Even I don't always agree with my opinion

 

Feathers In The Wind

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Posted March 26, 2018 by jim young in Lifestyle

When we were young our parent’s taught us to always speak the truth. Do not gossip. Do not spread rumours.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 90th birthday and she taught these things by example.

When my sisters and I were teenagers, and didn’t want to talk on the phone to a classmate that had called, before my mother would tell them “we were out,” we had to literally go outside and wait in cold and inclement weather until she ended the call so that she could not be accused of having told an untruth.

I also remember a story in my Grade 3 reader about gossip. It went something like this.

The Gossiper

A woman repeated a story (gossip) about a neighbour. Within a few days everyone in the community knew the story. The person she talked about heard what had been said about her and she was very sad. Later, the woman who had spread the story learned that it was not true. She was very sorry and went to a wise rabbi and asked what she could do to repair the damage.

After giving this some thought, the rabbi said to her, “Go home, get one of your feather pillows, and bring it back to me.” Surprised by the rabbi’s response, the woman followed his advice and went home to get a feather pillow and brought it to the rabbi.

“Now,” said the rabbi, “open the pillow and pull out all the feathers.” Confused, the woman did what she was told to do.

After a few minutes, the rabbi said, “Now, I want you to find every one of the feathers and put them back into the pillow.”

“That’s impossible,” said the woman, almost in tears. “The window is open and the wind has scattered them all over the room and blown many feathers outside. I can’t possibly find them all.”

“Yes,” said the rabbi. “And that is what happens when you gossip or tell a story about someone else. Once you talk about someone, the words fly from one person’s mouth to another, just like these feathers flew in the wind. Once you say them, you can never take them back.”

Facebook is the wind and the feathers are the stories and memes that people so easily click on to share.

 

Verifying the truth of these stories and memes doesn’t seem to be a very high priority for most people.

It is one thing to share an opinion but it is quite another thing to use false information to support your opinion.

People I know on Facebook have been offended when I have pointed out the stories they were sharing were untrue. I have been chastised and ridiculed for doing so. And I have even been unfriended by people on Facebook for this.

Apparently it’s true. “Some people just can’t handle the truth.”

It bewilders me that people would react this way. Why are they so willing to compromise the integrity of their credibility?

When challenged, so many people defend their posts by suggesting they were “just throwing it out there for discussion.”

I call bullshit.

 

 

Stating an opinion or asking a question may be “throwing it out there for discussion.”

Repeating falsehoods is irresponsible and reckless.

“I don’t have time like you do to research everything I post,” is a common excuse I hear.

If you don’t have time to verify the facts BEFORE you post on Facebook, where will you find the time to recount those untruths you have spread?

“Ay – and there’s the rub.”

You WON’T have the time to recount. You simply CAN’T. Those untruths have become feathers in the wind.

In a day and age, when there are so many resources and it requires so little energy to “Fact Check”, why wouldn’t you?

And if you truly don’t have the time to check the facts, why take the time to spread the rumour when you are unsure of its validity?

The person who eventually unfriended me even went so far as to defend an untrue post he had made by suggesting that he knew I would check it out for him.

Seriously?

Mind you, he didn’t bother to ask me to check it out BEFORE sharing it, so unfortunately the feathers were already in the wind by that time.

Facebook professes to be “social media” while it has become a cesspool of racism, hate mongering and a proliferation of wonton misinformation.

What’s “social” about that?

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Here are a few links to some Fact Checking Sites. If you know of other good Fact Checking Sites, please share them in the comments.

Snopes.com

TruthOrFiction.com

HoaxSlayer.com

FactCheck.org


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