Due to its often controversial or novel nature, false information spreads faster than facts. And this is exacerbated by the fact that people are much more inclined to share information that affirms their beliefs – without questioning its accuracy – than they are to share anything that casts doubt on what they assume is true.
Always keep in mind that it is not just what you know, but how you know what you know that matters. Not every source from which you receive news & information is accurate. If you don’t occasionally question what you know and where you learned it, you leave no room to discover that what you believe to be true is actually false.
In the modern world where controversy drives engagement and engagement ensures advertising revenue, people are much more likely to be presented with false, inaccurate, deceptive, or fictional information than they are with facts.
“With the obvious exception of the numerous people who worked among us that we no longer wish to associate with because they were caught for corruption, we’re not corrupt.” says the corrupt person working for a corrupt organization seeking to protect another corrupt person in that organization from being caught for corruption.
People in cults often look upon their leaders so highly that they’re willing to overlook red flags and bad behavior. All because of perpetual promises that are never met. And in the worst cases, cult followers suffer or die as a consequence.
And others think, “That would never happen to me because I’m not that gullible.”
You don’t have to be in a cult to fall victim to the influence of people who say they support you while never actually doing you any favors.
Are you so focused on what a person who shares your views is saying that you fail to see how badly they’re acting when they say it? Because the people who oppose those views see it and no matter how much you may agree with what’s being said, if it’s said in a nasty and hateful way – or resembles something a school bully might say – it isn’t helping your cause. It’s simply setting a bad example.
Refuse to be blind to the impact your insults, hateful remarks, and derogatory statements intended to hurt those you oppose are having on the world. Every time you justify acting badly because someone else is acting badly, you are giving permission to other people to do the same.
You’re not making the world a better place by adding hate, you’re just making the world a hateful place.
If you want more [ kindness – love – level-headedness – logic – tolerance – understanding – respect…] in the world, put some there.
You saw someone standing up for something you believe in. And you didn’t like how they did it, but you saw other people cheer. So it must be OK.
So one day, while standing up for something you believe in, you go against your values by acting badly when you do it. But as badly as you act, those who agree with you still cheer. So it must be OK.
And while you were basking in the glow of being approved of by people willing to overlook your bad behavior because they agree with your message, someone else was watching and thinking, “It must be OK.”
If the person representing your opinion or desired way of life is exhibiting signs of bad behavior when they do it, you can be certain that the majority of people the message is intended for will focus on the bad behavior and ignore the message.
You can cheer on the champions of your cause all you want, but if they’re not setting a good example when they represent your ideas, they’re doing more to ensure that your cause or organization will be perceived badly than they are in changing anyone’s mind.
Those who represent you aren’t doing you any favors if they’re not setting a good example when they do it. And if they’re communicating your ideas in a way that your opposition isn’t receptive to, you can be almost certain that the bad behavior is what they see, not the ideas.
Just because you agree with the message being shared doesn’t mean you should tolerate or ignore the bad behavior of the person conveying it.
Just a reminder that not everyone you connect with is working with the same level of awareness or maturity or mindset. And certainly, no two people are working from the same set of life experiences.
Some people you encounter online seem to have such high standards that it would be nearly impossible to meet them, and yet their own personal standards are so low that the only enjoyment they get is in trying to exert their dominance over others or make other people feel bad. Some of the people you encounter beat their wives or their children. Some of them solicit prostitutes in their private life while preaching the sanctity of marriage in their public one. Some of them have weapons caches and manifestos. And some of those same people are planning what will become the next mass shooting.
Some of the people you encounter put themselves to sleep with alcohol every night. And some of them want to preach to you about how to live your life and tell you why your ideas about anything they disagree with are wrong. Some of the people you encounter will tell you who or what you should respect while simultaneously having no respect for themselves or others. Some of the people you encounter believe that the world would be better off if anyone with an opposing opinion, different skin color, or different religion didn’t exist. And even some who claim to worship a loving God are the same people who don’t hesitate to wish death upon those who don’t live their lives the same way they do.
Some of these people demand that you respect their opinion or their way of life while at no time showing any respect for your own. They will hurl insults, make threats, and say derogatory things while extolling upon the reasons why their desired way of life is better than yours.
And as much as all of these things may want you to return hate with hate, it isn’t the answer. Because hate isn’t going to solve our problems. And we can all find far better ways to deal with life’s issues than attempting to use hate as a means to fix problems and get what we want.
It should go without saying, but there are alternatives to getting angry, being hateful, and wanting to see other people suffer because they don’t believe the same things that you do. And those alternatives are likely are a far better reflection of the person you truly want to be than the person you are when you are trying to hurt people.
Your insults, no matter how witty, aren’t doing anything to advance your cause. And your nasty remarks aren’t doing you any favors either.
Your hate isn’t helping.
You can be almost certain that the path to a better future doesn’t involve saying things to other people that if other people said them to you, you’d accuse them of behaving badly.