Guessing games are fun. I used to play one as a teen that involved picking a word out of the dictionary, one no-one was likely to know, and then in teams we’d write out a fake definition, saving only a judge who knew what the word meant. The judge and teams then listened to the definitions read as they were drawn out of a hat, with points awarded for the best definition and the one that fooled the most players. Guessing what was real, and what wasn’t, lead to a great deal of silliness and laughter.
But it’s no way to approach real life. You might think you know something, but unless you verify it, don’t say it out loud. It just makes you look foolish when you make a statement that is easy and thoroughly debunked. Once upon a time if you bullshitted with enough confidence, people would buy it hook line and sinker. Now? We have google and duckduckgo and we’re not afraid to use them to call you on your BS.
And sometimes the internet might be abuzz, but that doesn’t mean the rumors are true. Frankly, immediately following an incident there is no way to know all the facts. Leaping right into it and braying about what needs to change! Elventy! just makes you look like the jackass you really are. Keep your mouth closed and make them wonder, or open it and remove all doubt of what you are? That’s from the Bible, by the way, you’ll find it in Proverbs. Acute mind, that Solomon, and not a man to suffer fools.
The truth takes time to emerge from the smoke. Chaos surrounds a tragedy, and the bloodsuckers who feed on chaos just fan the smoke up when it starts to die down and reveal the true structure of the thing. Don’t be one of them. Don’t guess. Wait, and verify before you repeat a rumor. Don’t be a fool. Let the police and trained investigators do their jobs without breathing down their necks and being a back-seat driver. You might not get to hear all the facts straightaway – suck it up and wait. Don’t act like the mainstream media. Nobody likes them, and what’s more? No-one trusts them.
(featured image by Uldus Bahktiozina)