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Control the narrative

· 3 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

This phrase and topic can be seen in a few ways, but I think using this phrase instead of making another one up can serve to hijack whatever influence this one has for the one I'm about to write about.

I subject myself to a myriad of inputs, from newspapers, social media, blog posts and research papers to discord and slack chats, text messages from people and then talking to actual in-real-life people and getting their thoughts and opinions on all of the things as well.

I say "subject myself" because, after much thought and reflection, I've decided that this is something that I do to myself in that I allow it to happen. I have control over opening up twitter, reading an instagram post or newspaper article.

I don't have to do any of these things. That I've conditioned myself, absent-mindedly or whatever, over the years to repeat these things says more about my being present or deliberate about how I conduct my life or actively seek things out with intent, than it does about the fact this is "just how the things are", that this is normal, it's no big deal.

So action begets results, in my opinion anyway. And you are the product or result of your "things"- i.e. environment, choices and serendipity. And among your "things" are the those which you can control, and those that you can't.

The headline reads "control the narrative", and the narrative I'm talking about has been described as "the story you tell yourself" by our self-help friends, the "self talk", your "inner voice"- yes all of that. And in the same way various entities have used "control the narrative" to mean lie and bullshit your way around the place to get away with evil shit, the same mechanism is available, hopefully for "good", for yourself.

How do I control the narrative?

Choose what you consume. Sounds easy right? It isn't.

Do you really need to follow that person on Twitter? Why are you scrolling through Instagram for 2 hours every day? If you get upset at a newspaper story of racist people being racist, do you really need to read it? Does reading it increase your understanding of racism and help defeat it or does it just make you angry?

Ask yourself these things then take action. I like listening to cheesy feel-good country songs cos they make me feel good- do I think the world is all sushine and rainbows when I'm feeling good? No, of course not- everything's on fire (jokes, sort of). But getting angry about something I can't do anything about (the world) is no use to anyonej, especially me.

Should I not care about or pay attention to the shit then?

Nobody's saying that. Care, sure. Care by being a better person yourself. Start there. Pay attention? if you didn't know before, sure, pay attention. If you already know and think paying attention will provide a constructive outcome in your life, sure. Otherwise, no, pay attention to yourself and the work you need to do to be a better person.

So yeah, that's it. This was just something I've been thinking about.