Avoid writings exactly saying what you’d like to read and think
Most of us need a party to belong and to feel sane for others saying what we think. However, this should not turn into a quest for acceptance or addiction to our truth. A lollypop may be nice but not to replace meals.
Mistakes to Discover
We’re bound to misjudge situations. But eventually, we may find out.
I moved to Israel and knew little about politics here. I volunteered: “At least, I know that X is an honest man.” Everyone I said it to rolled their eyes. He was the biggest flattering con of them all.
Victims speak out and you feel for them. Beaten up by her husband, but she seems a fake. Attacked in the street, but so many holes in his story. Survived the concentration camps, but there are no records that say so.
Monumental heroes speak out for decency and morals. Accusing lesser souls. Until we find out they are fakes and the worst abusers of all.
Dutch saying: When the fox quotes Scripture, farmers watch your hens.
When everyone from a family looks furious except for one whom you like because he’s friendly and ‘together,’ that’s the villain.
She counsels alcoholics and doesn’t see that her spouse is drunk 24/7.
If it didn’t happen to you, it did, but you yet haven’t found it out.
Listen to Victims
At first, real victims may exaggerate from rage or desperation. But, when you listen well, nuances will come. If you listen to feminist women, Zionist Jews, LGBTQ and BLM activists, left-wing blue-color workers, stubborn children, and others who are underprivileged but not intimidated or self-haters, it will be harder to be misled by bigotry, hatred, and supremacy. We may have to subtract some rhetoric, but the big picture we’ve got.
We will also more easily identify the overprivileged who typically see and portray themselves as the ‘real’ victims.
Listen to Debates
You can still not be sure if the people are right who say things that you like. You’ll know more after you listened to honest debates between them and opponents. Ignore smooth-talking. Try to spot who brings facts you know to be true. Who goes against popular prejudices and generalizations?
Refuse to not take a position. To be ‘neutral’ about evil is evil. Ask yourself who stands to profit from your indecisiveness and passivity.
Read left-wing news outlets and subtract left-wing bias. Read right-wing news outlets and subtract right-wing bias. Compare the two. Don’t waste your time reading the obvious propaganda: Haaretz, the UN, or Hezbollah calls Israel evil, or the left calls the right dangerous, or vice versa.
From my side, I try not to write what everyone already thinks or accepts.
Be Less Naïve
Most people are decent but naïve. Ask yourself if the one with the necktie could be a crook, a thief, a liar, or a bigot. Naïve people have enemies too.
Maybe the one who sells medical drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, weapons, anti-science fake news, being your friend, really is only out for themselves.
Distrust anyone or any institution that claims to be more than others on the side of truth, reality, and proofs. When someone asks indignantly “Don’t you trust me?” our reflex is to say: “No, sorry, I do.” Warning: This is a very ominous question. No one can require you to trust them. Trust must be won over time. Mistrust anyone who asks this or who flatters you.
Ask yourself who stands to gain from or who paid for this news or poll to be published.
There are no innocent lies. Two strikes, and they should be out.
Remember, people who committed themselves to evil are not crazy (confused) and not stupid (simple). The word is: wicked (immoral). They don’t do this because they are bad but because they are hungry for fame, power, and money, which they misidentify are proper goals in life.
Big con artists only got so successful because they lie the smoothest. The one stammering easily could be the one telling the truth.
It is not shameful to be naïve, but it is blameworthy to stay naïve.
The Bottom Line
In the era of unprecedented lying, use your brain and be an activist.