Opinions are divisive, especially when not considering facts. In this time of global crisis opinions can be deadly. Facts evolve with expanded study by experts in the field, and yet unfortunately can be manipulated by bad actors by keeping a small element of the fact but changing the narrative. Manipulation of facts trigger fears and frustrations causing them to believe outcomes which will harm instead of heal. Learning discernment and accepting facts aren’t meant to imprison our mind to be a spring board for greater intellectual expansion.
Today we are as divided as ever and not by the color of our skin, our religion, or sexual identity but by our opinion. We have come to a point where our opinions shape all that we are and all that we do, often to the detriment of our own health and safety. How have we slid so far down this divisive rabbit hole?
Minds are easily controlled when vulnerable. Regardless of who we are, our opinions are often not shaped on provable facts but by our fears and our frustrations, which can be easily implanted by nefarious players with alternative motives the average person may be unaware. We are all susceptible.
The problem is in such a society today, how can we know if they information we are receiving is accurate. How can we trust any source these days?
Understanding Facts are Mutable.
Facts change. One may ask how and why? If it’s fact, shouldn’t it stay as fact?
Sometimes distrust grows when we see what was deemed a fact change. For many it raises suspicions. Take the case of Covid-19 as scientist and doctors are still trying to understand this disease. In this process, some may believe this an attempt to control populations, however, the truth is as scientists and doctors learn more, knowledge changes.
Through further research and investigation, we learn more about a subject. Evolving facts doesn’t indicate a hoax. It demonstrates continuing study into a subject. As humans evolve, so does our knowledge. In the middle ages, doctors and caregivers warned hot baths spread the plague, so many people stopped bathing. Ironically, they learned it was carried by rats and spread by unsanitary conditions. Good thing people figured that out or we would still not be bathing. With more information, these facts change.
Who Creates Facts?
Experts in the field of studying doing the detailed research. We can identify these people by their public backgrounds – who they work for, where they went to school and any affiliations they may have. For example, we may give more credibility to an engineer who studied at MIT rather than a person who studied a subject online how-to.
How Fact Differs from Opinion?
Fact is based on knowledge from detailed research. Opinion is based on how that fact makes us feel.
None of us knows how Covid-19 spreads, who is susceptible and who is just a carrier. We don’t know if heat and light kill it. The reason we don’t know is researchers around the world are still studying it. To form an opinion based on ever-changing research is an exercise in well…
Oftentimes our opinions are shaped not by the facts but our fears. We are frightened of getting ill, or worse. We are concerned about our jobs and financial situations, or even our freedoms, but this has nothing to do with the facts, but how we feel about them.
How Facts are Manipulated.
How this is done is by maintaining a small aspect of the fact as truth, and then spinning the theory into another narrative. For example, Covid-19 is a dangerous disease to the elder population but isn’t deadly to young people. While there is some truth to this statistic, a healthy young person can be a carrier and easily transmit to someone with a compromised immune system.
This gives the believer of such information the idea they have the facts and the knowledge on the subject, despite the narrative being incorrect and even dangerous.
Why Facts are Manipulated?
Power. There are nefarious players on each side of the coin. Yes. We can say those in the media, government and corporations have their agenda, however, nihilists have their agenda as well and that is creating distrust and paranoia. Facts are manipulated because the main goal is to have people distrust the experts so they trust them.
Ask ourselves what power entity is most disturbed by a global pandemic? Large corporations losing money, oil companies…politicians. Facts are manipulated and changed to sway personal blame and responsibility, or to reduce fears and anxiety. They change the narrative of the fact in hopes not to lose authority, power and money.
Why Discernment is Necessary?
We all want to keep an open mind to the information that is being presented to us, however, with this influx of information and bad actors in the world we really need to look beyond our opinion and even beyond the narrative of the fact.
It is rather worthless these days to debate opinions in regards to science and such, as they resemble more like the clothes we choose to wear or what car we want to drive. Is it better to dress for business in a suit or look casual. Is it better to drive this brand of car or another? There are no facts surrounding fashion (unless one is the fashion police), nor is there a fact to what is the best car for a person’s needs.
Those shaping global scientific policy best left to those who are deep in the study.
Freedom with Facts
We have the freedom to own our own opinions, but that doesn’t mean they are correct.
When a fact negatively triggers there is a reaction to rebel against the fact for the sake of freedom. The irony here is this: We may believe ourselves to be free when rebelling against a fact, but we are trapped in our own web of false knowledge which further binds us.
When we accept the fact of Covid-19, for example, we are set free to evolve and transform our lives for the better. Facts are not meant to restrict us, but to empower us to learn and grow, not to be succumbed to a triggered opinion that may be detrimental to our state of being.
What can be gained by a deadly pandemic? What is gained by staying at home? True value of compassion, empathy and humanity, sacrifice for the greater good, a reduction in consumerism that aids the environment of the planet.
Sure, it may feel like prison to be quarantined at home but here is the thing with rules and boundaries: They exist in all areas of human existence, but it is our ingenuity to expand them. Einstein discovered the theory of relativity by never leaving his apartment. Space exploration was discovered in his dreams, put to mathematical equations and changed the course of human history. We grow beyond our limits by exploring them, not by fighting them and denying they are there.
The future of this planet doesn’t depend on our individual opinions and our personal beliefs, but how we can continue to expand our limitations base on present facts and our evolution of them.
Jennifer Ott is the author of many novels – fiction and non-fiction. Her latest WIP, Arise My Tribe is the story of a past life ancient Celtic healer who weaves her tale through that of a modern woman going through a crisis of the heart. Jennifer’s first entry into the spirituality was the study of Nada Yoga. Since then she has studied a multitude of meditation styles, spiritual philosophies and multi-cultural shamanic ceremonies. This holistic practice of spirituality aided greatly into the journey of soul discovery to realize the burden of past life karmas.