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?