If you believe everything you read on the internet then you will know that we didn’t land on the moon, there was never really a holocaust, aspartame is bad for you, and Elvis, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and the likes are still alive. Everything is a proposed plot by powerful people or organizations working together in secret to accomplish some sinister goal. It is more fun to believe. There is a thrill to conspiracy, but when do we say enough is enough? Truth is almost irrelevant, what matters is how good the story is. I am always astonished at how quickly people will follow. Like sheep, we just follow the people around us. Very few stand above the crowd to see where we are being led. Deception is at an all time high. As humans, once we’ve come to believe something it is very hard to convince us otherwise.
How to know truth? There are plenty of credible resources. My favorite one is Snopes.com. They dedicate their work to research and truth. Dig a little deeper. Ask yourself these questions.
1. Why do I believe this to be true or false? Where does my belief come from? When I was a kid, my dad always told me raw potatoes gives you worms. Later in life he admitted this was what his mother told him when they were poor so he wouldn’t eat the potatoes she had saved for supper.
2. What does the person writing this have to gain from what they are saying? If it is a site dissing home schooling and the website owner actually owns a private school, you begin to understand their slanted bias. They may have some valid points to consider, but be aware of their motives.
3. What will you gain or not gain from believing what you are reading? I remember learning that my G.E.D. was enough to get me into a university program. I was scared to believe it was true, and nervously went to see an admissions advisor to confirm. Until that point I had thought that I would have to upgrade first, so I wasn’t even considering furthering my education. This changed my whole outlook, future and belief in myself.
Sometimes our pride stops us from accepting something that could change our lives for the better. When we are told that we could have an improved life and we have believed that our life will never improve, we turn cynical. Beware of this lie, because it is the most dangerous. The lies we tell ourselves can keep us in a state of paralysis. Be on guard, but open to investigate.