Be careful of your sources

I recently read an article in the New York Times about an etiquette expert who committed a true faux pas. This individual has been educated and has a show on Netflix. Although no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes, I would have expected differently from an individual in this profession.    

We are a nation flooded with experts. The amount of information we receive daily from newspapers, radio, TV, podcasts, the internet, billboards, etc., is exhausting. We are inundated with experts telling us everything from what to do, where to go, who is bad, who is good, who is right, and who is wrong, and we take it for gospel.

This goes to the question of what is the truth and whose truth is really "The Truth"? I think many people have different ideas about what the truth is.

Is there more than one truth? There are many interpretations, and there might be a little truth in each.  

We tend to believe the people whose thoughts and ideas align with our own. It makes us feel good and whole, but how do we know if this information is accurate and if this person is credible?    

We are all searching for the correct answer and the truth, but we need to question our sources. Opinions are everywhere, and everybody calling themselves an expert has one. Some come with many letters after their names to make them more believable. Remember the cliche: What do you call the medical student at the bottom of his class? Doctor.  

There has never been a time when critical thinking isn't necessary. It is our responsibility to research before we believe everything we hear or read. Consider the source and where this information originated.

Is this source reliable, credible, or known for inflating the news? Are they seasoned in objective journalism and reporting facts Is this source able to convey information that doesn't align with their opinion or employer? What is the other side of this opinion, and why do people believe differently? Is this source professional in presence and content, or more interested in creating mass hysteria to boost ratings?    

My brother once told me that you have to watch all the stations and read all the articles to form an educated opinion. Consider those who disagree with you and why to develop an accurate view.  

The bottom line is to be careful what and who you believe. One person's gospel may be another person's carnival.

Colleen Harding

President of The Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.   I am a member St Raphael Women's Guild, and The Avon Oaks Women's Golf Association.

I live in Bay Village with my husband and 3 children.   

Read More on Readers' Opinions
Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 8:59 AM, 02.21.2023