By Abe Villarreal
We’re too afraid to know what we don’t know. These days, we know less and less of what we should now.
Sounds like a riddle. With so many ways of consuming information, we are choosing less and less consumption of important things, life-changing things.
We go where we are comfortable. We hear people that tell us what we want to hear. If we disagree, and we do so easily, we turn away.
Gone are the times when we were challenged. We want to convince others of why we believe what we believe, but we don’t want to give others the chance to do the same to us.
Learning and listening are passé. They are missing everywhere, not just in politics, and even in the highest office of the land, but also in our community and neighborhoods.
What is truth? Do we all have our own truth? We act like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz who keeps telling himself that he believes in ghosts, over and over again.
If we say it enough, we’ll believe it. It’s hard to know what to believe in this age of information. When I scroll down my Facebook feed, I catch some of my smart friends posting news articles that sound legitimate. Once I click, I’m lead to a satirical site.
News stories about cops killing innocent people, or political figures collaborating with dictators, they lead to fake news sites.
What is happening? Why do we have the urge to let people know things that aren’t true? Do we ourselves believe what we are reading?
The old game of telephone has taken a new breath of life and a turn for the worse. What we share sometimes is missing that kernel of truth that used to get passed along in even the most twisted of stories.
When I turn on the cable news channels, one primetime host is telling me that our leaders are fine, its just that the system is out to get them, and we shouldn’t trust the system.
On another channel, I’m hearing that our leaders deserve to be kicked out of office. They don’t care about you and me. Our elected officials are steering a ship that is quickly headed towards an iceberg. We’re all doomed.
We can’t be in a good place as a society if we are a confused people. Less and less is unifying us, holding us together as a vast community that’s different but has shared values.
We are all different, in ways that we haven’t been different before. We believe in opposite truths, and when we do that, we don’t understand each other anymore.
When that happens, we become unrecognizable to one another, because we all believe that we are right and the other person is wrong.
It’s hard to know what to believe anymore and who to believe. These are confusing times, and the people are worried.
Abe Villarreal is the Director of Communications at Western New Mexico University. When not on campus, he enjoys writing about his observations on marketing, life, people and American traditions.