Growing up in the ancient of days like I did, you know with only one TV on in the house at a time and everyone watching the same thing (and having 5 channels to choose from!), we were used to voting on what we watched.
Of course, parent’s votes always carried much more punch than did the kid’s votes.
This resulted in enduring through documentaries and science discoveries and news programs from time to time. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would actually CHOOSE these programs. Not when The Dukes of Hazard was on the other channel.
Recently, though, we had a pretty good laugh in our home when the kids came in and asked what I was watching. Before realizing it I told them it was “this really interesting documentary about Salt Lake City in the 1940s.”
Their looks took me back immediately to my childhood and I knew exactly how they were feeling.
We all laughed as we realized that I had become old. Well, I guess they have known it for some time. Maybe the laughter was about the fact that I was now up to speed with the rest of them.
Did they learn how to make documentaries or news programs more interesting in the last 30 years? Maybe.
But then wouldn’t my kids find them interesting too?
I think the change wasn’t in the programs so much as it was in me.
While grabbing something to eat, I will actually turn to the news channels first to see what is going on in the world. I’m interested now. I care about what decisions are being made, what changes are coming, what problems people are dealing with.
During times of breaking news I will switch to different news channels during commercials so that I don’t miss any information.
Have you ever tried that?
What is so interesting to me is often how different the coverage and spin is on the exact same news stories.
What one station will blare as breaking news the other station will not even be covering it. Or the blame lies squarely on one party, only to be shifted to the opposite party on a neighboring station.
Aren’t they reporting on the same story?
Maybe you’ve seen the commercial that has been on for years now about insurance. The person is quoting misinformation as if it is fact. When asked where she got her information, she replies “The Internet. Everyone knows that you can’t put anything that isn’t true on the Internet.”
There may have been a day when we thought that. Not so much anymore.
There are people who purposefully put much out there that is, at best misleading, and at worst direct lies.
Depending on which station or newspaper you use really depends on what “truth” you are made aware of. It seems easier to find sources that support our perceptions and validate our opinions than it is to find a source that will simply and forthrightly tell the truth.
So, what do we do?
I feel that now more than ever before in the history of the world we have the responsibility to be educated and informed. There are many who depend on the masses being too busy and too tired to pay very close attention to what is going on. That leaves them free to quietly make changes in one area while others are focused on different things.
For example, Vladamir Putin was probably quite relieved to find the intense focus on the problems in Ukraine to shift immediately over to the missing Malaysian airplane.
Just because the news reports have shifted, doesn’t necessarily mean the problems have stopped.
How do we sift through it all and get down to the truth, the real truth?
I’m sure it sounds naïve and old fashioned, but that’s okay (remember my kids helped me understand that I am now officially “old”), but I only know of One source of pure truth.
While there isn’t a Heavenly news channel that we can just flip on as we have time and partially listen to as we are doing other things, there is a source that we can tune in to and know for ourselves.
I’ve discovered that there is genuine interest and help when I study things out and quietly take some time to talk it over with Someone I completely trust, Someone who knows, Someone who sees.
I’m sure I’ll make mistakes in my understanding and interpretations and get things wrong at times.
But I will also get it right sometimes.
Then I will understand, and I will see.
Don’t we all have the responsibility to open our eyes and see what is going on? Once we understand the truth of things, then we are prepared to act.
“Evil thrives when good men do nothing.”
I think evil has been thriving long enough.
We can actually know for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. It takes a lot of work and consistency. When we let our guards down we can get swept up with the tide pretty quickly. But maybe it being so hard to do is part of what makes it so important.
When each of us steps up and does our small but unique part, it is enough.
Together, we all see the truth, the real truth.