One Way Thinking Under the Guise of Cancel Culture
Updated: Feb 19, 2022
In January of this year (2022), Pope Francis gave his annual address– mentioning the usual and expected, his trips, and the need to get vaccinated against COVID. Interestingly, he also mentioned cancel culture.
In regard to the phrase, he said:
“As I have stated on other occasions, I consider this a form of ideological colonization, one that leaves no room for freedom of expression and is now taking the form of the “cancel culture” invading many circles and public institutions. Under the guise of defending diversity, it ends up cancelling all sense of identity, with the risk of silencing positions that defend a respectful and balanced understanding of various sensibilities.”
And there is a fine line to toe between wanting to educate a person (who may have been insensitive, whether intentionally or not) vs yelling them into submission because your ideas are “the right” ones. Truly, our world is too vast and unique for everyone to have the same views. Not to mention, rigidly following a set of rules without any chance for individual thinking has proved itself dangerous in the past.
The Pope also goes on to mention that this “one-track” way of thinking is poised to deny history, or even attempt to “rewrite it for today’s standards”.
Which could be dangerous.
How do we learn from past mistakes if we sweep them under the rug? Being ignorant of the past will only cause us to repeat it. At the end of the day, it all circles back to relearning that failure is both inevitable and necessary in our survival as a group.
Our history is there for a reason, both the good and the bad parts. Cutting out and scrapbooking together things that only fit one narrative is not how we move forward.
At times, cancel culture aims to frame failure as the end of your social career. One misstep, one quote taken out of context, and you could be fired, your friends could disown you, your life could be over. Careful what you say, but also speak your mind because, after all, it is a free country– how can it be both?
It’s inevitable that something, some time in your life will be taken the wrong way. Human error is not uncommon, -actually very human, but the thing that can set the situation apart is the aftermath. When you are wrong, do you move forward with the yearning to learn and better yourself from it? Or do you stay rigid in old ideas and outdated techniques?
And, sometimes, there is no black and white. There is no clear-cut answer, much as we hope there may be. While it would make it easier, it simply isn’t how the world works. Humans, naturally, attempt to find the answer that aligns with our previous information the best. It helps our brains absorb and accept it easier. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “right” (right, of course, being a completely subjective term).