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Take a moment to actually think about it

Lance Scranton

Think. Yes. Really. Just for a moment … think about some idea or possibility beyond a Twitter response, or a Facebook “like” or a TikTok video.

The probability of you reading this column to the end has decreased precipitously in the past few years in direct relation to our use of social media and smartphones. It’s an old argument that has existed since we gathered enough intellectual capacity to put together words onto pages and then into book form.

People, like me, who write as part of their contribution to society rail on about how our collective attention spans have decreased and how this has negatively impacted our ability to distinguish truth and facts.



Far too many people have decided that finding the truth, or determining facts, is too fraught with complications and difficulties that far outweigh the benefit of searching, pondering, and considering. Like the postmodernists, some have determined that our individual meaning is the truth viewed through the lens that makes us feel the best. In general, for most people, at the lowest levels of existence, it works out and life continues on until something happens that we can’t explain or aren’t certain we should accept.

The thing about searching for truth is that it is dependent on accepting the fact that some of our views and presuppositions about the world might need to be adjusted as we gather the pertinent information that helps to inform our path forward. To expect someone or all people to be settled in their perception of the infinite differences and possibilities of the culture and world in which we find ourselves is tantamount to expecting a flower to bloom without water — but talking nicely to it everyday.



So how exactly do we find truth or determine what is factual? That can certainly be a tricky problem to solve but one in which the exercise of searching generally leads to the solution. By informing ourselves about the world around us in a serious and meaningful way, we can attune our sensibilities to that which is beyond the noise and clutter of emotions and feelings. Such characteristics are important but not at the expense of accepting the reality that something you once thought to be, might not be so any longer because you’ve allowed the flow of ideas to better inform your reality.

We’ve been put through plenty the last few years, and, as we come out the other side it’s important that we all make a convincing argument for ourselves. Too many people have been left behind because they feared for their safety or clung to narratives that made them feel better.

Surely those should be considered counterintuitive forces that hold back our sense of truth and fact. Thinking is what we have been given to help us discover the best way forward. We are responsible for looking to the future with an eye on clarity and a mind capable of grasping more than a 10 second TikTok video or a Twitter argument.

Something to think about … really! And, congratulations, by the way, you made it to the end.


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