I confess everyone! From time to time, I like to do psychological experiments on my Facebook friends (I sorta like to use FB as one big free focus group). All very harmless! It does, however, give me lots of insight into the mindset of people other than myself. The status I put up said, "State one fact. Any fact." Go ahead, try it, think of one fact. I wasn't sure what sort of responses I would get from this particular prompt, but I was very curious. Not sure why this was, but it was my most popular status to date (go check it out if you have time)! I received many comments, but ironically, most were indeed NOT facts. It was crazy to me! It seemed like a simple enough request, and I'm not sure if some people were just playing around or not, but it all really made me think. In this world of so much information available in every capacity, can we even distinguish what is the truth? What are the actual FACTS of life?
The concept of true and false is an ancient one. Since the dawn of time, people have been trying to decipher between the two. When you REALLY start falling down the rabbit hole (like I have, and often do), you begin to question the validity of everything! Even things you've previously thought beyond a shadow of a doubt to be correct. You start to think that nothing is actually absolute...nothing is an exact fact. Is it all on a spectrum? Can things be MOSTLY a fact? Is there anything out there that is universally accepted as factual? Even in a court of law (I watch a lot of courtroom tv shows), every defendant is presumed innocent until "facts" are presented and is proven guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt (a funny idiom if you ask me. Who thought of that? Hmm, maybe it's beyond a reasonable doubt). Yet still, some people who are currently in jail, and their guilt has been "proven", are actually innocent. How could this be? This would mean that truth and facts are actually not so truthful or factual at all. If the basis of our entire social structure isn't even truly based on absolute fact... what is?
Speaking of facts, another topic that I have always been leery of is history. My biggest concern simply being... how the heck do they know that happened? Sometimes I barely remember exactly what I did yesterday. How am I supposed to trust someone telling me great details about events that took place hundreds, thousands of years ago? Evidence? Sure. The same evidence that exonerates the guilty and convicts the innocent? Also, the history of the entire world is quite complex. Complex to the point where I'm not sure how anyone could completely know in what ways each thing impacted the next, seeing as though many events went on simultaneously. I think that maybe history is a combination of old things discovered, things people write, and large amounts of "filling in the blanks". Perhaps when the current day and age becomes history, they will have a lot more to go on because of video (also because everybody seems to document every single mundane thing they do every day). The point is, I take history with a grain of salt. Unless of course, it's my own personal history...
Which brings me to my next point. Some of the comments under the FB post were personal facts, such as "I am breathing". It's hard to argue with a personal statement being untrue (unless of course, the person is lying to themselves). Perhaps the truest things in this world are our personal feelings. No one else can tell us what's going on inside of us with complete understanding and certainty. We will never know exactly what goes on in the mind of our fellow human. So yes, everyone does have their own personal truth to grasp onto. At least THAT is quite comforting in a world of misinformation. A lot of comments were also personal opinions, however. I wonder if people really know the difference? Depending on the source, opinion could easily be disguised as fact, and taken as such. I've seen it with my very own eyes! Whenever I look back on some of my older writings, I do find that I used a lot more opinion than I do now. Don't get me wrong, I use PLENTY now, but I do try to incorporate a lot of personal truth. Some of the only truth I know to be certain. The LAST thing I wanna do is spread a lot of false information. I try to make sure the things I say make logical sense, can be researched elsewhere, but most of all can be questioned. It's a slippery slope though people! Once the questioning begins, it seems as though it never stops. I'm sure I will always be curious abut everything, but I'm certain I will never know it all. Let me know what you all think about this subject! But be warned, it will have you thinking long and hard about a lot.
P.s. In writing today's post, I'm reminded of the name of my very own blog; Bretony Speaks the Truth. Most of it is my very own personal truth, sort of like a public diary, so yes, I do think I've been sticking to that!
P.p.s. Fun fact... my high school history teach was actually named Mr. O'Leary. (Get it? Leery... O'Leary? Hilarious!)
P.p.p.s. A lot of the woke people out there tend to get angry or upset about others not "knowing the truth". The thing is, nobody is ever gonna know it all. Not even you! Every day is a learning process. Yes, people should be open to receiving new information as well as evidence to back it up. Finding truth in a world of false information should be a group effort among all those who are willing to receive it. Maybe one day everything will be revealed in it's entirertiy!