Who Writes Our History – What is the Truth?
Take a step back. This is about perspective and our recent events. Do you believe Trump’s a Liar? Was there really an insurrection at the Capital? Does wearing a mask prevent the spreading of COVID? Given the current state of events in American the truth is often difficult to agree on a consensus. So what is going to be the truth that is written in our future history books? Guess that depends if you believe there are going to be books right? History is now a difficult and complicated discussion that we need to have.
In the opening we asked you to think. We didn’t ask for the facts. Think about it, do you believe that there was an insurrection at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021? Do you believe the COVID 19 pandemic started in Wuhan, China? History often first looks at what people believe after they’ve been presented the facts. Professionals often call this your “unconscious bias;” where the back of your brain tells you things that your conscience self never thinks about.
The Unconscious Bias
Sometimes the bias of the time doesn’t fully bring in the history from both sides of a story. Everyone knows that history is always based on the person telling it. Just look at the lead story lines when you watch CNN vs. Fox News. You’ve also maybe noticed there are efforts to “rewrite history.” It’s virtually impossible to remove bias from a story because no matter how you try to tell the story, you’re the one setting the premise for the narrative. Facts have given way to editorial. Writing naturally leans to a particular point of view (bias). What has always been a human characteristic is challenging history right to its very core. So what is the truth and what does it mean to history.
How can you re-write history when that history is how it was recorded at that particular time. Well that’s pretty simple, you just do it and let history sort it out. Will your point of view repurpose the narrative. Will others feel the same way as you do? With tools like the internet and social media everyone, well almost everyone, has the right to present their thought and point of view. So what information is real truth and what is what you believe to be the truth? Many are now seeking outlets that support their particular unconscious bias we talked about earlier and the information is being served with lightning speed. Writers often foregoing real facts for actually making assumptions that drive the narrative and hence drive the discussion in a bias manner.
History does rewrite itself over time. Sometimes it’s going to be based on new information. However, it’s mostly because of a wider belief in the people that are telling the story. Just because someone says it, doesn’t make it true. Do you trust the fact checker? Is the truth really disinformation and meant to deceive you? It’s enough to make your head spin.
Freedom of Speech
In America, there is a fundamental right to the freedom of speech protected by the Constitution. Dangerous? Of course, but it remains a fundamental right of our nation’s existence and remains a special right. The balance arrives when you seek out multiple sides to a story. Listen, learn, create your point of view. The outcome will be your opinion and it’s you that determines what becomes your conscience and unconscienced bias that ultimately leads to how you learn your history and how you repeat it. And if you repeat it, civility matters. Maybe that’s what we’re losing in today’s world. Are you going to be able to tell a story to someone that has alternative facts? How can there be alternative facts to the same story? History is full of them.
History is at Stake
Do you ever catch yourself looking for an answer that you just grab your phone and ask Google? Of course you do because it’s so easy. But these are typically undisputable simple facts like birth dates and sports scores right? Tools like Wikipedia have made attempts to keep facts straightforward but then again this is a crowdsourcing method where someone makes decisions on the narrative. But let’s remember that there are a few phrases that do hold true to the discussion; you have to listen, and we recommend walking in other peoples shoes. Teachers and Professors have to dance this dance every day based on the approved curriculum. But it was also at college where I learned to “Question Authority.” As they say, you teach a person to fish…….
My last cliché, I promise – “As they say, only history will tell”. Who said that!
Note: This piece was written by a blog contributor. T3 Consortium is reprinting the post to allow an open exchange of ideas and does not endorse or deny any of the the content.