We’re living in some challenging times these days. Every morning, when we check the news, there is some new drama, with different sides of the story insisting that theirs is the true story.
In the last year or so, our trust has been breaking down. Not only are we being asked every day to subscribe to the very concept that news can be fake, that there are alternate truths that bear any relevance to actual truth, it we are beginning to question each other’s interpretations of what’s going on.
At first, and for quite some time, I was worried. Lately though, I’ve begun to think that it might not matter, in the long run, that norms around trust and media, or trust in general, are being attacked these days. One of the most effective tools of anarchists is to erode trust in public institutions, in community trust, even in personal relationships.
For myself, the conversations border on the absurd. I feel I’m right because I can’t understand why they think they are right, and vice versa. It’s hard to know where to turn to find some stable ground, or a dependable perspective.
Here’s why I think the truth will win. Humans have a compass of sorts. Sometimes, it points toward self-interest. Sometimes, it points toward the greater good. Eventually though, the strength of the group is the only path to strength of the individual. In order to stay strong as individuals, we need strong communities, and strong nations, to create a strong world. To keep us whole and functioning as a culture, we need a common vernacular, a common understanding of truth.
In recent days, I’m seeing more people willing to seek their own answers. The lack of trust that has been building is leading them to ask better questions. What can I really know to be true? Who can I trust? Some of the answers are coming back to family and friends, then neighbors. We’re starting to reach out to each other again, something we forgot how to do when social media took over our entire social lives.
More and more of us are remembering how to seek our own counsel, our pre-selected sensible gurus, and not just take the easier path of listening to the loudest voice. When we’re ready, we’ll start reassembling our views like a Wikipedia entry, where many voices blend into a self-policing community, to concentrate into a better sense of what’s really going on.
We’re gathering with others who also reject the loud voices in favor of something simpler and remarkable and pure.