As a child, I thought there were clear lines. Things were either right or wrong, black or white. However, as I grew up, I learned the world was much more complex. So complex that sometimes, there was no black or white, but merely shades of gray.
These shades of gray invade every aspect of our lives. We debate on everything too. From whether eggs are a healthy protein or cholesterol killer to if the media is worthless fake news or valued free press, we plead our case.
It seems nothing is simple anymore…or maybe, it never was.
Eggs have always been eggs. Their molecular composition has not changed. Nor has their nutritional values. They are both things: high in protein AND cholesterol. So, depending on what you read and your nutritional needs, they can be good or bad.
For example, the Mayo Clinic states that eggs can be a very healthy option.
Most healthy people can eat up to seven eggs a week with no increase in their risk of heart disease. Some studies have shown that this level of egg consumption may actually prevent some types of strokes.
Yet, for a while, eggs were reported to be a bad food choice by many. For example, Live Science states that there is no real dietary need for them.
Cholesterol is an important component of all human and animal cells and influences hormone biology, among other functions. Since your body naturally has all it needs from producing its own cholesterol, there is no dietary requirement for more cholesterol.
The problem here is that both arguments are factually correct. So, if we can have this much debate over the simple egg, naturally, every other issue is bound to be more complex.
That brings me to the media and the current buzz over their value. Just like eggs, there are two distinct camps. There is the #FakeNews camp and the #NotTheEnemy camp.
And, just like debate on eggs, both camps have some validity.
Is there fake news out there? Of course there is. However, it is usually called propaganda. This simulated version of news aims to inform its audience with the goal of altering an opinion on a topic. Sometimes there will be a nugget of truth buried in the “news.” Or other times, it is completely false. Either way, this propaganda can be powerfully misleading.
This fake news is not a left- or right-wing problem though. It can easily be found across party lines. Heck, it can be found across the globe for that matter.
On the flip side, there is good journalism out there. For generations, reporters have discovered many wrongs in the world. From unethical business practices to inhumane treatment of segments of society, reporters have provided the checks and balances in our democratic society.
This necessary “watchdog” in America is essential. Unfortunately though, the watchdog’s growl is not always appreciated, especially if its directed AT you, rather than FOR you.
No one likes criticism of course. There will always be an endless stream of naysayers and complainers who think their way is better. However, as mature adults, it is important for us to sift through the claims and evaluate if there is any validity. And sometimes, we have to realize…the truth isn’t always pretty. Nor, is it always for us. However, just because something is not FOR us, doesn’t always mean its false.
This harsh reality is what makes democracy work though. It helps to keep people honest and makes them accountable.
But as average people in this era of #AlternativeFacts, how can we trust what we are reading? With new “media” sites popping up all over the internet, it can be hard, if not impossible, to know the truth of what we are reading.
Fighting propaganda is a serious concern these days. And it is a issue that falls into the laps of the readers, according to National Public Radio.
If you read their article, they give some tips on filtering out fake news, which I highly recommend.
I guess the bottom line is that you should get your news from multiple sources, or like the saying goes…don’t put all your eggs into one basket.