“Knowledge Itself Is Power”

Written June 9, 2017

“Follow your Path to the Water, the Source of Life sustaining, Thirst Quenching Water. Gather your Water upstream from others, so you are gathering Pure, unpolluted Water. Others may try to show you where to go for Water….”The pure Water is over here.”…..”The pure Water is there.”….Each one of us needs to find our own Spring,our own well,our own Source of pure Water….unpolluted, with no additives….” ~ Doug

Information, having knowledge, sustains a society just as water sustains life. The the expression “ipsa scientia potestas est” (‘knowledge itself is power’) by Francis Bacon comes to mind. This means that the more one knows, the more one will be able to control events.

As I watch the media in all its forms these days, I still find myself amazed at what I see and hear. Between politicians and news reporters I can see why our country has become so divided. Part of it has to do with us being human beings who have free will. We have the choice to say, do or believe whatever we want. With that in mind, humans, by and large, are fairly easily manipulated.

Let’s look at it like this. Since the dawn of time, humans have promoted their goods and services. “No, don’t buy that stuff, mines better” or “My services are better than that person”. Normally we’d weigh the the pros and cons of a product or service based on how well it worked and if it actually performs like it claimed to. Many times we also get suggestions and advice from our family and friends.

In politics we have the same thing but now we not only get suggestions and weigh the pros and cons, we also get opinions, information and even misinformation from the media, Internet and social media. Even worse in recent years, we are intimidated or coerced to think this way or that. On top of that you have Hollywood and musicians putting in their 2 cents. All of this combined has come to a boiling point this past presidential election season.

One can see quite clearly what I’m talking about by looking at different media outlets. It makes no difference if it’s tv, in print or on social media and the internet. There are sharp contrasts between left and right media outlets. One side focuses on one narrative  while the other side focuses on another narrative. Each side calls you names if you don’t believe what they say. However one side calls you a bigot and every”ist” name in the dictionary if you think or say this or you think or say that. Hollywood and musicians add their opinions about which way you should think too and some of these people have continued the hateful rhetoric.

The use of intimidation comes from almost anyone only now it’s not just words that are used. Like I said, politicians, reporters, Hollywood and musicians call you names for not believing what they say which is one form of intimidation. People in everyday life not only call you names but they shout you down or actually beat you up if you don’t go along with what they say.

This is what you don’t see anymore – substantive discussion and debate. Meaning no one says anymore, “This is why I believe this” or “You’re wrong because of this reason”. We would rather shout each other down, bully or beat each other up until we get each other to be silent or submit to the aggressors viewpoint.

If you don’t believe me then try this easy and safe experiment. I’m sure most of you read, watch or listen to the news from certain outlets only for whatever reason. And of course that’s your prerogative. I want you to go to another outlet and read, watch or listen to what they report. For example, if you watch MSNBC, turn the channel to Fox News. If you read the New York Times then read Huffington Post. You get the idea.

If you choose to do this, the first thing you’ll notice is different, perhaps even conflicting reports on virtually everything. You’ll get one side of the story from one source and a totally different story from another source. If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned thru the years it is that there’s one side of the truth, another side of the truth and somewhere between the two sides is the truth.

Since the dawn of the internet, social media and 24hr news networks, we have been inundated with information 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This includes nights, weekends and holidays. Add to that the fact that most media outlets take sides in politics and you have a real pressure cooker ready to explode. What we as a society need to do is decider truth from fiction, unbiased from biased information and real news from fake news.

Doug said it best, “Gather your Water upstream from others, so you are gathering Pure, unpolluted Water. Others may try to show you where to go for Water….”The pure Water is over here.”…..”The pure Water is there.”….Each one of us needs to find our own Spring,our own well,our own Source of pure Water….unpolluted, with no additives….”

Thought for the day: Don’t allow others to tell you that they’re information is right. Do the research for yourself. Seek out the truth in the sea of lies and misinformation.

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

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