Further to yesterday’s post, I’ve finally got a clear idea of what’s been bothering me.
Certain media figures lie consistently about the way the world works and how people treat each other. They seem to love comforting themselves and their audiences with the idea that the oppressed or vulnerable within society are trying to fool everyone.
Some do it with great flair. They may produce just enough content to seem trustworthy—offering self-help advice, or entertaining guests. Many are enchanted by the smoke and mirrors that they employ. Yet the dangerous parts of what these spin doctors share remains unquestioned and presented as fact. They blithely go about fomenting ignorance and hatred, with little thought for the impact of their words or actions. I, for one, am tired of seeing the pain that this behaviour causes.
Yesterday, one headline in particular gave me an epiphany. Or at least, a new way to articulate my thoughts on what’s going on.
We are suffering from the effects of an epidemic of people who want to be idolized even if the heartbeat of their core message rests on something that isn’t true.
These folks can be downright obsessive about their messaging. After all, they have built entire livelihoods on others’ faith in their falsehoods. And sadly, their audiences believe their words regardless of how dishonest they actually are. They do this simply because their idols’ ideas validate their fears.
And what is it that people are people afraid of? Among other things…
That human beings could be as depraved as they are revealed to be by their words and deeds, and as declared in the headlines.
But why do some of us willingly believe lies about how others truly are? We humans delight in protecting ourselves. Above all else, for many, it is far more comforting to remain comfortable than it is to accept uncomfortable truths. At the deepest state of denial, from what I’ve seen, there are folks who like to believe one or both of the following: a) The only way an instance of bigotry is unreasonable is if it involves an instance of physical violence that harms the victim(s), and b) people don’t actually perpetrate unbelievably horrific acts of physical violence against innocent people.
I pray that human beings will stop deluding themselves. Man’s inhumanity to man is truly, truly horrible.
Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash