I Drove An 18 Wheeler 200 MPH
I recently posted that comment on Facebook. I did it as an experiment and ultimately to use as an example. My friends responded with a mixture of responses. From, “Yeah, sure you did,” to “Wow, really?” to “Is that V2?”
I wanted to make a point that it is much easier to point out things with a real-life example than it is to just tell people.
Many of my Facebook friends do not know I am a retired captain with United Airlines. I have a lot of time in Boeing 747s, as an engineer, First Officer, Captain, and instructor. The 747 has 18 wheels; its liftoff speed V2 is over 200 miles per hour, so technically I have driven an 18 wheeler 200 mph!
What was my point? Things are not always as we assume. Sometimes we can believe the truth is a lie because we do not understand the context, or we can believe a lie is the truth.
Both can be dangerous.
Historically, it has been the responsibility of the media to search for the truth and disseminate it in a way that is understandable and clearly understood. The media was and is to be the overseer or guardian of a republic. Politicians will try to hide information, and a good reporter will try to find it.
A good reporter …
We have not had very many good investigative journalists for quite some time. Today, what passes as journalism is to parrot information which may or may not be accurate. Also at issue is the avoidance of some stories if it makes the wrong people look bad.
Today with the internet in our pocket and the variety of news outlets, as well as social media, stories spread like a wildfire on the plains. The term “Fake News” has become quite common, and in many cases, more normal than real news.
However, we, as people, have a responsibility to filter out what is fake or incomplete from that which is real, especially since journalists are not doing their jobs.
Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787, giving him some sound advice on a variety of things, one of which was religion.
Jefferson said: “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”
Jefferson warned against taking things at face value or believing something just because someone said it was so. I believe it was sound advice. Certainly, the truth can withstand the scrutiny. Does that apply only to religion? I think not.
In today’s world of questionable journalism, should we not question what we read and hear? We seem to be quick to believe things that fit our personal worldview, true or not, and equally quick to discount information we do not like. Confirmation bias the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories. We all do it, that is, unless you think you are immune. In that case, you do without a doubt!
Let’s all slow down and spend more time reading and researching, making sure before we hit that “share” button that what we are about to send is factual. Fake information, such as the "Jayden K Smith hacking myth," is easy to discover while other stories are harder. Nevertheless, I believe it is only proper we verify news before we either believe or share it.
Our nation is at a crossroads.
There is an active effort to keep us divided. The more we distrust each other, the media, and our leaders, the less likely it is we will unite. Chaos is the tool being used against us, and people seeking the truth will counter that effort. I leave you with a passage from Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NIV):
This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
You can only find that which you seek, be it the truth or a lie.