September 29, 2011

But So-and-So Said...

People often make statements about things without having all the facts. They go by hearsay, making assumptions based on what they've heard through the grapevine, from their neighbor, an email from a friend, a news outlet, or a magazine ad. Some wonder enough to do a little research and find the facts, but many choose to simply believe what they were told by mass media or an individual with an opinion or a little gossip.

As one who doesn't take things at face value and always likes to go to the source for information, it's hard for me to understand people who base their entire belief system about a subject on what they've been told by a third party. How can you effectively debate or defend your support of a political party or bill up for vote in Congress if you've never actually checked out the background of the candidates or read the bill itself? Is it possible to truly know a person if all you've heard about them is what your coworkers have told you? Shouldn't you talk to the person directly and find out if they really did rob that bank back in 1992? And then there's the biggie. Religion. Faith and belief in a higher power is something that is innate in many of us. But that doesn't mean we have to blindly accept the religion of our parents. Doesn't something as important as your core belief system deserve some time and research? It doesn't mean you have to deny or abandon your Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, atheist, Wiccan, whatever views. It just means you're a more educated person who is confident and knowledgeable about not only your religion but others as well.

People slam us with information every day. Unless you stay home with the phone, television, computer, and radio turned off, there is no way to avoid someone trying to influence you about something. Some are subtle and wind it into a conversation. Others are blatant and present you with a laundry list of "facts" that you need to know. Sometimes we realize right away that what they're telling us isn't true or that they aren't telling us a truth we don't already know. Other times we have do a little digging at the source to get the truth.

When you defend your point about a subject, when you make a judgement about a person, do you base it on what you've heard from others or do you try to find the truth for yourself? Are you open to knowing the truth if it differs from what you've heard or what you've always believed it to be?


  1. I heard folks were having trouble posting comments. So this is a test. But I've got an earful to post later. :-)

  2. @Ed Fernandez was having a problem posting his comment on my blog, so he posted it on Google+. I thought it was a great comment, so I'm sharing it here as well. Here's his post...

    Ed Fernandez - Hi there. I am afraid comments at your blog place are not posting, so I am posting here.... I just read you at G+ and decided to read your blog as, in fact that is what I wanted to do anyway. Well written. I am a bit guilty about "trusting" hear says sometimes... I happen to be persuaded sometimes by the emotionalism with which some people portray reality, be it in writing or word of mouth. However, you are so right in saying we should look at the facts first, before forming an opinion about a particular subject matter. Even reading and investigating the facts does not always lead to the truth tho. Take for example history. History always has two sides... and not all that has been written about it is fact. As it pertains to religion, I have to say that, even tho I have explored different belief systems, every time I have been in crisis mode, I've always come back to the religion I grew up with. I thank my parents and the God of my understanding for having instilled in me those values and beliefs that have never left me and have never let me down.

    Here is the site for one of my new blogs:

  3. One of my biggest pet peeves. I live in an area where people get their education via forwarded emails. Then they get mad at ME for pointing them to Snopes. Like having the facts (what we know) is offensive.

    Deb Pardee

  4. I agree with you in principle, but might having all the facts take a little of the fun out of living on the edge, especially when it comes to making decisions? BTW, I like your writing style.

  5. Man, this is such a pet peeve of mine! (Yep, me too @shriek/Deb. :-)) People pontificating about something as if they know what the hell they're talking about. Being passionate about something doesn't make you right. I like to believe that, especially in the past few years, I've been willing to have my mind changed about some of my long held beliefs if I'm given compelling enough information. I also try to preface my opinion as just that – my opinion – not fact, when I share it.

    We really are inundated with information everywhere we go: TV ads, radio ads, billboards, store signs, road signs, bumper stickers, vehicular signage, junk mail, email, spam. It's more important than ever to get our facts straight before we try to "educate" people. Great post, baby! :-)

  6. Oh man! I left you this long comment and clicked Post Comment but it didn't do anything except delete my comment. Here I go again but it will be shorter. :(

    Bottomline. It really bugs me to have someone argue with me but not be able to tell me WHY they support something. WHY do you support Rick Perry but hate President Obama? WHY do you think every move President Obama has made has been wrong? WHY? I have a friend who couldn't back up any of her reasons with facts. She just blindly supports things because the republican party does. It seems like she's checked her brain at the door.

    Same for other friends when it comes to religion. WHY do you believe that? Explain your what you believe to me and WHY. Oh. You can't? Huh. That doesn't make sense to me.

    Really good post.

  7. This is the story of my life...dealing with people who have no idea who they are while blindly judging others based on what their parents or 2000 year old book told them. It infuriates me to the edge of my sanity...Kinda like road rage where I just want to run people off the road and shoot them in a fit of pure rage and anger. Stupity is infinite...I get that...But ignorance is a choice made by people who refuse to educate themselves and take a freaking peek outside their damn fishbowl and realize there is so much more than chasing your tail around and around having no idea there is a whole other world of possiblilities out here where I live.
    (Sorry for the run on sentence) LOL I do that a lot!

  8. @Anita: Omigosh! So well said!

  9. Aristotle said: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to take a thought and entertain it without accepting it"

    To me, this is the definition of open-mindedness. Our society moves so slowly towards this...but they are moving forward...I have to wonder though...for every step forward towards toleration, how many take steps backwards??? I live in the bible belt where time is locked 2000 years ago in a place that today is still filled with the same hate, war, terrorism, death, violence and intolerance...
    Amazing...So, long lives ignorance, still...