An unmarked grave with an invisible headstone sits in the grounds around every government hall and in the back yards of many citizens. The name on the headstone, if you could read it, says, “Common Sense.”
Yes, Folks, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but common sense is dead. I see its absence everywhere, most especially in the emails I receive.
Without fail, nearly every single authentic-looking email I receive that spews forth hatred for some government official or some religion or some whatever, when I check it out on Snopes.com, proves to be false, partially false, or mostly false. If only the person who sent it had researched the email before sending it to everybody in his address book. And of those that are true, I find that portions of the “true” emails were taken out of context.
Sadly, people send ridiculous emails to me every day. Even more sadly, more and more people believe everything they read in these emails, especially when what they read supports their already demented belief that the lie is true.
Informed readers who care about truth, on the other hand, verify the authenticity of the information they receive.
I am one of those people who is suspicious of every hate-filled email I receive. I corroborate everything, especially when the hatred spewing forth from the email reaches out from my computer, grabs me by my throat, and knocks me senseless.
So am I supposed to be relieved when the person who sent the incendiary email posts a link that verifies its “authenticity”? Should I be grateful that I don’t have to verify the accuracy myself? How refreshing.
But wait…were you, email sender, expecting me to NOT read the link you provided to snopes.com? Because when I read the linked text, I find a complete contradiction to the hateful, demeaning, and inappropriate comments that were supposed to support the link in your email.
I am weary from the hatred, weary from the lies. I have even gone so far as to beg people to PLEASE STOP filling my email box with hateful diatribes put forth by hate mongers who circulate their pathetic pleas around the planet screaming for recognition with morsels of truth the author has meticulously fabricated into lies.
And people fall for it. Why?
Because it’s so easy to manipulate a lie into appearing as truth.
For example, I could tell you that President Obama was “caught” worshipping at a mosque. I could then tell you that he refuses to worship in the religion YOU prefer. Then I would use what I just told you to embellish what I’m about to tell you next, and I will craftily pull segments of Obama’s statements, interweave them with actual video footage, plop in a few unconnected statements of my own, and I will have you believing that President Obama idolizes, emulates, and loves Adolf Hitler.
Pay attention to what I just wrote. Take the last seven words from the last paragraph. Pull it out of context, weave in some Hitlerian statements, and circulate this “truth” through your emails. Within minutes, people will be drawing mustaches on President Obama and circulating the asinine falsehood across America and around the world.
THAT is how it works. THAT is why some people believe everything they read. THAT is why they blindly follow hate-mongers who want them to believe what the hate-mongers believe. Hate-mongers don’t want people thinking for themselves. They want people thinking what they think, and they know that if they’re insistent and persuasive enough, they’ll have you believing that God speaks through them.
Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and others like them, were gods to their followers, because those “leaders” appealed to their followers’ sensibilities (notice I didn’t say common sense).
Spreading lies is easy. Spreading the truth is sometimes impossible, because people have already adopted a belief system and because most people are followers. If the group of people with whom you surround yourself is a die-hard Democrat bunch, NOBODY will convince you that ANY Republican is worthy of your vote. The same works the other way around.
And when we get emails that support our beliefs, we say, “yeah, that’s right,” without checking the source.
I once read a book entitled, “The Death of Common Sense,” by Philip K. Howard. I highly recommend reading that book if you believe that, in a world that is beginning to border on the absurd, common sense, like Elvis, has “left the building.” While the book is more about government bureaucratic idiocy, it speaks to the lack of common sense across the spectrum of life itself.
The more emails I receive that concern spreading hateful demeaning lies, the more I believe that common sense truly is dead.
So what do you think? Are you willing to challenge the emails you receive by checking out their validity, or will you continue to believe the lies that spread like a virus from your eyes to your brain?