thepragmaticthinker.com

Who can you Trust?

 

By Larry John 

Most everything we learn in life is told to us by somebody else. Aside from those things that we know instinctually, being the animals we are… everything else is learned. There are only two ways to learn: Learn by our own experience or believing on the words of others. We learn both of these ways and neither is very reliable.

You might say that if we learn from our experiences we “know” better, or more credibly than if we just listen to others and believe that what they are telling us is true. Yet the things we learn from others is also based on their experiences and “stuff” told them by others. The fact is that most everything we are taught by our parents, teachers, and others is information that others have learned from others, not by their own personal experience, but by believing on the words of others.

So, is the information we have been taught anymore credible or truthful than the people who tell us the information or the people who have told them? For example if your mother told you that you could get syphilis from sitting on a toilet seat minutes after someone with syphilis had sat on it, and you chose to believe it, that fact would be true until medical science or further personal research taught you that this fact was indeed NOT a scientific fact at all… but only an old wive’s tale.  For indeed, when I was a young boy, my mother taught me to believe that I could trust any policeman, religious leader, government leader, scout leader, lawyer, journalist, doctor, and so on… but as I grew up each one of these “trustables” became not only untrustworthy, but many I knew went to jail for one reason or another.

So it is with the Media too…those wonderful professionals who report the news of the world to the world. It used to be said, “It must be true, I saw it on TV.” But, once again, we all know that the Media, be it TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine, etc., cannot be trusted. Even the government stopped trusting the media to report fairly and so they started creating their own “credible” news releases, sound bites, and TV interviews to further their agenda, that were anything but “credible.” The current administration is employing actors to say the words they want said and “acting” as though they we “really” common people on the streets of “Anytown” U.S.A. What a joke! The government even “paid off” “credible news writers, journalist, and TV and Radio show hosts to further their point of view, and they did all this with tax payer money. We can’t afford a good education for our children, but we can afford to “pay off” the media. So even the United States government, the home of the free and the brave, under the current administration, can’t be trusted. What kind of “allegiance” should I really be asked to have?

The fact is NO ONE can be trusted. No one! Not even YOU. The funny thing about this is that as knowledgeable human beings we should know better than to TRUST anyone. Experience tells us that no one can be trusted. Not that all people have an agenda of deception, even though many may, but because so much misinformation and outright lies are out there and we have chosen to believe “stuff” that is just not true, because people have a tendency to believe before they investigate.

Follow that with the UGLY fact that we all have a PRICE. Most of us really try to be honest, but it seems for some of us… money, power, influence, sex, and perceived stature seems to get in the way. For some of us the price of dishonesty is a few dollars, or a little power, or a little influence. For others the price of dishonesty is millions of dollars, but we ALL have a price. We just don’t know how much it will take for us to “cave in” to the temptation. Sure, you will say “not me,” but be careful, you may be setting yourself up for the BIG FALL. The funny thing about honesty is that it is the smart thing to do. It is easier and more fun to tell the truth. Being honest takes very little effort, and frankly it catches people off guard when you are honest. It is just smart to admit when you are wrong or admit that you don’t really know or admit that there may be another way of looking at “it,” or admit that you BELIEVE but don’t really KNOW. But most people can’t do that. They have to give their testimonies that THEY KNOW a fact to be true, when indeed they want to KNOW, they hope they KNOW, they think they KNOW, but in fact they believe. They tell themselves they KNOW and truly want to believe it. There is no such thing as a “near truth.” A lie is a lie regardless of how innocent it may seem. What’s funny about lying is that lying is lying regardless of your “good” intent. Yet we all lie from time to time. We lie to our kids about Santa Claus. We lie about the Tooth Fairy. We lie about our past. We lie about science. We lie about the “creation” of the world. We lie about our taxes. We lie about our goodness. We lie about sex. We lie about God, and the list goes on and on.

Another funny thing about truth and lies: the more we tell the lies the more we believe them. If we tell a story long enough and often enough the “little lie of a story” becomes as true to us as if it really happened and then it is hard for us to remember the truth from the “little exaggerated lie.” I see this in all areas of life, from business to religion to science to politics to marriage to raising children to friendships and relationships …and on and on.

Have you ever gone a whole day without telling even one “little” fib? (Remember a lie by any other name is still a lie.)  Have you ever gone a whole day without a “little” exaggeration? Have you ever gone a whole day without making up a story about someone else as if you knew what they were thinking, why thy were doing what they were doing, what they needed to do with their lives, why they weren’t as good as you, why they couldn’t be trusted, or why their life was so screwed up? It may be impossible for some to even try. We do enjoy a “good” lie. Yet the stories you were telling are, at best, speculation on your part and at worst a big fat lie you “want” to be true. If you tell these stories long enough, the stories become true to you. We ALL do this to one degree or another. Interesting, huh? But of course you still are saying…NOT ME!

Come on! Look inside your heart. You know that what I am saying here may really happen more than you like. It is not that you are a BAD person. It is just that you are not as GOOD as you really want to be.

So, if we can’t even trust ourselves, let alone the government, our pastors, religious doctrines, businesses, advertisers, lawyers, doctors, science, history, our parents, our friends, our teachers, our text books, journalists, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, our minds, our hearts, our bodies, or even the Bible (God forbid) ….WHO OR WHAT CAN YOU TRUST? 

Truth is free to be truth even though it may or may not be truth. You decide. Think about it.