This isn't one of my usual posts, but something that has weighed on my mind for several years. I haven't really had the words until now... And I get really nervous about really putting myself out there. I may not be a professional whatever, but I am woman who has lived through much, seen much, and searched and discovered much. No matter how hard it may be for me to write this, I really want to share what I have learned on my journey.
Now, I know I am not the only one out there that goes crazy when someone posts a hoax on Facebook, that you KNOW isn't true because Snoops (love them!) confirmed it like forever ago! But people just keep "sharing" this stuff because they don't check their facts. Sometimes, you feel obligated to fill them in in the nicest way possible... which is usually linking the Snoops article to the comments or something like that. Then again, once in a while you think, well, someone else can feel them in... I am just not in the mood. And sometimes the lie is SO HUGE that you can't help but say something you KNOW is going to open a can of worms -- I hate those times.
We live in a time where people tend to think that truth is relative. They often say, "What is true for me may not be true for you... and visa versa." or to quote a famous person "We do not see the world as it is. We see the world as we are." I hate this mind set. I don't understand it. Truth is truth. You can't get around it. Either the Earth is round or it isn't. My 5 year old either pooped his pants or he didn't! Now, our job as human beings is to search and discover that truth out there, because it's there, whether we want to believe it or not.
One of my all time favorite quotes is from a fantasy novel, of all places:
"People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool... People are stupid; they want to believe, so they do."I am not saying the people that post false stuff on Facebook or whatever media site are "stupid"... we have all done it! Been there done that! And I don't think I am ever as embarrassed as I get when I fall for stuff without doing my research. No one likes to be proven wrong! It's that whole ego factor... But I would like to think that I admit when I am wrong with grace and gratitude for being pointed in the right direction. However, if I am right, I stand by it. I don't like to stand down when I know I am in the right! (Does anyone?)
-Terry Goodkind, Wizard's First Rule
We were given one of the greatest gifts of all time: a life and a brain that has the amazing and incredible capacity to learn and to reason. We as human beings have the gift of agency, to make choices... and we also have the chance to live out the consequences of the choices we make, good and bad. We as humans sometimes have a hard time accepting personal responsibility for the choices we make, and as an individual and a society this can be a very dangerous and disastrous road to travel. How many times to we hear our leaders passing blame to other people? ALL THE TIME! I think, GROW UP! I mean come on! Part of being a mature adult is to stand tall, admit when you are wrong, and face the consequences.
There are so many lies going around out there. So much confusion, hatred, and anger. It's hard for me to even check the news anymore because it isn't always true. Reporters and politicians are experts in using half truths wrapped around lies to benefit their own selfish agendas. It's frustrating to those of us who just want to live the best lives we can, be amazing people, love our neighbors, serve our communities and just make the world around us a little better place. My motives aren't selfish... I want a better country and world for my children. I want them to be able to work hard and live the American dream. Don't we all?
So how do we find truth and how do we know it is truth when we do? And then what do we do?
Do we ask a celebrity? I mean, come on, their famous, they MUST know what they are talking about! Right? Wrong. Sadly, even our most beloved celebrities can be deceived.
There are really two types of people out there: people who seek truth and then adjust their lives to live according to those truths, and then there are people who believe what they want to believe to justify their lifestyle and what they want to be true. What kind of person are you? I am not saying that in a snotty, self-righteous way... I am asking you to search your heart and soul and really ask yourself that question. Think about this: If you found out that something you were completely passionate about was TOTALLY wrong, what would you do?
In a world so full of confusion, where can we seek the REAL truth?
Now, let's set all our differences aside, our political beliefs, our religions, and our cultures... Bear with me here...
When I was a missionary back in the day for the LDS church, there was something we made sure to tell everyone we contacted or talked to: not to believe us. But if they wanted to know the truth, there was only one source -- God. I know that some of my readers may not believe in a greater power out there... But I believe that there is, and most people in this world believe in a God no matter what they call him. And I can tell you that He loves us, because in my most darkest moments I have felt his arms around me. Like the famous poem, Footprints, He carries us at times through our hardest trials. If there is a greater being out there, and He actually does love us, wouldn't He want us to be happy and know right from wrong, truth verses lies? I know He does.
There are many people who will argue that religion, faith, science, and reason can not co-exist. But I know they can! And it all starts with the question: What is the truth?
Now, I'm not saying I am all wise and knowing... because I am not. I am just as imperfect as the next guy. Seeking answers and truth is a life long process. I am not even close to where I would like to be... but I would like to think I am headed in the right direction -- and if I am not, I hope to learn soon what I need to change so I can be!
I know one thing though, when we truly know truth, we are free, we are strong, and we are leaders to those around us. Dare to be different! Dare to be special! Dare to be amazing! And then we can truly be on the road to joy and lasting happiness. Hopefully, I will meet you there!
PS-- Sometimes the truths that we discover are going to be painful. They are going to hurt. But the reality is, growth can be that way. But we learn, we heal, we move on, and we become better people. I will never forget the time I realized I was being a terrible wife to my Ben. I was crushed. It took some serious soul searching, but I figured it out in the end and I changed. It hurt, but I grew and now I am better for it.