Seeking Truth

Cassandra Tondro, "Checkered Past," heart collage

Greetings Friends,

In a recent article, Jeff Krasno of Commune looked at the differences between countries that have managed to reduce and nearly eliminate COVID-19 and those where the disease is out of control. The United States continues to lead the world in COVID-19 infections and deaths, and as such, this topic is worthy of our attention.

What Krasno found in his research is countries that have lowered the number of cases are unified in their approach to the disease. Leadership comes from the top, the citizens agree that there’s a problem that requires action, and people obey the rules set forth.

In the US, we’re divided in our beliefs and behaviors. Some people think COVID-19 is a problem, and others don’t. Some think lockdowns are justified, and others disagree. We bicker about the necessity of masks and social distancing and argue about the safety and efficacy of a vaccine. We’re not all on the same page and not willing or able to adopt a unified strategy.

Krasno says the only way out of this quagmire of division is to be in service of truth rather than wanting to win an argument. We are a society that likes to debate and win. If we can let go of our need to be right and consider the facts objectively, we can begin to move toward a solution.

However, part of the problem is an erosion of belief in medical science, which has failed to deliver on their promise to eliminate suffering and pain. That coupled with pharmaceutical company lies about the safety of many drugs have left us questionning who we can trust. Which “facts” do we know to be true?

In his closing remarks, Krasno has this advice going forward:

As institutions wobble, individual citizens inherit a growing responsibility for the cohesion of society. Be inquisitive. Be humble. Think deeply and critically. Engage with and learn from others. Understand the best part of an opposing opinion. Apply methods of rigor in the quest for truth. Be willing to admit you are wrong.

Do you often feel a need to be right? Do you think you’d be able to let go of that need in order to consider the other side? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,
Cassandra

Collage at top: “Checkered Past,” 14 x 11 inches, collage on cradled wood panel.

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4 Comments

  1. Do I feel a need to be right? Yes, and I don’t believe this is necessarily a bad thing. To be right, I need a mind consciously open to others’ viewpoints, genuine facts, the likelihood that all truths may not be known by me or others, and the constant scrutiny for bias in what I notice, think, believe, say, do. The need to be right can be a driver, not a limiter. As for Krasno’s advice, in my experience he’s not describing the “man in the street” who may not be given to philosophical speculation. Admittedly, my confidence in humanity has taken quite a blow as populations have reacted to help others or just themselves, or gone into denial, during the current crisis.

    1. Hi Cathy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It doesn’t sound like you’re fixed in your opinion with a desire to prove that it’s right. You’re open, flexible and willing to consider other points of view. Who could ask for more?

  2. I am in England, where, sadly, we have made mistakes. There are many people here who are either not believing, or ignoring, the facts, and, unfortunately, there is little we can do more than we are already doing to alleviate this. (As of tomorrow, we cannot enter any shops without wearing a mask.) Whilst I understand what Cathy is saying, I fear she gives too much credit to ‘the man in the street’, who, in my opinion, will not search out the truth but carry on blindly on his possibly disastrous path. I personally think that Krasno’s last sentence is relevant not only to the current crisis, but to all of life. “Be willing to admit that you are wrong”.

    1. Hi Jill. Yes, it’s easy to stay stuck in our own stories without considering that they may not be 100% accurate. I see this at work in myself all the time. Something happens, I make up a story in my head about what’s going on, and it turn out that’s not what was happening at all. I personally don’t know what to believe about the pandemic, so I err on the side of caution, and wear a mask.

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