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Trust Nothing, Question Everything

I want to begin this column by saying that I understand that everybody wants to be right — whether it’s social media or mainstream media. They want to share their story and thoughts and make you believe what they’re saying is right. They will baffle you with knowledge, numbers, analytics, and information that supports their views. They will be passionate and pull on your emotions to sell their story or opinion. And if they’re a professional talking head reporting the news, they are usually given the resources to find just the angle and information they want to sell the story on. By this, I’m talking about videos that may not even apply or be out of an old file, maybe some background music to add that emotional element or the person interviewed that completely backs the story. This may even be an expert. Believe me, they don’t choose the person that will detract from the story or will provide facts to prove them wrong.

I can guarantee you beyond a shadow if a doubt if there is a legal opinion offered, no matter the story, another attorney could almost always challenge it. That’s just how the profession works. The top anchors at the major news networks are getting paid millions because they can gain your trust and deliver the story without you even questioning the facts.

With all the information at your fingertips, finding the truth has never been harder. I am baffled by how many people read something on social media and take it as fact or don’t question anything they’re watching on TV.

So, this is where I suggest something I’ve talked about many times; forgive me for being repetitive. Please use your common sense and question everything. There is just flat-out way too much gossip and misinformation out there, which leads people to jump to quick conclusions. This is one of the major contributors to the anger, hate, and division we all witness each and every day.

Somewhere it got lost that it is OK to have different opinions than someone. As well as to follow the golden rule. Whether it’s social media or the evening news, it would be nice if you could use the words truth, honesty, and integrity if the driving factors didn’t appear as drama, personal, a political agenda, and most unfortunately, flat-out hatred.

I’m a big believer in the Luke Bryan song “I Believe Most People Are Good.” Google it and give it a listen if you’re not familiar with it. I think the good going on in today’s world is often ignored. Yes, everybody has problems and makes mistakes; that’s part of being human. However, the majority of folks are making an effort in the name of good in a world gone mad.

One of my greatest concerns for our Nation is the hatred being heard and exhibited all too often. I wish I had some answers to share when it came to this topic. What possesses an individual to have this random hatred toward someone they don’t even know or who has done nothing towards them? Some individuals allow their hatred to fester into violence against the completely innocent. What causes the progression to this point is unclear.

For now, the application of common sense and questioning everything may be the best way to identify a person who could commit a violent act and hopefully get them the help they need. I got a little off-topic from where I was going with common sense and questioning. Although, the last thing I mentioned may be the most important.

I want to finish things up this week by asking you to pay extra close attention to the information you’re overwhelmed with this week. Try not just to listen, watch, or just read what’s going on; question it and then look to another source for the same story. If you find something that jumps out to you, please share it with me; my contact information is always on page 4.

As far as social media, if someone gets you fired up about something, you’re on your own. I will suggest you take the high road and go about your business. Last but definitely not least — some great baseball and a night out to Muncy Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. Simply be one of the first three people to call me at 570-337-0755, and you will win four tickets and Cutters’ Cash for a hot dog and cold beverage as you enjoy watching the Williamsport Crosscutters.

Gabe and Rhashan will make sure you’re entertained, and Billtown’s Boys of Summer will hopefully knock a few out of the park for you. Please just identify yourself as “Winner, Winner, and a Crosscutter Dinner” when you call. Good luck to everyone!

As July is on the calendar and summer hits in full swing, let’s all be careful out there.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb