Trust (Sept 14th)

This entry is dedicated to our current affairs, for bringing light to our darkness.


Global Trust

I do not know if this precious blue-planet – which sustains all life – can be as the one shown in the image below, with diverse hands weaving a network which supports the earth and all beings upon it, but I believe it an ideal worth striving toward, and quite likely necessary.   

web around the earth

So this week I share my musings concerning global-trust, and why I feel it is critical that we, as residents of this country, discern which countries are trustworthy, and more importantly, that we become a country which is trustworthy.  

Since it is a debatable issue whether the USA is a trustworthy country, I will instead focus on our beliefs about other countries/cultures, beliefs which effect our lack/trust in those countries.  

In my view, our belief(s) about other countries/cultures can have devastating effects: as long as we [majority of society] believe other countries/cultures are ‘bad’, then we [as a country] have the ‘right’ to behave as badly as we believe they are.  

militant.jpg

BELIEVE BAD, BREED WORSE

Yet, we are often incorrect, at best, and arrogant, at worst, in our assumptions/beliefs about other countries/cultures. I’d like you to answer a question before continuing: Which country is today’s Vietnam?  <<perhaps you prattled off more than one, as did i 😦 >>

I thought I knew a lot about it. And so I went in with the kind of arrogance that people with superficial knowledge always have.  ~ Ken Burns 

{{Ken Burns’ new documentary about the Vietnam war will be released next week and it reveals just how “fraudulent, manipulated, and self-serving” our beliefs are/were and that “more than one truth can coexist.”}}

So where do our beliefs concerning other countries/cultures begin?  

MEDIA.

Since I cannot visit the entire world and directly assess situations for myself, I need to trust that what I read/hear, what I mentally consume, is fair and balanced.  And in today’s world of media bombardment with twenty-four-seven news, information, sound-bites, data, facts, images and stories concerning every aspect of life, death and the unimaginable, how do I possibly decide which media organizations to trust


Paid in Spades

I still remember the day I walked into my father’s office and sounded off my best argument about why our family should be allowed to have a television (today’s internet). He nodded politely toward a chair and spoke to me with sincerity, “You are correct about many things, but what you do not yet understand is that nearly everything on television is a lie; the commercials, the shows, the games, the news.  I would prefer you seek answers through other avenues; I believe this will serve you well in life.”

tv feeding man

SPOON FEED ME!

I had no argument for my father and left without a word.  His insistence on not having a television forced me to seek beyond the spoon-fed ‘reality’ of our society.  I thank him immensely for his gift…which has paid in spades.


MEDIA MONEY TALKS

I would like you to consider that every media source today owes it’s existence to money via commercials, advertisements, subsidies, private/public donations, etc: yes, even NPR and PBS (Public Media Organizations).  

money-origami.jpg

MONEY TALKS

The way I see it, all media organizations are fiercely competing for eyes&ears <<called fans in sports arenas 😉 >> because eyes&ears equal dollars and dollars equal paychecks and paychecks equal food, housing, education, vacation, life-in-our-society.

This does not mean that media organizations are rotten, I suspect the majority of reporters/editors are passionate about telling truthful stories concerning life in our society…but their voices are edited/monitored to keep a specific subset of listening-fans happy.

<<WELCOME TO MY SOAPBOX>> skip…skip…skipping stones across the water of this blog led me to do a little research and when I stumbled upon this bit of info, I really, really, really wanted to share. We are no longer a nation which can feed, fuel nor provide all that we desire in our country.  Did you know the USA imports more than $500 billion worth of goods/services than it exports

gree.jpg

GLUTTONY ANYONE?


DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

If you do not agree with my previous argument claiming that media organizations can only exist, i.e. make money, when people listen, then you will likely find no further merit in my words.  

If you agree that media organizations owe their entire existence to their listening-fans, and that even the most well-meaning and ‘trustful’ media organizations are beholden to money, then I have a few more words that you might find intriguing. 

First, there are indeed sinister aspects to media organizations and a handful are downright malicious and toxic, but for now I speak only of those media organizations which are doing their best with what they’ve got…which, as I see it, is a double-edged sword – one that leaves us all a bit bloodied.

trust in media

IN MEDIA WE TRUST

Here is my best description of how I view the double-edged blade upon the sword called Media – sharpened to a brilliant point of conflict.  

Along one edge of the blade: we [as humans] choose (mostly) to listen to news sources that resonate our beliefs back upon us, such that our perceived existence continues.  We expect the media to tell us what we already believe, and in return we continue listening.

If you doubt my logic, consider how you would respond if your trusted media source suddenly began reporting the daily news in a manner that was opposite of what you believe/expect. I assume you would, at the very least, find another news source!

<<there is a (human) reason why liberal-minded folk choose not to listen to conservative media…it does not resonate with their perceived reality; and vice-versa>>

Along the other edge of the blade: media organizations choose to report in a manner which keeps their listening-fans happily resonating with them [media organization], such that their existence (money) continues.  The media expects us to continue listening if they report the news in a manner that supports what we already believe.

