Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Learn to Discern

Years ago, when I was a young lad and still in school, a computer took up an entire classroom. Remember? It looked like something you would see on Star Trek, the TV show. As time passed technology advanced and while it became smaller it also was able to do more, quicker, and for lower costs. Many of you carry a wealth of information in your pocket, while others, like yours truly, have that same access through a desktop computer.

With this technology people can now search for and gather information that before would have required a trip to a library and several hours of scouring texts. People hailed this advance in technology and the ability to gather so much information so quickly. Sadly, so few seem to be interested in using that technology to educate themselves.

This new technology has also presented us with a dilemma. It has also allowed others to lie to and deceive you with a great deal of false information. Photos can be altered, video can be tampered with, audio can be altered, and so much "fake news" and outright, agenda driven, falsehoods put out there for you to consume. So, while there is much educational information to be found, one must WANT to find it. This means it is incumbent upon people to put aside political ties and party loyalties, if indeed facts and truth are what they seek, and get to the real, viable, confirmed, non-political information.

Laziness and apathy have contributed greatly to our current national situation. People put more stock in a political party then they do in their own commonsense. They believe any and every thing they see on a television set. They allow their political agenda to color their perceptions, rather than considering the sources of their information. For them it is simply easier to believe their TV or their favorite pol. How very sad. What is called for is "discernment." We all have access to and can see much of the same information, and from the same sources, so how do you know what is true and what is a lie, or a half-truth?

Well, personal experience is one determining factor. How old are you" How much have you experienced personally? Have you done research before and do you know what a "reliable" source looks like? Another factor is history. What do you know about the subject matter in general, before digging deeper? Have you brushed up on the history of that topic? Do you know where to go to find more information on it? And finally, also in keeping with "experience," have the people, sources you are listening to ever lied to you before? Do they have a track record of doing so? Do they have an "agenda" or have they shown themselves to be more concerned with facts and truth than with party loyalty? Do you understand that those lying to you benefit from those lies, while you do not?

I simply mention all this in the hope that someone reading it may see themselves and finally decide to stop "doing as they are told" and start to think for themselves. It can be done, given the proper catalyst. Please always remember that often times the people or source providing you with information have their own agendas and politics and they want you to share it with them. Their biggest enemy is people who think for themselves and will not be told what or how to think. Be one of those people.