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Cognitive dissonance

September 25, 2013
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

Allow me to introduce you to another of life's complexities that pertains to us all. What happens if one day someone tells us that our whole existence in America has been nothing but a lie? That everything we have been led to believe is a hoax? That our whole world does not center on God, the American dream, mom, apple pie and Chevrolet? Would we be able to 'handle the truth'? Many people say that as human beings we would not be capable of coping with such a reality; we would lapse into what has come to be known as cognitive dissonance (CD).

CD, simply defined, is nothing more than a form of denial; a withdrawal from reality or the subconscious thought that reality is too harsh to face. It has varying degrees of profundity and one can lapse into total CD, or catatonia.

Most of us with any common sense at all knows that "things are not right" in our country but we don't know the specifics. We have our own thoughts and we have been led to believe that "they" will take care of things for us, no need to worry. Then someone starts telling you things, the truth. At first you go along with the program but the more truth you hear the more unbearable it becomes, it scares you. When you start to come to the realization that all of what you are being told is actually true it becomes too scary and you go into CD. And, rather than face the truth, while in denial you cannot blame your ignorance of the truth on yourself so you start to blame the one who has exposed you to the truth; he is at fault and not you.

It gets worse: another reason for CD? In my opinion it is because we innately know the truth but if we reveal to others that we have "seen the light" we put ourselves into a predicament: we either have to do something about it or we can pretend to remain ignorant of the facts and become (to ourselves, at least) a coward. Ain't life grand?

Keith Kaye

Lehigh Acres



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