Monday, February 24, 2014

Challenge Everything

We were all gullible when we were kids. That coin trick your uncle performed on you was authentic in your young eyes. It can’t be faked. You know it was real but you have no idea how he did that. You just believed that it’s for real. And you wanted to get the secret. But then, uncle would hide the coin after doing it twice leaving you in awe and with overflowing curiosity. Then you took a coin yourself. You tried to duplicate the trick but failed. Your belief that it was real strengthened even more. You couldn’t do it so probably it was real magic after all.

Then you went out and told your friends about it. You swore to them that it’s true magic.  They got to believe you as you saw it done up close. And you couldn’t do it yourself no matter how you tried to imitate it.  Then one of your friends laughed at you, too loud that your face turned red in humiliation.  It is fake, he said. That was easy according to him. But you defended that it is not. It is fake, he repeated loudly. Then he explained how it was done and how your uncle tricked you. You still didn’t believe him. Then you gave him a coin and challenged to do it. And he did and was successful at first try. Then he laughed again. Then you just wouldn’t accept that he’s right. You said that it’s different. It was not the way your uncle did the trick. Then he did it again and laughed louder. Then you got angry and either you punched him in the face, cried like a baby or ran going home. Or maybe all of them. You just couldn't accept that you believed in something that was wrong. You know you were right.  You saw it and you know it. It’s different than what your friend did and said. But you thought, maybe he’s right. No, he couldn't be.

Every day, traditional and new media bombard us with facts and data. Numbers of books, magazines and articles are written on a rate higher than ever. To merely pick on which to listen, watch, hear or read is hard enough.  It’s like walking in a buffet restaurant where every type of food you can think of is there and you just have not enough appetite and time to taste all of them. You just pick anything without a clue. You don’t usually consider nutrition which is the most important. And who does that at buffets? You only choose which looks good and what seems delicious. It’s the same with how most of us choose the information we chew on. We take on what’s appealing, not on what’s important. We teach media to become more sensational, and media give us what we want.

There are always contradicting ideas. A lot of times we choose one without getting familiar with the other.  Ideas are supposed to be enticing and are always sold and packaged in glitter and gold to make you buy it. And then believe it. It will always be shown as something for a good cause.  Then it will feed you with more facts and data that support its genuine goodness and correctness. Who in their right mind would admit and show you right away the flaws of their idea? And they might be right on some, but there might be others out there which are more accurate. But sometimes, you are too lazy to look at the other side. Or too proud to admit you are wrong.  But wisdom could be found by challenging the things we know and the things which we believe is true then asking why and why not.  And if something is true, it will and can answer and defend on its own.  But it is still up to you to accept it or not.

I think Dave Grohl would be a great uncle

You went home and told your uncle about what happened. You asked him to tell you the truth. You said that your friend laughed at you and humiliated you. But you stood on what you believe. And your uncle laughed as loud as he can. He apologized to you though and said that he did not expect that you would believe so much in it. Then he showed how to do the trick. And it was exactly how your friend did it. He was right. But you can still remember the embarrassment. Your pride got in the way. And even if it’s your uncle who’s telling, you’re still in denial. There has to be a way. Someone might know how to do it like how you thought it could be done. You will still try. You wish and you hope against the glaring truth that maybe someday, you’ll be right.

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