Thought Catalog: Please Stop With All These F*cking Lists

Flickr / Ron Frazier
Flickr / Ron Frazier

Thought Catalog,

PLEASE STOP FEEDING US THESE LISTS.

The last thing we need to do is believe new definitions for pre-existing and new stereotypes. For as long as I can remember, titles have been the only way to define individuals. It’s a simple and easy way to attempt to encapsulate a full person’s personality and background within a few, key words. But there are a few problems with this — and we are no longer able to cope with them.

For starters, I have always been your biggest follower. Regardless of whether I believed, agreed or related with everything that’s been written through your blog, I’ve always felt a sincere comfort when reading each article, or catalog. And that is because we all search, endlessly to connect with, and form compassion for others. We are in such an age of the “scroll,” so this is only appropriate that we have a community based group submitting this in formats such as the list. But this creates something that you probably had not predicted would become — it creates a new set a rules, of dictations, for us to follow. Now, freedom, is our new diligence.

We’re all familiar with list forms. In school, we were taught the essay style of persuasion to invite readers to continue reading; as kids, we had to have reasons and concrete points for our moms so that we could get out of sticky situations; and in life, we are asked to be as poignant and organized as possible — in the form of note-taking and workshopping ideas. But what really happens with lists and organization, as we all know, is that they create borders and restrictions for us mentally.

Our society has been through some roughage recently, mostly in the social spectrum, whether with human rights or politics or sexuality or familial. To allow adaptation to progress naturally, we need to think less linearly — or try to control less in general! Some ways that we can achieve that is through the use of less finite language to define big ideas. Most people would just call these words, but I call them boxes. Imagine a world in which we could communicate any individual concept with all of our implied meaning — like we try to do everyday! We attempt to do that through our music, our art, our culture, our body language, our eyes, our blah de blah.. ya know.

You see, maybe what’s not coming across here, is that I’m getting at the fact that we have a lot more than this to deal with in our world right now, but to start to tackle the bigger things, we have to pull back our onion a bit and understand why we do the things we do and how we can build anew. Our brains are just too dense and yet impressionable for us to securely take these grandiose ideas in any other fashion. We need a little more brutal honesty – in that beautiful structure our third grade teachers would be proud of – sentences. Let’s start small. TC mark

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