We were lied to.
We were sold a narrative that after the facts came to light was, without little doubt remaining, complete fiction.
I am referring to, of course, the break-up of the Beatles.
Since I can remember, the break-up of the Beatles was attributed to the subversive efforts of John Lennon’s girlfriend, Yoko Ono. According to wisdom of the day, Ono infiltrated the band, instigated tension and precipitated the break-up.
As we can observe for ourselves in Peter Jackson’s eight-hour documentary series The Beatles: Get Back, Yoko Ono didn’t break up The Fab Four; the Beatles broke themselves up.
Without spoiling some real precious nuggets of the series, it becomes clear that the lads had just outgrown each other. In retrospect, pinning the blame on Ono was gutless and weak: An introverted intelligent Japanese female artist, traits that pulled all the triggers of American contempt, could never mount a defense. It would only inflame the situation. Eventually, she probably felt, the truth will out.
What does this have to do with Suffield, you might ask?
Well, I read the posts, see the lawn signs and hear the chatter in Dunkin Donuts, and I can tell you, a lot of false narratives are being peddled in this town. There is not enough space in this paper to enumerate or refute every lie, and it’s not really my point.
I want you to find the truth.
I heard something recently — the very nature of which is so incendiary that I can’t mention it — that I fact-checked from my phone on the spot from empirical sources and learned it wasn’t true. The irony was that the source of the misinformation was the one who encouraged me to fact-check it.
If you find yourself getting worked up or feeling like you want to lash out in an aggressive or passive-aggressive manner over something you see, hear or read, check it out.
Pause to consider the motives of the one/s pitching or spreading the inflammatory narrative. Do they profit from your fury? Click the links they reference. Just this week, I clicked on a link to a medical journal in an opinion piece, and the writer either misread or lied about the data.
I know what you’re thinking: Who has the time to be an amateur researcher? Well, if you have the time to regard your neighbor with contempt for the opinions they hold, the least you can do is check yourself and the story that sets you off.
I’ve found that when I have sought and found the truth, I am rarely angry but strangely serene, even when my fears are confirmed.
Unfortunately, serenity doesn’t sell. It doesn’t make for dramatic television. It doesn’t make for viral Internet fodder. It doesn’t make for exciting meetings, rallies or coffee klatches. There’s really not a lot of use for serenity in a commercially driven world.
BUT, it does provide a certain amount of contentment.
For my money, it’s better to feel happy than angry. It’s better to be free than exploited.
And, as it is written, the truth will set you free (John 8:32).