Don't kill the messenger.

Don't kill the messenger.

Written by
Gautam Bakshi
Date published
February 3, 2023

Photo by Rowan Freeman / Unsplash


In the past, if a ruler received bad news, he or she might become enraged and kill the messenger. This is obviously foolish because it would disincentivize future messengers from delivering bad news and would cut the king off from future information. Although we recognise this as absurd, our society is geared toward this way of life.

To use our bodies as an example, modern society provides us with a plethora of tools for dealing with symptoms - we can take pills when we are in pain without questioning why we are in pain. We can drink/do drugs when we are experiencing emotions we do not want to experience; we can use even "good" things like working out or music to distract ourselves from pain—feeling tired? Don't ponder why or take a break; instead, take caffeine to keep going!

We don't like feeling uneasy, but what if it's a sign? What if your body or emotions try to communicate with you, but you don't hear them because you have the tools to drown them out? Much of today's big tech is diverting our attention away from more profound reflection. We are eradicating the messager and training them not to share any longer.

Perhaps the messager is delivering a gift rather than pain. Perhaps the uncertainty we all feel should not be numbed, but rather used to investigate something within us.

If we kill messages that bring us gifts, we will become blinded by life and so preoccupied with killing messages that we will miss out on life.

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