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For truth, justice and the American way

Never rely upon what “other people” say when you develop an opinion.

I have spent my life walking in the light of truth. I was taught early to follow the rules and speak the truth. As a small child, I was a whiz at numbers but had some difficulty with spelling, at least that is the way I felt at the time. In an early experience that I shared with my first-grade teacher, I was caught using a small note placed under my leg with my spelling words upon it while taking a test – cheating plain and simple.

Being caught I was sent out to stand in the hallway and then received a dressing down by my teacher which then resulted in my mother being called in and later my dad being brought in the loop for the final punishment at home.

Needless to say, I didn’t have the opportunity to hide a crib note under my leg when taking a spelling test again, I couldn’t sit comfortably for a while to take a test. But the experience re-enforced some of the lessons I had been taught – don’t cheat and don’t lie. A simple lesson learned is it’s much easier to tell the truth, you don’t have to remember and keep up with the lies.

Later in my life, as my career moved to journalism, spending a life in truth, being dependable and making sure no stone was unturned, allowed me to tell the stories of many folks who would not talk to other journalists, because they knew I would be fair and honestly share their story. That approach helped me earn over 20 state and national awards for the work. I fondly remember a boy who use to call me “Superman” because he thought of me like Clark Kent, saving the world.

As a journalist developing a story, I focused on getting three different sources who could confirm facts about a situation that may need to be brought to light in an article.

In recent weeks, I have experienced a lesson in the current human condition. There are folks in the world today that do not care about integrity of the information that they believe. They take the words at face value, placing no question on the source and the ultimate motives for what is being said. They do not look deeper to see if what is being said is even valid.

Some then use those words to formulate decisions that impact the lives of numerous people, to slander others with no foundation by repeating what has been said. That is now an easy adventure in our world which rotates around various social media platforms.

There is no accountability for those that do it. There is no way to fix the damage done by these people that propagate falsehoods and what is the sad commentary is some of them that choose this path are successful in hurting others and benefit from their efforts whether the ultimate gain is financial or gains in power within some position.

I have always believed that good wins over evil and still do. I read the back of the Book and that is how the story ultimately ends, but these little battles along the way that seems to allow evil people with evil intentions to succeed does dishearten. The only way to overcome it is if we all don’t believe blindly… do a little research and find three reputable sources when making decisions and conclusions that impact all of us. I pray for our people that we all do a better job of reaching for truth, justice and the American way.