One day life was speaking to death and life said, “why does everyone love me, yet hate you?” To which death replied, “Because you are a comfortable lie, and I am a difficult truth!”
Difficult truths, facts, are tricky and slippery slopes for some to swallow, whereas comfortable lies are easy to digest and cling onto. Lies are always delivered with just enough truth to make them believable, and those who want to believe those lies, will often cling to that tidbit of truth and present the entire package as fact. Some will be so enmeshed in the lie, that they would be willing to sacrifice relationships, hurt others, and even commit atrocities, just to maintain that the lie is the truth.
People like to believe that they are on the right side of history, that what they believe is true, is genuine, and not wrong or harmful. They develop cognitive dissonance in that regardless of genuine facts that are presented to them, they will maintain the lie and continue to cling to their comfort zone of self-delusion. People like maintaining their emotional and mental comfort, even if it means demonizing and slandering others to do so because to accept otherwise would lead them down the messy road of changing perception.
Accepting truth and facts means that one’s comfort zone grows smaller; that what they believe and hold as truth and right, may in fact be altogether wrong and even evil. In a genuine search for truth, one must be willing to cast aside everything they thought they were, everything they thought they knew, and everything they believed to be good and upright. Facts are facts, regardless of one’s acceptance of them, regardless of one’s feelings or emotions one way or another, facts are static, whereas lies are dynamic, shifting, and ever-changing to suit a narrative. Facts have no narrative, no ideology, nor any agenda, facts simply are, regardless of anyone’s acceptance of them.
Facts are not good or evil, light or dark; facts have no need to be carried around or waved like a flag… facts simply are. St. Augustine said, “The truth is like a lion, you don’t have to defend it, let it loose and it will defend itself!”
While facts and truth defend themselves, more and more we see people completely disregard the truth, the facts, and replace them instead with ideology, agendas, false equivalences, narratives that suit an agenda, or otherwise dismissal as propaganda, even when it is propaganda that they are spewing. Moreover, most don’t even realize what they believe is false or propaganda that suits an agenda, yet they’re willing to defend it at almost any cost. So, how can you tell if something is propaganda?
How to tell if what you believe is propaganda, false, or an agenda;
- The belief causes or requires that you hate another group of human beings.
- When what you believe is taught to others as children, yet professes hatred toward other human beings.
- When violence is justified as the “Only solution.”
- When what you believe has a more “Extreme,” wing to it.
- When what you believe develops narratives that everything is another group of people’s fault and lays no personal responsibility or accountability on the group who professes your beliefs.
- When people are willing to die for those beliefs, but not live for them.
- When lies about a group of people are told but dismissed as simple mistakes.
The truth might not be as comfortable, it might offend you, it might even piss you off, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is factual or truthful. Gloria Steinem famously said, “The truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off,” rings as true today as it does timelessly when applied throughout history. So, what is the truth, is it subjective, is it objective, what exactly is true?
Blood is red, water is wet, fish swim, birds poop on statues, and humankind is often less than kind to other humans. Those things are irrefutable truth, facts that cannot be disputed and if you dig deep enough into any situation or belief, you’ll find the root, the very heart of what the truth of the matter is, but first, you must be willing to accept the findings. If you want to truly know what is truth, what is factual aside from the myriad of propaganda and agenda-infused hate, you must be willing to accept that you just might be wrong.
If you listen to the mainstream media or government officials, you’ll almost always be inundated with agenda-driven information that paints a picture to garner ratings or approval to do something. Instead, look for the history of the situation/belief, look just for facts, therein you can find the truth. Look for the proverbial “Who, what, when, where, and why’s,” of a situation, look between the words that paint a picture, instead just look for the facts. You’ll be able to divine the truth of a situation from the facts, far better than from reports which may in fact have ulterior motives in their reporting.
Facts can tell you everything you need to know about anything and can and do change perceptions of the world around us; that is how personal growth is achieved!
…but before you can look for the truth, you have to be willing to admit that you might be wrong.