This is a question I ask myself often. Starting as a young adult. I had taken a serious position on something and later discovered I was wrong. I soon discovered I wasn’t a big fan of eating crow.
It’s easy to be swayed by opinions or appearances. The question is: are there any facts to back up these conclusions.
Recently I watched an interesting interview and in the middle of it the guest expressed strong negative opinions about a respected and popular podcaster. In the guest’s opinion the person in question was part of cancel culture.
In a way I can see how he could draw this conclusion but it troubles me deeply because I’m not sure it’s true. I’ve heard strong opinions in the podcasts and I don’t always agree with his way of thinking but nothing so far has proven to me that the podcast host cancels people. The guest’s opinion, though, has raised doubt in my mind and I wish I could know for sure.
The guest has had a troubled life in many ways and his opinion could be colored by personal angst. Offence taken where none was intended. There is that to consider.
Some things we can never be sure about but other times, with a little digging, we can be sure.
Another news item heard on line was reporting the results of a poll. In the political arena the question was do you think this man can do a better job than his opponent? The numbers showed the answer was yes. I admit to being shocked.
Ironically, I had seen a number of interviews with the favored personality and he did not do well at convincing anyone of his ability to handle the position. I wanted to ask the polled respondents are you sure about that? It was obvious they hadn’t done their homework.
Our culture seems to run on opinions and appearances. The thing is, we can look good on the surface but sometimes good ends there.
In the Bible it talks about not judging lest we be judged. The connotation usually is that we should avoid negative judgment. I heard someone talk about this verse not long ago and they pointed out that while we shouldn’t judge people as bad we also should not judge them as good. We can be just as wrong either way. It’s true, when I think about it for very long.
In the last year, for some of us, our world was rocked when terrible allegations were leveled against a popular and beloved public figure. Those closest to him rose fiercely to his defense. The problem with all of this was that the unthinkable allegations were true. There was irrefutable evidence. Those closest to him could have clung to their perceptions and opinions but they didn’t. Instead they mounted an investigation to find the truth and when they found it they owned it.
Opinions and impressions are based in emotion. Emotion, while an essential part of life, can get things so wrong. Provable facts are like bedrock.
These days it seems most of us are happy to accept as fact whatever we are being told. It takes time and energy to answer the question.
Are you sure about that?