I received a touching email from a mother in Colorado struggling with some issues regarding children going back to school, the pandemic, her job, etc. Many things that many of us are struggling with. We are bombarded with conflicting news reports from various sources. Statistics, data, and at the end of the day, we need to make a choice. To further add fuel to the fire, it's an election year, and those campaign ads add further confusion to the mix.
First let me say, there is nothing wrong with you. These concerns are PERFECTLY NORMAL. Let's face it. We've all been hit with a pandemic, protests, violence higher than what we have ever seen, unemployment due to the pandemic, sports teams changing their names, statues being removed, vandalized, or torn down, and an increasing large movement to defund or disband law enforcement, and this doesn't even include any personal issues someone may have. For GOD'S SAKE, who wouldn't be concerned? Is this what we all brought children into the world to face? I will list the 5 things that will help you to sort all of this out, and make better sense of life.
We must all understand something. I refer to these as "the basics." I am NOT suggesting or telling you someone or something is incorrect. I am telling you there is a way to look at it. After 17 years of owning my own business, and then coming from a profession where evaluating statistics and data was key to the many decisions I made in the health care field, I learned one very important thing. Know what you are reading and what you are talking about. Here are the 5 basics, and then I will briefly discuss them.
WHAT DO WE DO:
1. USE COMMON SENSE,
2. DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR OR READ,
3. KNOW THE SOURCE,
4. KNOW HOW IT APPLIES TO YOUR SITUATION,
5. REASON IT OUT
These 5 simple steps without any doubt, will help you to make sense out of living. Let's start.
1. Use common sense - I consistently hear, and read on social media, the things people say. "The pandemic is getting out of control again." Here is where we need to use common sense. Let me ask you, does it make sense to you that the more people we test, the higher number of people or cases we will find? Of course, it does, or it should. The more we look for anything, the more of it we will find. Yes, there will be a percentage of these higher numbers that will reflect some rise due to some or many not following the guidelines.
HOWEVER, the number you want to watch is the number of people hospitalized. When that goes up, we know the spread of the virus has gotten worse in that area. Now you watch the sad number of those who have passed away. If that stays low, that tells us whatever treatments we have found are working. If that number goes up, the treatments are not working or something else has changed. Number 1 and 5 go hand in hand. Do you get how we used common sense and reasoned it out? This concept applies to anything you need to evaluate.
2. Don't believe everything you hear or read. - This is especially true for politics. We hear about all the polls, the different opinions, etc. Unless you know the metrics of any poll, like in data, you don't know if the information is accurate and valid. If you poll 100 republicans, who do you think they would choose to vote for? If you did the same for Democrats, who do you think they would choose to vote for? The same applies to biased news reporting. A network that leans to the left or right, will tailor their reporting accordingly. Remember, opinions are like rear ends. Everyone has one. Anyone with a video editor can pull parts of a video clip and make it appear the way they want. Just like with photo enhancing programs, we can take all the imperfections out of our picture. We can make ourselves look skinnier, heavier, or anything else we choose.
The only way to filter though this massive degree of opposing opinions is to listen to the source. Watch the actual speech, watch the briefings, hear things from the horses mouth. This is a concept that goes back to high school, and the easiest and quickest way for rumors and false facts to be started. Actually, many reporting agencies rely on this concept because it works, and it is effective. Don't fall for it. Yes, I am sorry to say, to be properly informed means you need to put a little effort into it.
3. Know the source. - Many sources of information are known to support or be pro or anti something. Therefore, why would you believe any source that is known to be biased? Almost every source can be verified on the internet, and most are already well known for being biased.
4. Know how it applies to your situation. - I also see and hear people get so upset over an issue that does not apply to their given situation. We all need to be aware of the problems, but not every problem will apply to you, me, or anyone else. Determine if the information you have heard or read applies to you. After that, apply whichever of the 5 steps will help you. I can tell you now, in almost every case, it will be number 1, and number 5.
5. Reason it out. - Earlier I stated that many of these steps are interconnected. Meaning, that work hand in hand. Once you have addressed the issue, reason it out. Is what you are hearing or reading making sense? Does it appear to be one sided? Do you honestly expect to hear Nancy Pelosi or Donald Trump say anything that supports the other? Do you expect the police to agree that they need to be defunded or disbanded? Do you expect any minority to say they are not discriminated against? Of course, you don't. This is where you need to look at the facts, view it from a common sense standpoint, and reason it out. Only then can you decide for yourself. Even with that, if you talk to 100 other people, you may hear 100 other opinions. Some will be in line with yours, others will not.
These 5 steps are not intended to be the cure all. Frankly, there is no cure all. As long as there are different opinions, there will be friction. As long as there are more unformed people, there will be conflict. As long as people do NOT sit down to work out differences, there will not be resolution. History has proven this to be true time and time again. Therefore, at our level on the evolutionary scale of society, we need to find a way to sort through the bull crap and see the facts. Hopefully this will help you to sort through things better.
Thank you ... Caesar Rondina
Check out my new private investigator series coming in 2020.
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