And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

August 4, 2004

What is the Truth?

Filed under: her words — mark @ 5:42 am

I am reading reports of the Orange Alert issued by Tom Ridge. As I read them I see that there are prespectives being represented. Some are saying that the alerts are from outdated information, some are saying it is a political move to show that the Republicans are wanting to keep the fear factor going so as to keep us willing to give up our freedoms, some are saying that it is politically motivated so that we do not mind protesters being arrested or barred from protesting. I know that the debate is like so many other debates, there are no easy answers. But the debate is important. Debate, while it can be sticky and messy, is one of the most important aspects of democracy. A lively debate is envigorating and helps keep opinions fresh and real. I think one of the biggest threats to democracy is that debate has been stopped far too often. As I watch C-Span I see that often the politicians do not listen to what others have to say. They speak for the cameras, not to each other. The actual debate goes on behind closed doors. As I watched the Democratic convention I saw that it was a love fest for Kerry. There was no debate, their were no dissenting opinions, there was a party to celebrate Kerry as the Chosen One. I saw one woman show some courage in challenging the lock-step opinions, and she was arrested. I know that it is difficult to listen to others without prejudice clouding our views, I also know that it is very important to develop one’s own opinion. I think it has always been difficult to know what the truth is, I also think it is important to find our own truth. As I read the opinions of the reporters and journalists I think is vital to my mental health to not just buy into a certain set of ideas and just go along with them. I love that I have this outlet to state my own opinions. I think the biggest threat to democracy today is people giving up and not being involved. I think the biggest reason for that is that it is so hard to sort out the actual truth from the opinions. But this has always been the case. We are such wonderful creatures, we fight and push and manipulate, but in the end it is everyone’s choice. Choice is one of the only absolutes. We all have the choice to believe whatever we wish. If you find that you follow someone else’s opinion without question, then you have made your choice—that is that you give it away. If you listen to others then make up your own mind–then you keep your own power. It is hard to know who to believe but it is vital to know what you think and believe. I believe that the only way to know that is to keep searching, listening, trusting your own instincts, and making up your own mind. The more someone tries to convince me of something the less likely I am to believe them.

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