products, then why would some judge this to be true, and others judge this to be insane conspiracy theories? Well that depends on if you believe the experts are honest, or if you believe they are lying. The point here is not to debate whether or not you should or should not use fluoride, but rather to point out an obvious case of what reference points we are using. Wait for a moment though, we actually are not done here yet with this example. More reference points do still exist. Ads on TV, prominent places in stores that sell products to the public all deemed to be safe… All of those things are reference points as well. Yes seeing nice well kept isles, very large corporations, government agencies behind the decisions…. All of those are reference points as well. So do take out the question of whether or not fluoride is something you think is good or not. Examine your feelings now.

Take a close look at your feelings for a minute after reading the above. The question itself often stirs up strong opinions. It cannot help but get some people heated. Yes we have yet more mechanisms that naturally act to prevent calm logical thought and cause elevated emotional responses. Calm and reassuring surroundings of the store helps as reference points. Many other things bring up emotions that then act to reinforce decisions. All of these things get people set in their ways without questioning them all that much. Again forget the question of fluoride. That is beside the point. Look at all the control mechanisms that act as reference points and reinforcers that are not actually directly related to what exact effects that fluoride would or would not have.

Yes some examples I give are meant to bring out some emotions. It is an emotional response that is a huge part of deception and manipulation. Good judgment will require strong emotional intelligence and the ability to be very objective. Sometimes we will find that the government is wrong and that major corporations did have deliberate deceptions that hurt many people. No, I am not going to go too much down the conspiracy theories I will give elsewhere. The point is to help look at reinforcers and reference points.

Take a look at what happened with lead many years ago. Pretend for a second that you could travel back in time and talk to people about the dangers of lead poisoning in paint and in gasoline. Take a look at all the reasons why we now feel why fluoride (or pretty much any other product or medicine sold now) is not just safe but good for us. Look at the reasoning again, but this time substitute lead for fluoride, and substiture now for a number of years ago. Pretty much all the same reference points and control mechanisms existed then as they do now. The people then were not stupid for believing lead was safe. They were just making a decision for the same reasons listed for why most now feel fluoride is safe. Most of the actual things that affect our decision are not actually related directly to our knowledge of how the chemical actually affects us.

There are far too many areas of life to tell all the reference points here. You will need to very closely look at them, then look again and again. Even then, we will miss many things that deeply have effected how we look at the world. It is not just decisions. It is values, motivation, what we appreciate, and our perspective that are affected. Take a look at comedies such as Seinfeld. Innocent and fun, right? Actually no, not at all. We get blind to what television does because we are so used to it. We get blind to that we always have been around. It takes a lot more to be objective with those things that we know very well. Our minds cannot help but become blind to things. This again is in large part because of reference points that our mind has been trained to see over its entire time here.

What if you had someone with unquestionable knowledge and authority stated that the show Seinfeld and many like it actually had a lot of very bad effects? What if an unquestionable authority said that the humor being often directed at really odd people on the show was just part of a pattern of behavior that effectively trains the mind to make fun of those who are different and immediately throw out a lot of data or reference points in the process? Well this is not actually an example of a what if. This is actually one of the very well known effects that comedy has. If I gave examples of comedy made back in the day that supported evil causes like slavery, apartheid, the axis powers, communism, or other things like that, you would easily see how horrid comedy can be. Why did the people of those eras not see that? Were they all born evil? Are we all so good that we never would fall for such things? Honestly, yes humanity has learned a lot. Yes we have seen what things their decisions led to. We see the ignorant behavior and rightly condemn it. But do not lose the process of how the masses were convinced to follow such evil, or how they became blind to what they were supporting.

Comedy does provoke deep emotional responses. When we laugh at someone who seems ridiculous to us, we get deep emotional processes started in our body that take away objectivity. We throw out very important data and then reinforce how right we are and how ridiculous the other person is based on less than a complete objective set of facts. Do you see now why comedy is one of the older and most highly used propaganda techniques there are? Look at Seinfeld again. Laughing at characters that were intentionally made to be buffoons does act like a training. In the show, there really is no depth to their characters. They try to be as comical as possible. We get used to relaxing while having the habit of laughing at the comic relief. It seems completely innocent. Habits are not something that go away easily though. More shows and more reinforcement then get the habit to spread.

Look at late night comedy? Yes that should be very obvious propaganda, yet it really is not to those who still are addicted to it. Look at rap music. Yes it is not a comedy, but it triggers emotions and fills constantly with reinforcements that are not accurate in society. Look at the news. Yes it has an agenda. Is it yours? Yes they do give facts. The problem is that they do not make it easy to realize how they have controlled how the facts are presented.

Look at late night comedy? Yes that should be very obvious propaganda, yet it really is not to those who still are addicted to it. Look at rap music. Yes it is not a comedy, but it triggers emotions and fills constantly with reinforcements that are not accurate in society. Look at the news. Yes it has an agenda. Is it yours? Yes they do give facts. The problem is that they do not make it easy to realize how they have controlled how the facts are presented.

Can you trust the news? Can you trust your church? Can you trust your school? Who can you trust? A few years ago, most people would think I lost it to even mention the fact that these institutions are not actually completely objective. Now most of society should have no problems with it. Maybe you personally think it is all the people that are conspiracy theorists that are the crazy ones. My point here is not to say who is and who is not crazy. Crazy is not even a term that is helpful here. It just takes all data and everything that brought a person to their current belief system and then throws it all out and blames a completely flawed buffoon, just like shows like Seinfeld helped to train you to do. Throw out that thinking. Look at things with very different eyes. Why did the world get so crazy lately? What motivations did people have? What reference points did they use? What emotions swayed us? (fear, ridicule, extreme levels of hate) The process that brought us to where we are at is much worse than just some crazy people that got stirred up. It involves nothing less than the deliberate and systematic brainwashing of a planet. Humans are not born knowing basic reasoning skills. They need to be taught them, and have a lot of practice learning the extreme importance of understanding how to be objective and not let others manipulate. The fact is no matter what your opinions of the issues I referenced, had more people been thoroughly taught skills to see more objectively, the lies would not have been so effective.

Lastly look at perspective. Perspective comes after our reference points are already in place. Take someone looking at a person swimming in the ocean moving down the shoreline. That perspective clearly shows that the swimmer is drifting. Take the perspective of the swimmer for a minute. With their reference points, their world is staying still in the water, not moving one way or another. All the water they are in is not moving one way or another in relation to them. When the swimmer looks at the shore for a minute, then suddenly their world view breaks. A quick disorientation, then they realize they were moving a long with the water.

Having a good perspective is needed to keep your reality something that will help you. Understand that reference points are far more subtle than anyone thought. It is very easy to miss the many things our mind uses to orient itself and to form the “reality” that we feel we live in. Look at the examples I gave for the types of reference points we use. Look at your own life and tear it apart for what you use as reference points. It is not an easy thing to do, unless we skip over many things that are too hard for inexperienced people to see. Control our reference points and we control our reality. We become more objective and do make better decisions. We do learn to have better judgment.

Look at that statue of lady justice at the top of the page again. Judgment and justice require measures to be used. They are types of reference points. Looking deeper at how we form the reality we are in will help give us more experience and practice at having good judgment. That will help lead to real wisdom.

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