I am getting on in years. I notice it most when I look back 10 years and realize that without my journals, I would not remember much. I have general memories, but what I thought of the past is influenced by what I know now and not by what I knew then. Take the Invasion of Iraq for example. I know now that it was folly perpetuated by politics, and that knowledge influences my memories of the past. My journals tell another story. I supported the war. I thought it justified. I bought the whole international terrorism angle.
To my credit, I was skeptical, but not enough to dissuade my support. I was not a President George W. Bush supporter and I thought Vice President Dick Cheney was Satan, but for some reason I thought the war was legitimate and I supported it.
Today, I read history, analysis and memoirs to put together a better picture of what happened. It’s a slow process, but I find it fascinating. What I continue to learn is that I am not skeptical enough. I tend to buy the big lie. I tend to not think too deeply.
What I continue to learn is that I continue to learn. That being skeptical is not enough. Everybody has an agenda. That every time a politician speaks he or she is trying to shape our perceptions and push an agenda. What I learned is that our news sources are corrupt and that social media is a marketing tool. What I learned is that I need think deeply, be more skeptical and journal more.