A Brief Guide On Trusted Sources During An Era Where The New York Times Is Considered Fake News
George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, some of the greatest dystopian novelists of our time, painted shocking pictures of just how badly our freedoms can fall when one facet of our government yields too much power. Dystopian literature in and of itself, deals with themes of a nightmarish world, a society defined by oppression. Often placed in the science fiction genre, dystopian themes make the leap from book pages to real life when we witness our leaders fight truth with propaganda, and fact with fake news. A novel is safe – you can put it down and its world remains within its bindings – but a leader on a podium dismissing irrefutable facts with a loyal following is dangerous and scary. Incredibly scary.
So how do we fight back? How do we maintain the integrity of honest conversation, of truth backed by tangible evidence? If a person insists that the earth is flat, that scientists are actually paid actors, that a claim against a leader is simply liberal propaganda, how do we hold onto our own sanity? How do we embody what we know to be true in everyday life? No matter how big or how small, the most practical guidance I can give is to stick to your trusted sources.
Start on a micro-level and escalate it outwards. Do you trust one of your parents to give good advice? I trust my mother for career advice, because she has decades of experience to back up her sworn tactics. Expand this outward. I recently purchased a vintage book that is in need of rebinding. Do I turn to Google for a way to bind it myself, or find a local bookbinding service? With trust on the brain, I popped into my favorite rare book dealer’s storefront to ask where they go for restorations. If the service is good enough for the restoration of a first edition Sherlock Holmes mystery, it is good enough for my prized – albeit damaged – new addition.
In our current political climate, do we trust someone simply because they say to trust them, or do we do our research? Do we believe that one side is correct, simply because that side says the other is wrong? Is news fake simply because we say it is? On what basis do we place our trust, and why? Think about this, because whether you are picking a face wash or picking a world leader, it matters. Do your research. Ask the correct questions based on prior history and experience. Always consider the other side, even if you recognize it may not be the correct path for you.
We can’t be angry forever. We can march, we can post, we can take action and register our voices as votes for government representation – but in everyday life, we can remain hopeful and work towards a productive, progressive future by incorporating a simple practice in our lives: utilizing our trusted sources.