In this important and timely article, Elva Carri addresses the topics of fake news and discernment. In a world of hyperbole, it is important for us to seek the truth, engage in honest dialogue, and dig deeper than surface appearances. This is a sneak peek of the full article – to read the rest, pick up a copy of our Spring issue today.
By Elva Carri
Living in a time some have referred to as ‘post truth’, what does this mean? Why does it matter? And can we turn the tide?
In a great video explaining Post Truth, the Rubber Bandits quote the definition as “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Boiling it down, facts don’t have the same effect on us as calls to our feelings and personal experiences.
Seeking Truth Around Us
We have so much media to reinforce personal beliefs that we are highly and constantly at risk of these beliefs feeling like the truth. Everyone, wherever they lie on the political spectrum, has a responsibility to seek out truth. Who and what we believe ourselves to be has been appealed to and entertained to our detriment by news outlets, regardless of which one we choose. Many on the left guffawed at the idea of Trump as president and they did so along with their news source of choice. I’m not sure as many sought the truth in how and why he rose to the top. The majority did not seek out why so many people were so desperate for such a huge change. Ignorance was hilarious bliss until it was too late.
Seek Truth in Yourself
In order to dig deeper, beyond bias, we have an even harder task: to seek honestly the truth of who we are. What we believe, what has happened in our lives, and what we aspire to be, all inform our self-identity. Sadly, it takes only the slightest challenge to our sense of self to unsettle us to the point of rage or extreme upset. Who we are is all we have at the end of the day, and we must be sensitive to that. But we need to listen in a way that is so open it will almost certainly be uncomfortable.