Humanity has many good qualities, but can also be pretty damn stupid. This is particularly true when it comes to how we treat one another. So now its a new year, here are nine stupid things you can stop doing in 2020.
1. Stop being prejudiced
Our species is pretty amazing. We can communicate complex thoughts, we’ve landed on the moon, we can create incredible art and music, achieve greatness in sport and we’ve even managed to invent two of the most fundamentally necessary things ever: toothpaste and toilet paper.
Sadly, we haven’t yet managed to stop being nasty to one another. For some reason, we keep creating hierarchies. We relegate everyone to groups and apply the most appalling stereotypes to them.
There are no subcategories to being human, yet we divide people up and sometimes even kill them if they are not part of ‘our’ tribe.
To judge and then discriminate against someone because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, disability status etc is just plain stupid.
We’re better than that – stop it!
2. Stop eating things that are not really food
As a species we might be living longer on average, but we are seeing increasing levels of obesity and a whole lot of other health issues. A lot of it is related to the stuff we are shoving down our throats at meal times and especially when we are snacking.
That’s because we have become reliant on processed foods. Sure they often taste good, but they are chock full of sugar, salt and bad fats.
Remember, those food manufacturers have shareholders as their bosses, not you. They also spend billions of dollars a year working out how best to get us to crave their products.
Sure we all indulge at times, but don’t make it your everyday stuff – over eating chemicals dressed up as ‘food’ is just stupid.
3. Stop denying we are killing our planet
Earth is the most miraculous planet. It sustains life in huge abundance – it really is extraordinary and as far as we know, the only place in the universe where life exists.
We are heading for a human population of over 10 billion by the end of this century – we are over eating, and polluting our planet – we need to stop pretending it’s not happening and really start to look at how our ways of living are causing immense damage to our only home.
Destroying planet earth is really stupid.
This interview discusses a recent film on the topic – start your journey of change here.
4. Stop posting copious selfies on social media
I suspect most of us take pics of ourselves and our bodies, even if we never post them on Instagram or text them to a romantic partner. Nothing wrong with it per se…
But, if you are posting your face more then once a day then we have a problem. It’s not that I don’t love you. I do! But you’re not really posting if for me are you? You are posting it so you can feel better from all the ‘likes’ right?
Have you noticed I don’t ‘like’ your selfies very often these days, but I will like a pic of your favourite building or even your cat? It’s coz you are posting too many effing selfies.
Remember in paragraph 2 where I said if you post more than one selfie a day it’s a problem….. well, I reckon more than 3 a week is too much.
Oh and by the way…. i’m not singling YOU out specifically, just in case you think it’s all about you.
5. Stop denying science
‘I don’t believe in science’ – say many politicians, some religious people, and a lot of those silly flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers.
What I’d like to ask them is:
Have you flown in a plane? Do you drive a car? Have you had surgery with anaesthetic? Have you watched television or used the internet? Do you have a smartphone? Have you avoided contracting cholera because your water is chlorinated?
All of those things are possible because of science.
Do I need to say more?
6. Stop claiming your ‘belief’ in something means you can be nasty to people
I don’t mean to pick on religious people, but saying god hates a certain group of people isn’t very nice. Referring to passages in a holy book and using them to claim that certain people are less worthy and are probably going to hell is just plain wrong.
Wouldn’t it be far better to just admit you aren’t very happy and it makes you feel better to rag on someone?
Justifying it by saying ‘well the bible says so’ means you don’t have to feel guilty or justify your rudeness doesn’t it?
Stop being stupid and admit to yourself that you enjoy being a bully. Then you can start being nicer to people.
7. Stop ignoring our mental health issues and start acknowledging our own shit
In the 21st Century everyone seems unhappy. We all seem a bit jaded, depressed, sad, and fed up with things.
These days more and more people are having the courage to talk about their mental health issues, but we still have more work to do in this area.
It’s time to admit that anxiety and depression affect us all to one degree or another and stop labelling ourselves as failures if we do experience mental distress. After all, we wouldn’t berate ourselves for having diabetes or breaking a leg. Our brains get sick too!
Pretending that we “ought” to be able to cope all the time is just stupid.
8. Stop voting for politicians who lie about caring for you
It’s time to really listen to what politicians say and what they do. It means not buying into simple slogans that supposedly solve major issues – things like ‘Make America Great Again, ‘Tough on Crime’ ‘Kiwi not Iwi’ are meaningless. If they cant provide detailed and meaningful policies and cant articulate clearly what they stand for then they don’t deserve your vote.
Other things to watch out for are picking on minority groups, offering tax cuts at the expense of your health care needs, going on holiday during national disasters, and avoiding answering questions.
Voting for people who display those characteristics is stupid.
9. Stop hoping New Year celebrations will change our world and our lives forever
We all love a good party, and there’s none bigger than the transition from one year to the next. It’s something that the whole planet gets involved in. Collectively, on New Years Eve we blow through millions of dollars worth of fireworks and billions of dollars worth of alcohol.
Each year, we seek to write off the past 365 days and kid ourselves that the coming 12 months will be better than the last. Many of us prepare lists of things we want to do and vow to make life changes.
Sadly we don’t often manage to maintain the drive to cement those changes.
So this New Year, why not realise that change needs to happen every day of every year and stop putting so much pressure on New Year.
And in general, let’s stop being stupid and care for one another and our planet every day of the year.