The ‘power of suggestion’
Many Filipinos today could be victims of the “power of suggestion” or the “act or process of impressing something (as an idea, attitude, or desired action) upon the mind of another.” (Source: Webster)
Why has it become easy and casual to kill, make trouble or commit crimes today? Is there any relation between what is happening and the constant pronouncements we hear on a regular basis from the most powerful person in the country?
Metaphysicalrevelations.com says “ordinary persons tend to follow or obey the suggestions coming from an authority figure which they hold significant, like the influence wielded by Adolf Hitler among Germans … without questioning whether the end result of their actions would be good or evil.”
Many Filipinos today are displaying behavior conforming to the source of (violent) suggestions. The Fiba World Cup brawl is the most recent manifestation. Our Filipino team obviously forgot the essence of sportsmanship, and the dignity and honor at stake for us as the host country. Instead, consciously or unconsciously, they shamed our motherland before countries all over the world.
There have been at least 12,000 alleged extrajudicial killings, although police official data records only 6,225. Three Catholic priests have been killed in the past six months. But authorities say there is no reason to be alarmed.
The power of suggestion becomes akin to an order or command when the repetitious statements come from an authority. When an authority figure keeps repeating vulgar or violent statements, chances are people under him wittingly or unwittingly develop in their subconscious an inner drive to fulfill the authority’s suggestion without regret.
American social psychologist Stanley Milgram, in his study on obedience, said: “Ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being. Obedience to authority is ingrained in us all from the way we are brought up.”
We hope and pray that our leaders become more circumspect when making public statements, because they have a very effective power of suggestion.
ROMY O. PONTE, firstname.lastname@example.org
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