In life there are always two sets of people – those who readily believe whatever they are told (largely, by those they have chosen to trust), and those who question whatever they are told, so as to ascertain its authenticity, as well as to have a better and deeper understanding.
I was brought up in a Christian household, and one of the principles taught me by my parents was based on the people of Berea, who were described in the Holy Bible, as ‘noble’ – due to their ability to “receive the word with all readiness of the mind, and search the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”.
Did it mean that those people of Berea were sceptics, who doubted what they were being told by the Apostles?
Not at all, as they were described not only as ‘noble’ by these same Apostles, but also were praised for their “receiving the word with a readiness of mind” – meaning that, they trusted those men who had come to them with the Gospel.
Nonetheless, what made these people outstanding – even being contrasted with those in Thessalonica, who probably, merely accepted everything they were taught without question – the Bereans, “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”.
In other words, they independently (without being influenced by the Apostles) checked and cross-checked what they were being taught to ascertain its validity.
This was a sign of intelligence – which is what differentiates them from fools, who never independently question and authenticate everything they are taught (irrespective of how trustworthy this emanates from), and seek to prod deeper into the subject matter.
That is why, given the devastating COVID-19 pandemic the world is currently enduring – if I were to employ anyone, the best curriculum vitae, interview, and aptitude test, to ascertain the most suitable candidate for a position, would be someone who takes their time to fully and critically question the whole concept of vaccines…as that reveals an exceptional intelligence.
As mentioned earlier, this is not to say what we are being told is a big fat lie – as in this definition, I am not excluding those who reject vaccines outrightly, based on a blind belief of conspiracy theories, since such people are just as foolish as the other group that lamely accepts these vaccines.
The only difference between the two is only that they have chosen to believe two polar sides – yet, without questioning.
I am reminded of a popular saying by renowned author, Mark Twain (real name, Samuel Clemens) – “I never allow my schooling to interfere with my education”.
A statement packed with wisdom – since, schooling (which unfortunately shapes most of our lives) is premised on the concept of accepting, without question, whatever one is taught by anyone authoritative.
Those who seek to dispute or question anything “proven” by teachers, scientists, experts, religious or political leaders, or any other authority, are deemed to have failed.
Without due caution and diligence, schooling on its own, is a very dangerous weapon of brainwashing, and also effectively destroys an individual’s natural ability to question.
Have we ever questioned ourselves why a child has a natural – and, at times, irritating – knack for always asking, “Why, why, why”, on every single matter?
That is their inborn intellectual capacity – an natural ability for attaining education – that we were given by Jehovah God our Creator, to be a people that questions everything.
Yet, schooling trains us exactly the opposite, and kills off that capacity.
That is why, today, when confronted with the controversial issue of COVID-19 vaccines, we have those two groups of people – those who readily and blindly receive whatever they are told by whomever they hold in high regard (be they scientists, medical experts, and their religious or political leaders), and those (like the ‘noble’ Bereans) who listen to what is being said, but question everything to determine whether that is so, and dig deeper for better understanding.
The latter are the so-called COVID-19 ‘vaccine-sceptics’ – people who are not guided by any manner of brainwashing, but would rather independently verify and comprehend what is being said.
As COVID-19, and the subsequent vaccines, are literally a matter of life and death, would it not make more sense if we had more people who actually took their time meticulously researching every bit of what those in authority are telling us?
Is what is being said making sense? How exactly was it proven? What processes went into those conclusions? How was the verification process carried out? What are the current effectiveness results, and what do they show?
Why are certain protocols still being followed if these vaccines are meant to protect people from severe illness or even death? What other information is there by specialists with a contrary opinion? And so many other questions.
Should we not be spending more time, on an individual level (without any undue influence from anyone) checking and cross-checking what our scientists, medical experts, and religious or political leaders are feeding our minds?
That, to me, is what defines intelligence, and if I were to employ someone, those would be the people toping my list – as what manner of an organization can sour above all others, without minds that are innovative, and are capable of independent thought and analysis?
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org