Have you ever wondered where your beliefs come from?
I don’t mean the big stuff, like whether or not you believe there’s a God, or how you should NEVER wear black shoes with blue jeans – but instead the deeply ingrained little beliefs that to a greater or lesser extent, dictate the the running of our day to day lives and which also have a hand in shaping our self perception.
For example, ask anyone how many glasses of water they need to drink a day and the likelihood is that they will say eight. Everyone knows that. Eight glasses, about two litres.
The thing is, it’s not true.
It’s a myth commonly attributed to a 1947 study, the findings of which suggested that yes, two litres probably was the optimum water intake for an active human being, but not to worry, because most of that would come from food.
The reality is, unless, you’re wandering through a desert, for the vast majority of us dehydration isn’t something we need to worry about.
But try telling that to the millions of people who can’t go ten minutes without anxiously swigging from a plastic bottle for fear that if they don’t, their kidneys will collapse.
Incidentally, the bottled water industry is worth about two billion in the U.K alone. Hm, that smell tickling your nostrils? It’s called rat.
By the way, Guinness isn’t really good for you.
A dollop of ketchup does not count as one of your five a day and, despite what the adverts would have you believe, the appropriate response when someone puts Richmond sausages in front of you is not to close your eyes and fall momentarily silent in awe, before sighing: ‘Ah Richmond’ with a wistful smile on your face, but to throw them in bin.
When you think about it, it’s actually quite scary just how many our beliefs and habits are the direct result marketing campaigns and the lies of big company spin doctors.
Like the fact that on some level you probably believe that your body is disgusting.
Of course you do.
That’s why you wear deodorant, to mask your bodies natural odour, despite the fact that fresh sweat carries a plethora of subliminal messages to the opposite sex, including information about your health and well being. There’s even research to suggest that whether or not you like how someone smells is an indication of your mutual compatibility.
Sweat is actually quite remarkable. The global deodorant industry certainly thinks so, they make 19 billion dollars a years convincing you that the slightest whiff of bobby orange is enough to make you a social pariah.
And we fall for it.
We lap it up, unthinking, actually believing that the miasmic mist of chemicals we liberally spray onto our armpits will probably make us irresistible to the opposite sex.
Who do you think benefits from the rule that women should be completely depilated?
Could it be the cosmetic industry perhaps? Certainly it’s not the legions of young girls who risk in growing hairs, shaving rashes and the risk of bacterial infection because they adamantly believe that having ‘any hair down there’ is somehow unhygienic, not to mention revolting.
What’s particularly depressing about all this, is that most people would like to think of themselves as free thinking individuals. The truth, however, seems to be quite the reverse. You believe exactly what you’re told to believe.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Accept nothing. Question everything.
Starting with this blog post.