One sword.  One blade.  Two finely honed edges which are in constant conflict with each other, and themselves!  <<each blade is seeking to validate and further it’s own existence while expecting the other to support them in that cause>> 

But, how can truth live upon this blade that seeks only to further itself?  I do not know that it can; it may be that we [as humans] need to adjust the way we consume our media, in order to discover something more akin to truth.


UTOPIAN MEDIA

I would love to read an article in which the reporter personally interviewed at least two people who held opposing views on the subject, and I would like the reporter to offer those opposing views with equality, along with their own consideration of how each view has both merits and failings.

Consider this: when is the last time you heard/read any news story in which one reporter shared multiple sides of a story – with equality – and left you wondering who was ‘right’ and who was to ‘blame’?  Have you ever?!  Perhaps, in a podcast I have…but I cannot recall one to memory so I may be wistfully hopeful, for this is what I seek! 

Usually I am left to ferret around and read reports from differing media sources <<all of which are seeking to entrust their fan base>> in order to create a mosaic from the tiny shards of ‘truth’ which I collect along the way. <<i have found that slight overlap in opposing views often points toward an element of truth>>  

My mosaic of tiny stones slowly becomes a (somewhat) complete picture of the complexities included in every situation: a solid ground upon which to stand. <<although there is no solid ground of truth – i seek an approximation>>

mosaic - walk on
Seven Million Mosaic Stones ~ Hisham’s Palace

This crafting of mosaics is currently my chosen method of ‘trusting the media’ and it certainly ain’t foolproof for I drag my own biases and prejudices into every article I read.  But by gathering tiny stones from differing sources – at the very least two – I attempt to reveal a less biased truth; and I continually question the media, our society, and mostly MYSELF! 🙂  <<note the use of truth versus Truth>>

This week, I encourage you to create your own mosaic concerning a situation in our global world.  Try gathering tiny stones from many of the following sources (and more!): our current administration, both conservative & liberal political leaders, both liberal & conservative media organizations, personal blogs from around the globe, any voice that is/was involved in the situation, government/news organizations located on other continents, etc!  

While doing so, I encourage you to ask yourself why you trust the media organizations you do…could there be more to the truth than you are told?

<<when looking abroad, try to find a report(er) local to the region that the report is from, i.e. not a european reporter residing in asia, this does make a difference>>


Challenging-Thoughts on Global Trust

heart on tree-border

Following are a few challenging thoughts:

  • Do I believe the USA is a trustworthy country?  How/why, or not?
  • Can I think of a situation when the USA held false beliefs about another country and harmed them due to those beliefs?  If so, what can I, as a citizen, do to prevent this in the present/future?
  • Do I listen to media sources that do not report the news in a manner I agree with?  If so, do I gain from this?  If not, would I gain from this?
  • What media organizations do I trust?  Why?  Would I trust them if they began reporting in a very different tone?
  • Where does the money-trail lead to, in media organizations I trust? Where does the money-trail lead to, in media organizations I do not trust?  Do these differing money-trails effect their ability to be truthful?
  • Is there a media organization that is not beholden to money?
  • Do I feel there is a conflict for media organizations in their need for a fan-base in order to generate revenue?  If so, can I see a way to work around this conflict and seek personal clarity about the global world?
  • Am I curious about creating a mosaic using different media sources with opposing views?  If so, how can I discover a more complex and complete ‘truth’?

 

 

meditation of love
All blessings upon you, from the tinkling bells of honey in my heart.  🙂

 

1 thought on “Trust (Sept 14th)”

  1. Thanks for some thoughts on things that I agree are worth thinking about. I like the question: Who to trust? Using multiple sources may lead one to another question: When do I need to trust? It may not be as often as one is lead to imagine from consuming the often breathless presentation of events in today’s media.

    One helpful approach to media glut may be to consume less news. Don’t cram your head full of information you don’t need. Don’t let the media be the final arbiter of what you need to know. If the story is about something you’re not likely to act upon, then skip it. If things change, given the internet, you can go back.

    Deliberately tuning in to multiple viewpoints may also give one practice in suspending judgement for a little while. Practice in not reflexively absorbing and mirroring the attitude of a favorite talking head. Which may lead to better decision-making. And better decision-not-making. I tend to agree with Lord Falkland, who’s been reported to have said: “When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary to not make a decision.”

    Some other quotes that came to mind while reading your essay, thanks again for writing it.
    ***********************************
    From “Extra! Read all about it!” NewPhilosopher, Fall 2017, p. 12:

    “Knoll’s Law of Media Accuracy: Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true — except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.”

    and

    “On 18 April 1930, a BBC news presenter announced to listeners, ‘There is no news’, and switched on some tunes. In the days before news was manufactured – in other words, ‘created’ to sell timeslots to advertisers – listeners were regularly blessed with sweet sounds.”
    ***********************************
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair

    The Doctor: You’re not superior to people who were cruel to you. You’re just a whole bunch of new cruel people. A whole bunch of new cruel people, being cruel to some other people, who’ll end up being cruel to you. The only way anyone can live in peace is if they’re prepared to forgive. Why don’t you break the cycle? ~ Doctor Who, The Zygon Inversion

    Like

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