Grooming. It once meant to clean up your body by putting skin and hair in order. Now it only means to coach a young or naïve person into believing a certain way. Yet the people who sling this label onto their opponents are the ones who feel that at least some humans are still property, less than a person, able to be bought and sold. And those people are terrified (and thus outraged) by anyone’s thinking for themselves.
“Accuse the other party of that which you are guilty.” – WWII fascist propaganda
One of the ways you can tell real thinkers apart from the true “groomers” is that thinkers never claim to know all the answers, nor to be the absolute moral authority on a subject, while most groomers do both of those things. Those who groom (indoctrinate) people, especially younger people, often explain things in a perfectly one-sided manner; they give the appearance of revealing information and allowing the other person to reach their own conclusions about the new knowledge. In reality, though, there is only one conclusion they will accept: their own foregone one. If the target asks questions, those are refuted or ignored, and they may even get the questioner belittled, gaslit, or made to feel a fool for even posing those questions.
“Make the lie big and repeat.” – WWII fascist propaganda
Thinkers, on the other hand, welcome questions, especially those they may not have thought of beforehand. Thinkers often present more than one side of an issue as well, not as a politician or a lawyer might (with the answers already assumed and only leading the listener to those foregone conclusions), but as a calm exploration of ideas. A thinker might share their own opinion on the matter, but often afterward, perhaps only if asked, and even then as their own belief on the subject, and not as an absolute certainty, which of course no human can really know on most things.
Groomers often speak (or write) from a place of fear, demanding action, often to stop something from happening “because we must”. Delay tends to be unthinkable to these speakers, and anyone’s personal choice is irrelevant in the face of this “need”.
Thinkers often speak (or write) from a place of hope, calling for action while naming the real, understandable reasons behind the actions to take, and sometimes even with qualifiers such as “If you want to help” or “When you’re ready”. If humans have choices, then no demands are reasonable, although consequences of action or inaction may be inescapable. But the choice still belongs to the listener (or reader), because it always does.
So now you know why I share my discoveries and insights the way I do. Your choices are always your own, even where our consequences are linked, and whether I may like that or not, it still holds true. And I’m happy to discuss things like this with anyone who comes with an open mind.
Which of these concepts resonates the most with you? Comment below or post me a private response on my contact page.