Reality is a complex combination of factors at any given moment. Knowing your own body is making shit up on a moment by moment basis should be enough for the more savvy individuals to grasp that perhaps taking everything at face value is not the way forward. However, on some days, we get tired. A constant stream of bad news, delivered directly to our brains via a boggling array of instant methods means that it becomes almost impossible to deal with it all. So, individuals become selective, normally elevating their own issues to prominence above the things that, realistically, are out of their hands.

The problem then becomes significance. How important are we? 


Asking for help is a tough step: when it happens, is it easier to approach total strangers (who can’t judge or be biased by the facts) or approach someone who knows and cares about you? Speaking personally, going to a professional was the means by which truth became reality. Having someone who made an assessment based only on the honesty they were provided with altered my entire existence. This won’t work for everybody. For some, the fear of what they will learn is enough to stop any idea of alteration. For others, knowing only too well what they are and how that is a restriction can force some quite amazing and bizarre actions.


Getting angry won’t help, but it is going to happen. How that manifests, what then appears as consequence is as much a measure of your humanity as anything else. I sat for ten minutes this morning and stared at a website with complete disbelief, which morphed into anger and amazement. Talking to my daughter about this on the school run, her answer was so matter of fact as so make me laugh at my own reaction. Somebody will always disagree with you online. People will try and restrict their discussions so as to avoid this; social media’s desperately trying to get AI to filter the crap out. The problem isn’t what you say, but how others respond.

The onus is on you to be a better human being than the next person.


Being ‘better’ then becomes as much of a challenge as being honest, because all of these things are subjective terms. Sometimes, better means saying nothing at all because the consequences of pointing out someone else’s lying, duplicitous nature is largely pointless. It’s that whole ‘man behind the curtain’ thing: just because you believe the Emperor is naked,  does not mean that by shouting this fact out loud the lie will suddenly be revealed for what it is. If there aren’t the facts to back up the belief, there is nothing. Believing you are right, that someone is lying to make money or con others into believing they’re in dire straits… the only person who knows that real truth is them.

Stop trying to second guess others, and simply focus on yourself first.

What I feel only really counts in this space. Getting others to respect that is more important than being right. Belief should remain deeply personal, yet has become a modern-day marketing tool.

The truth is only ever part of a larger equation.

1 Comment

  1. I think, belief becoming a modern-day marketing tool is (just) a consequence of the movement of Enlightenment. Maybe you could go back even further and attribute it to Humanism. At least today we think that stuff needs to get dragged out into the public in order to question (criticise in its loose original sense) or criticise it (in the stricter, everyday life sense). Once it’s public, it’s up for grabs, and grabbing is what economy does. Beliefs are less sacred than they used to be, much to the chagrin of the Catholic Church.
    There’s also a connection between the private and the personal. There’s something scary, for example, about the thought that our personality was an object of public scrutiny. We want a space of privacy for our most personal moments, to figure out stuff for ourselves. We don’t want to show weakness or vulnerability in public, although it could be argued that the world was better off if we could and did.
    Interestingly, some of the most problematic beliefs were hold in public, while private belief planted the seed of revolution. But we live in a much more democratic world, there’s reason to argue that today’s public skills in scrutiny are much better. Because of that the public belief gets challenged while the belief that fears challenge has to retreat to privacy.
    This is why it may be difficult to escape beliefs becoming a marketing tool. Maybe there are benefits to it, although I don’t see them. It does seem like another step towards losing our grip on reality.


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