Should you trust the “media”?

This subject comes up a lot and the conversation inevitably boils down to your political ideology. Basically “media” now is there to either affirm your positions, or confirm your opposition to others. Look I am going to make this quick as the answer to “should you trust the media” is very simple. The answer is no you should not. Why? Let’s be blunt here.

The “media” is comprised of multimillion dollar personalities who derive wealth and power from those who click on their content and consume their narrative. They are basically entertainers in the traditional sense. Media used to be comprised of journalists who were working class. They lived in normal neighborhoods, their kids went to public schools, they were local people.

Trust the Media? LOL

Now? They are celebrities. Go ahead turn on FOX, CNN or any other major network and look at the people on the screen. When did you see them last at your gym? At your grocery store? At your towns local fair? Your local affiliates might be there sure but most of them are aspiring to become national brands. The media has become purveyors of entertainment to play to specific narratives to engage and ingratiate themselves to a specific group/market of people.

You absolutely shouldn’t trust them. Particularly since most (if not all of you) have this small box (a smart phone) you carry around that has access to nearly all the collective knowledge of human history. Why would you narrow your information inputs to a few multi-millionaires?

What are they saying that you need to hear? Don’t be fooled, they are entertainers. They can’t relate to you; your life is a sharp departure from theirs. It’s in the media’s interest to keep you watching and clicking that’s how they make money to pay themselves millions. Broaden your information horizon. Engage others who might have a different opinion on an issue you will be amazed at how much you have in common.

And how little you have in common with the “media”

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The Wisdom of Tolkien… Again…

Yes, it’s time for another piece of wisdom from J.R.R. Tolkien the creator of the wonderful world of Middle Earth, or as most identify it as “The Lords of the rings”. Tolkien’s frame of reference for his writings are anchored in perhaps the most horrific time in human history. He fought in WWI, then there was the Spanish flu, then the great depression, then WWII. To have all that calamity and still be able to muster grand stories of triumph and hope are a testament to his sprit

To the wisdom…

“The treacherous are ever distrustful.” The Two Towers Gandalf

How does this apply to us now and what can we glean from this quote? First we have to acknowledge “The treacherous”. Treachery is a unique word as it is of course a negative connotation but its meaning, and why it’s so negative is the active pursuit of deception and betrayal. This of course can only be achieved once trust is given. Simply put you can’t be deceived by someone you don’t trust and that’s why it’s so sinister.

So what is he telling us here, its literal of course but it is so hard to enact because we want to believe the people we have given trust to deserved it and are worthy of it. If someone has committed treachery against you, you can’t trust them again.

Extreme? Perhaps but trust is a remarkable gift to give. It leaves you wide open to all sorts of potentially negative (and positive outcomes). For those in our lives who accept this trust and don’t betray it we usually have fantastic and robust relationships with them.

Sadly, we all have stories of someone we trusted that betrayed that trust, however minor. That is treachery and this is the lesson Tolkien is trying to instill. Giving your trust to someone else is a tremendous gift, perhaps the greatest one you can give. If someone betrays it, that gift should not be given to them again.

Trust is your most valuable personal asset.

Never trust again? No that’s not what he is saying here. If you are betrayed, you can never fully trust that person again. It sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet why do we do it? How much forgiveness have you extended in your life? How many times has your trust been betrayed?

Be mindful of whom you give this gift to, many who are treacherous do so for selfish reasons and not intending to harm you at all. That’s what makes the treachery that much more painful, they never thought of you as highly as you thought of them, you never had their trust, but they had and used yours.

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