hand-picked
Todd Hayen

Were we handpicked to know the truth? Are we the chosen ones? I have resisted this idea for almost three years. It seems much too biblical, and although I consider myself a spiritual/religious person I am not so sure if I see the Bible as literal as most religious people do.

And besides, does the Bible make any reference to “hand picking” people who will be critical thinkers and not get sucked into the evil narrative?

I know the Rapture suggests that only those who have taken Jesus Christ as savior will experience the Second Coming of Christ, but would that count?

I don’t know if all of us on this side of things have done that. I don’t think I have, really, not formally at least, not so a Christian would think I was part of their gang.

I was recently tooling around Facebook (which is kind of like a ghost town for me these days since all my “friends” have run away) and came across a post that commented about us being “chosen.” The person giving the “chosen” title said to the person receiving it to just hang tight and “do your job.” They were rather vague about what that job would be. I suppose just holding the truth, don’t comply, and stuff like that.

For me it is writing for my substack and Off-Guardian. This “hand picked” post I ran across got me thinking—again.

Since the beginning I have wondered why we, over here, think the way we think. Thinking like this comes naturally for me. I thought everyone thought this way—critically, inquisitively, curiously. It certainly doesn’t take any special intelligence or knowhow, although it seems as if the sheep are very often stupid, but I know a whole lot of very intelligent sheep—scientists, doctors, economic gurus, you name it. So I don’t think it is intelligence that sets us apart.

Like I said, I really have no idea what makes us different than sheep. Well, I shouldn’t say that, I do know how we are different, but I don’t know the answer to “why us?” There does not appear to be a common denominator, although through the years I have pondered on this, and I have come up with a few ideas.

Like I just said, I ruled out superior intelligence a long time ago. Although I have not yet met a really stupid critical thinker (on the other hand, have indeed met a few really dimwitted sheep) I just can’t accept the theory that all of us are super smart. A lot of us are, but it just doesn’t seem to be the common denominator I have been looking for.

As for critical thinking, it does seem we have a corner on that. But what exactly IS critical thinking? I wonder if we just say that if we get to conclusion B, then we got there because we were thinking critically, and sheep get to conclusion A because they don’t. My wife would fall into the sheep category, and I know she is a critical thinker, as well as being super smart, my brother in law (a super sheep) is a retired PhD scientist, I am sure he is a capable critical thinker (I know not all PhD scientists are, but I have known him a long time, he is). Now, I do think more of us think critically than sheep, but I think it takes more than that.

What about kowtowing to authority? Well, there might be something to that one. I have not yet met a rebel sheep. I mean a “general rebel”—one that gets pissed about things like taking shoes off at the airport, having to stand in a particular way in a particular line. And of course the obvious: wearing a mask anywhere and everywhere, walking only one way in a supermarket aisle, giving your ID for no respectable reason—stuff like that. A rebel nature seems to be important, but I again doubt if every single one of us is a rebel.

If being a rebel is an important attribute we all share, what gives us a rebel nature? Were we raised a particular way, at a particular time in history? I grew up in the ‘60s, a few years behind my two sisters who were ensconced in the “hippie/student/antiestablishment” world of young folks. I just missed that era, entering post pubescent quasi-young adulthood somewhere around 1970.

I strutted around at that time like a Young-Republican-Mr-America even wearing a little American flag pin on my shirt. Back then, young Republicans were super authority huggers. We didn’t break the law, didn’t take drugs, and didn’t say nasty things about “Pig” cops or the poor ragged young heroes coming back from the “righteous fight for freedom” in Viet Nam.

Now one of my ex-hippie sisters is right on board with us…and the other is a super sheep. What gives? It’s weird.

Maybe it really is just a swirling cacophony of variables that make up our nature, each little thing, like being a rebel, or being a critical thinker, or a dozen or so other attributes that give a person rebel-points. If you break past a certain cumulative number on the scale you then become a “freedom fighter.” The same would go for being a sheep.

Then when you look at each person you can’t see any one thing that is rebel-is or sheepish. But…maybe not. We each really do seem to be very much the same within our own groups. Those of us on this side of the fence share views, sentiments, beliefs, which are pretty similar. I can usually guess accurately which side we will take on any given issue. Fundamentally we are very much the same. This appears to be true with sheep as well.

So what is it? Any guesses? And really, it isn’t too difficult considering what I just said, to present an accurate list of “rebel qualities.” That isn’t the question. The question is how did we get those qualities? Why are we like we are?

So…the more I think about it the more the “hand picked” idea resonates. But then an even more compelling question comes to mind. Who or what did the picking?

This is when I really flip out because I am a believer in the divine, and I believe much the divine presents is subtle. I do not see God performing miracles very often that pull me out of the “typical” miracles of an “ordinary” day. I am one of those believers who considers life itself as miracle enough to believe in God. I don’t need much more as proof to me there is a divine hand at work in the universe.

Considering that we were divinely ordained to do what we are doing is a stretch for me, and carries a bit of responsibility to keep that truth from getting to my head. Talk about virtue signaling. But what else could it be?

So now I wonder: if this is true, that I was chosen by the hand of God to be a person who is going against the grain, then the most compelling question of all presents itself: why me?

Todd Hayen is a registered psychotherapist practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He holds a PhD in depth psychotherapy and an MA in Consciousness Studies. He specializes in Jungian, archetypal, psychology. Todd also writes for his own substack, which you can read here

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