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Statements Versus Demonstrations -- Why Proof Deserves Priority

Updated: Feb 22

A girl sitting on a wall

Those who wish to convey to the mind of others that they are of a certain standing, simply stating that they are of said standing, can more often than not lead to disbelief in the listener. In other words, saying that you're "smart" or a "master" of something, will only bring you mockery and a perception of pretentiousness. That's long as you don't prove yourself sufficiently, that you are indeed of this standing of yours.

A most-dominant example nowadays is the term "woke." While it's trying to convey that one is somehow enlightened, they are in fact shooting themselves in the foot since it creates the impression that they are delusional about themselves; that they are less than they intend to convey they are.

Now that this term is widely-used as an insult to those who highly support political correctness, it has become even harder to use that term about yourself, and expect one to be taken seriously. Being "woke", in addition, creates this condescending impression that one is far more knowledgeable than the rest of us, who are not as "awake" as they are.

Thus, titles such as "woke" or "sage" are very dangerous to one's reputation because simply stating that one is of said title/status, is not at all a worthy alternative to simply presenting that you are a "sage" or a "master" or whatever. It is indeed kind of lazy to just say something instead of using yourself as an example through your actions.

This is why wise people do not just say out loud that they are "smart," as they would lead by example, rather than by mere words. Their actions would speak louder than their words. To be of a certain standing, one must therefore prove to both themselves and to others that they are indeed worthy of said position under whatever framework or scale. This is because it is far more effective to put the point across through practical evidence rather than through what would seem to be boasting or "blowing off one's own horn."

Nowadays, constitutional monarchs are arguably disrespected because they don't lead by example as much. Their role is most often than not ceremonious, as with non-executive presidents in parliamentary democracies. In a world forged by merit, AKA by action, it's quite hard to be respected in high regard simply because of royal ancestry.

The true impression of someone's character is best created from being a witness to said character. It is naive, in a world misled by fake news and questionable authority, to expect general respect without proper evidence. It's why I've been working since August 2023 in renovating this site with just that, but I digress.

This is especially true for people who do not know you on a regular basis, if at all. Because of this lack of familiarity, it is far easier to judge that one is delusional about themselves, than judging the same thing after a long time of recognition or interaction.

And do not expect them to research your credibility if you yourself fail to demonstrate it. Much of the reception dilemma can be solved through convincing -- and correct -- demonstration/s of your value.

Do not say you are wise, and especially not a master or a sage, as these titles share similar impacts with terms such as "woke." Remember that people are far more convinced by deeds rather than mere statements, as those can easily be debunked. Do not expect compassion in a world dictated by liberty. That's in fact the dark side of liberty. A side so dark it leads to the Tragedy of Heisenberg: Why show empathy or compassion when we're free not to do so?

Those who are confident enough about themselves, will not seek the approval of others by demand, nor validation. The truly confident, after all, do not need to depend their self-esteem on the feedback of others, whether or not said feedback arrives at their doorstep regularly.

Attention-and-approval-seeking, all are examples of those who technically seek external recognition that does not necessarily exists within themselves. An inner void to be solved by self-love. But why should we expect love or empathy from people in general, when both qualities are generally limited in capcity? Don't appeal to emotion instead of proving what you stated. It's a fallacy after all.

Titles are, in the end, things to be earned through sweat, unless you happen to be born under royalty or nobility. Other people can serve as a mirror to your advancement. Once they reach a conclusion about you, said conclusion could be true if it truly reflects the significance of your deeds. Nonetheless, skepticism requires mental effort. It is far easier for people to discard you by giving in to their confirmation bias:

Remember: Having our beliefs confirmed and supported feels good.

It's your job to demonstrate your self-directed statements; It isn't theirs to necessarily be curious and research you, when people prefer to consume than to actively seek new data.

If you ever want to be considered a "master," a "sage," or whatever, then you should look to those who are not too biased, but honest, to provide an accurate reflection of your character. Of course, our identities can indeed exist beyond the realm of society. But as long as you communicate beyond the mere necessity, the value of society to your overall recognition in your role, shouldn't be disregarded.

Lastly, if you wish to have fans, they should become ones out of honest desire, and not just to please you. A wise person does not ask others to follow him or her; they come out of their own genuine decision. If they give you a certain title of respect, do not demand or request it to be used. Like in Taoism -- Wu Wei. Let the positive impression come naturally as you interact with the world in a laid-back manner.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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