Take My Word For It

I used to work with a woman who was a smoker.  But she didn't want anyone to know that she smoked.  She'd say she was going out for a breath of air (no comment), to the ladies room, to get something from her car, etc.  She didn't want the boss to know that she smoked.  Do you think he knew, even though she never told him?  EVERYONE knew, and no one really cared. (Ok, I did care a bit because I knew it wasn't good for her health, but that's a whole other story.)

I could tell you that I'm 35 years old.  I could say it convincingly.  It doesn't make it so (although I might wish it was so).  Maybe if I told you I was 42, you might take my word for it.  What I say or imply doesn't make it true.  In the same vein, sometimes what I DON"T say doesn't make it true either.  (For example:  I lost 42 pounds.  True statement, but the real fact is that since I lost 42 pounds, I've gained back 12, so I've only truly lost 30.)  The fact is, you SHOULDN'T just take my word for it.  You should blindly take anyone's word for ANYTHING.

I'm not saying I'm dishonest.  I THINK I'm a pretty honest person; I don't like to lie and I don't do it often.  But even if you knew (or know) me well, you SHOULDN’T take everything I say as the gospel truth.  After all, I am human and I have my own agenda.  My words, verbal or written, should never be taken as absolute truth.  I try to be factual, but most of what I blog about is personal opinion, not fact.  Opinion is not fact.

Opinions are in valid, but they are not truth and they are not fact.

In this world where pretty much everyone has a platform to speak (myself included) no matter how small that platform might be, we need to remember that facts and opinions are two different things.  Just because something is said or written doesn't make it true.  Think about the first research paper you had to write in school; you had to have facts to back up your thesis.  You needed to cite more than one source to prove its validity.

There are plenty of wonderful people in our world (I'd like to think the world is mostly full of good people, but I haven't done any research on that), but there are also scammers and con men.  (or con woman).  The Nigerian Prince who needs your help.  That one's been around so long you're probably NOT going to take his word for it.  But what about the "grandchild" who needs your financial help because of an emergency or the woman who starts a go fund me to help pay for medical expenses?  How can you not want to help?  But I implore you, DON'T take anyone's word as fact.  Spend a little time; do some fact checking.  Then make your decision on what to do next.

Life is full of decisions that we have to make on a daily basis.  When making an important one, don't take my word for it, check the facts.  You'll be better off for it; take my word for it!  


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