“Love people and use things and not love things and use people.” – Chain email.

I found this curious phrase that today I received an chain email. It is a case of spreading a meme, a virus of the mind. In this case, the meme is: “who has a ot of stuff is because he exploits others,” or in other wording: “If you have money is because you screwed many people over.

Without going into unnecessary arguments about the truth or falsity of this meme (the very fact of being a meme speaks for itself), I found it interesting to do a little analysis of how this propagates.

It installs in your mind the prejudice that if you love things you must use people.

And it fulfills this purpose by using this piece of common sense that everyone accepts as true without restrictions: “people should not be used but loved,” an opposition between “people” and “things” adding a pun between the words ” love “and” use.

Thus, when you read the phrase you agree with the first part, everyone agrees, which leads you to also agree with the second, and, hence, it settles in your mind the prejudice that anyone who is rich is bad . This idea is validated by the pun between “love” and “use” it does seem that the phrase is coherent, it sounds right, so that is true.

Want to see how the same concept works with other actors?

As an example I will use the same phrase to attack the Church (I do not have anything against the Church):

“Loving God and use the Church and not love the Church and use God.”

What do you think? Corrosive huh?

In this case the phrase installs the meme that religion is a private thing between you and God and that the Church only gets in the way.

There are many other memes in circulation, usually related to the fundamental themes of our life, like survival, sex, death, religion, money, work, the relation between men and women, the food, etc..

They are pieces of knowledge that have spread through the environment we attend and we often limit our ability to see farther and seek solutions “outside the box”, which is where they exist.

I found this very curious and reproduced it here because I came across a chain email that had been passed a dozen times. I think that just the version that got to me, has contaminated a few hundred people and now most of them have cemented the belief that “those who have money exploit others.

Unfortunately this belief gives the poor a simple explanation, but not necessarily a true one, about why they are poor but it does not help them out of poverty, rather, it takes them to remain poor because they are good people, and the “good people can not be rich.

Imagine the power of a meme that spreads the idea that abundance is available to all and that, no matter what your current situation, it is possible to go out and have a prosperous and happy life!

Moreover, the fact that you have plenty means you can share it with the poor, and help many others out of poverty.

Wouldn’t that be much more useful and interesting?

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