Being wise, you could argue, is all about uncovering the multiple layers of illusion that this onion called ‘Life' has to offer to get to the core full of Truth. Or, to put it in less oniony terms, if we accept what the world's really like (not what we personally believe it to be like), we can focus on what's really important without stumbling about in the dark.
However, that means swallowing a looooot of inconvenient truths that prickle and pinch our egos and make us want to curl up like hedgehogs. Twitter user Colevsthewrld created a viral thread where people shared the hardest truths to swallow that they know of, so scroll on down for the best responses. Upvote the ones you know to be true.
Psst, Pandas, when you're done munching on all of these truth-pills, Bored Panda's got another post about inconvenient truths right over here for dessert. We hope you're like Neo from ‘The Matrix' cuz we're about to dive deep into reality and look past the (un)comfortable simulation we live in.
Colevsthewrld used the well-known ‘hard to swallow pill' meme template to illustrate their post that got over 50k retweets and 16.8k likes. The meme was created just over 3 years ago (happy birthday!), in February of 2018, after going viral on Reddit.
‘Know Your Meme' explains that the image used in the meme can be found on WikiHow's article called “How to Lower Myostatin Levels.”
While it's popular to believe that everything's subjective and just depends on your point of view, that's an overly-individualistic view of the world. There are objective facts about reality, life, and the human condition that need to be accepted for what they are without any rose-tinted glasses or disbelief just because “somebody doesn't like it.”
Now, this doesn't mean that we can do away with looking at existence with our emotions (they're an integral part of being human, after all), but it does require setting our feelings aside, even if for a moment, and taking a long, hard look past the ego-trips, biases, denialism, and politicization. Life becomes full of shades of gray, instead of just being black-and-white. It's complex. It's messy. It's… well, it's human.
It's incredibly easy to judge someone for not seeing the truth about something. I mean, we'd never do that ourselves, would we, dear Pandas? Unfortunately, each and every single one of us is privy to our own biases, blind spots, and teeny-tiny denials that would make us facepalm if we could see ourselves from the side. So instead of rushing to judge others for being “blind to the truth,” let's take a look at why people might not want to accept the truth.
In an article for The Guardian, sociologist Keith Kahn-Harris argues that we're all in denial, some of the time. However, this denialism becomes a problem when, according to him, it becomes public dogma.
“Denialism is an expansion, an intensification, of denial. At root, denial and denialism are simply a subset of the many ways humans have developed to use language to deceive others and themselves. Denial can be as simple as refusing to accept that someone else is speaking truthfully. Denial can be as unfathomable as the multiple ways we avoid acknowledging our weaknesses and secret desires.”
Kahn-Harris continues: “Denialism is more than just another manifestation of the humdrum intricacies of our deceptions and self-deceptions. It represents the transformation of the everyday practice of denial into a whole new way of seeing the world and— most important— a collective accomplishment. Denial is furtive and routine; denialism is combative and extraordinary. Denial hides from the truth, denialism builds a new and better truth.”
In short, denial (which we all have a tendency toward to some extent) can grow into denialism on a massive, societal level. And that denialism can touch any topic: from the unending debate about whether climate change is ‘real' to the Myths vs. Science mega-battle raging about vaccines.
Kahn-Harris explained that denialism, the inability or unwillingness to face the truth, can have tangible real-world consequences. While some might be small, others are massive and lead to many lost lives.
“There is no doubt that denialism is dangerous. In some cases, we can point to concrete examples of denialism causing actual harm. In South Africa, President Thabo Mbeki, in office between 1999 and 2008, was influenced by Aids denialists such as Peter Duesberg, who deny the link between HIV and Aids (or even HIV's existence) and cast doubt on the effectiveness of anti-retroviral drugs. Mbeki's reluctance to implement national treatment programs using anti-retrovirals has been estimated to have cost the lives of 330,000 people.”
He explained that, more recently, we've seen the firsthand effects of vaccine denialism in the US: “On a smaller scale, in early 2017 the Somali-American community in Minnesota was struck by a childhood measles outbreak, as a direct result of proponents of the discredited theory that the MMR vaccine causes autism, persuading parents not to vaccinate their children.”
Note: this post originally had 103 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.
So, dear Readers, what did you think? Do you agree that every one of these count as ‘truth pills' or are there some that you'd disagree with? Why? What's the harshest Truth (with a capital ‘T') about life that you think everybody should know? Any tips on helping all of us to set our egos aside? We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so write us a comment or two and post it below.