The Truth is out there! Somewhere…. or maybe no-one cares.
I have a problem with the truth, or perhaps more importantly, not just the lack of it, but the indifference people show towards finding it. And yes, the truth can be subjective; but don’t we have some responsibility to ourselves to at least look for the answer and not blindly accept what others tell us.
You see, I have a compulsion for telling the truth, and because I do, I will tell you now that yes, I do lie. I will lie to the telemarketer who wants to sell me all the things I don’t need; I am not the homeowner, I don’t go on holidays, my house is covered in solar power, and I am the housekeeper etc. To the nosey shop assistant who wants too much information, I will give misinformation. To my friend who looks like they could use a six months vacation, I will tell them they look great because that’s what they need to hear.
But I don’t like to see the truth perverted, even if the intentions are good. What I like less, is our ability to accept it. We live in an age where the truth is at our fingertips. In an instant, we can ask the Great God Google for the answers to all our questions and be given pages of information that should give us some inkling of the accuracy of whatever the possibly dubious information we are absorbing might be.
We seem to be happy to accept what our many close friends post on social media as the absolute truth without giving it a second thought and then repost it with not even the slightest sceptical glance. It doesn’t matter if we are perpetuating a lie that may cause someone a tiny amount of unease or distributing falsehoods that could destroy the life of another human being. If Joe put it out there, I must tell everybody else I know about it. After all, if it’s on the internet, it must be true or do I really care.
It bothers me when I watch a movie that’s historically inaccurate, yes I know there needs to be a certain amount of creative licence to fit history into a couple of hours, but when vital details are altered, it bothers me to think that future viewers could interpret the details as facts.
It bothers me when I get emails and messages on social media telling me about the latest scams and threats to our personal safety that have been copied, pasted and forwarded in the mistaken belief by the sender, that they are saving me from some imagined danger.
It really bothers me when you have public figures, and those with some power over public perception alter reality for the ‘greater good’. Trying to create a movement where the end goal is to create a better world, can be brought tumbling down when it’s foundation is built on lies.
But what bothers me most is when we don’t question what we hear, what we see and what we read. When we accept what we are given because we want it to be true. When we pass on information because we want to help or out of fear. It may not always be the popular choice, it might make you uncomfortable or totally destroy your long-held beliefs, but questioning the world we live in is how we move forward. Accepting what we are told keeps us in our place.
“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.” Carl Sagan