Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: CHRISTOPHER MISZCZAK
Keep things simple, for the sake of your mental well-being.

Something that I have noticed, in this current state of the world, is that politicians love to use confusion as a tool to convolute the truth.

As someone who has always been drawn to science, I want to believe in a lot in things that are true. Therefore, I tend to respect scientists and doctors a tremendous amount — it is hard to argue with facts or with evidence.

I have also found that in its own way, the truth is therapeutic. It puts things into order, it alleviates the mind because we have more control over the facts of how the world works. Very recently I came across a book called Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler. A big theme of the book focuses on a term that he coined as “thought architecture” which basically means that one can nudge people towards the best decisions that they can possibly make, for ourselves, our family, and our society. This principle is important to consider, the currency and clarity of truth.

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In 2012, Rachel Botsman held a series of talks focusing on how trust is considered the currency of the new economy. In her book Who can you Trust? How Technology is Rewriting the Rules of Human Relationships, she speaks on collaborative consumption which is defined as a social and economic system driven by the sharing of skills. What she is illustrating is that we are living in an age of “distributed trust” which is quite literally rewriting the rules of our relationships.

Taking this into consideration my own point is simple: keep things simple. It is the best and most effective way to communicate. When we clutter the mind with unnecessary thoughts or get distracted, we tend to lose focus on what matters. The things that are important to us, for the pursuit of our own education, careers, or happiness.

It is important to declutter the mind, to take a break from time to time. To take time to reflect, to relax and not let any confusion cloud your own judgement or overall demeanor. You are in control of who you are and what you think. What bothers me and what has inspired me to write is that there are those that are willing to take advantage of people who are confused, and thus will use further confusion as a tool to do more harm.

It’s rare to find those that speak with clarity, clear intentions with a motivation for truth. In my own opinion, this is a way to think about life and the world around you. How else is one to make informed and intelligent decisions without that clarity?

I find that this philosophy in life is needed now more then ever in an environment where it can get confusing quickly. Especially considering the current political climate and where the world might go if we do not have people thinking with a decluttered mind. Therefore, I would argue that it is important to have courage, faith that things will get better, and a level head.

COVID-19 has literally changed the landscape, in how we interact with one another. It is important to look at our use of clarity vs confusion and our use of language. There is power in the words that we use and how we use them.

A lot of the courses and programs that we study focuses on the use of the English language. It is crucially important to speak and write with clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, and courteous language. If the use of language is held up to such a standard for effective communication and if we expect nothing less from our fellow students, peers, and teachers. Then should not we expect the same out of the society that we live in?

There has been a dramatic change in mental-health and well being during this period, especially in dealing with COVID-19 and all the challenges of the past year. The stress certainly does not look like that it is going to go away any time soon either. We need to be more cognisant and respectful of the struggles that we are all dealing with. As a community we need to be educated and vigilant for whatever happens next. Most importantly, we need to make sure that our minds collectively remain uncluttered.