“Don’t believe everything you hear…”

I believe

Don’t believe everything you hear. How many of us were told that when we were growing up? Probably a great many of us. I know I was. But, even with all the warning to not believe everything we hear, we still fall for what we hear through today’s media. We fall hook, line and sinker for what we see on TV, listen to on the radio, and read on social media. Many of us believe all we hear without taking the time to research it before passing it on to others. Sometimes what we pass on just simply isn’t true. I would imagine most people if they knew what they were about share with others was false, they wouldn’t share it.

Often we will tend to believe those that are of the same ilk  we are. Those we share religious, political, philosophical, and social ideals with tend get our attention when speaking on a subject that means something to us. While it’s good to find people that are like minded to glean information from, it certainly is not without bias. That’ is because there really is no such thing as being unbiased. So, when we seek those that share the same biases as we do we are already looking to find someone that is in agreement with us on a particular subject. Which means we must proceed with caution, or may only hear what we want to hear and not hear other important facts.

There are times when we take some information on a particular subject and develop a blanket response to all things relating to that particular subject. Such as, the pledge of allegiance, prayer, and the mention of God are no longer allowed in public schools. This is a blanket statement I hear quite often from folks of my ilk, “christian”. This simply is not true of all public schools. Sure such things may happen in some public schools, but certainly not in all schools.

The other day I went to a middle school for a Veteran’s Day assembly where I participated in the pledge of allegiance, stood for the National Anthem, and heard the name of God sung aloud for all to hear. This was at a public middle school educating 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. A school where they also observe a moment of silence every day for everyone to meditate, pray, or just be silent.

I took a friend of mine, a Vietnam War veteran to this assembly. When he walked through the door of the school, he was greeted with honor, and respect by the young people waiting inside. He and all the veterans lined up along the halls of the school outside the gym and as the students were lead to the assembly they shook hands and thanked the veterans for their service as they passed by them.

After the students went into the gym, a bagpiper began to play Amazing Grace as the veterans march into the gym. As the veterans marched past the crowd of students, teachers, administrators, and guest they honored them with a standing ovation. The applause did not stop until all the veterans had found a seat.

There was song sung by one of the choruses near the end of the assembly called “Inscription of Hope”. Part of the song contained these words; “I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when he is silent.” It was a beautiful song to end the assembly with. I am thankful that I was able to witness these events, and to realize that not everything I hear about public schools is true.

I have a renewed hope in our public schools. Because I know now I shouldn’t believe everything I hear, but investigate it for myself. I know there will be those that will say; well that’s just one example. That’s true, but knowing that at least one school still does these things means that I will not believe another blanket statement about public schools. I will research and investigate what I hear before sharing it.

© 2015 Leo J. Woodman

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