April 25, 2016 by phicks2012
I’d really like to believe that people, when given half a chance, will choose to believe the best about other people. I really would. Unfortunately, in my experience a lot of people are just rabidly eager to believe the worst. Go figure!
If a story is sensational enough, or negative enough, or presented with sufficient outraged rhetoric, they won’t think for an instant to question it, or hesitate for a moment to repeat it. They won’t give a thought to the fact that they might be repeating and spreading totally irresponsible gossip, or a false and damaging — or even deliberately planted — rumor meant to harm an innocent person. If it’s scandalous enough, they just don’t care. Hey! That’s Entertainment!!
Looking at the internet and at social media it’s all too obvious that many people choose to believe the worst, and to add to it with a eagerness bordering on mania, and while folks with common sense and modicum of incredulity will hear or look at such things and roll their eyes heavenward, there will always be those who send deposits to Nigerian Princes and who, if they see something scandalous or outrageous in print or hear it said (even in a whisper) will choose to believe it.
I do not, as a rule. While I have (regrettably) been taken in, I generally choose to roll my eyes, and the more heinous the accusation, the less credence I will give it without overwhelming proof or the first-hand (not hearsay) witness of someone whose word and intelligence I trust. I’ve seen the reputations of innocent people besmirched in years past based upon false rumors planted by vindictive or jealous –or mentally unstable — people and spread by ignorant and thoughtless ones, and I choose to opt out. There’s a reason, after all why there is a Ninth Commandment reading: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”.
I write poetry sometimes based upon current life events, and sometimes upon the past, and sometimes upon things I hear or read that simply evoke an emotional response. The verse below was penned because I simply have a problem with human credulity and the sometimes seeming eagerness to promulgate harm. Hopefully, some will see merit in it.
It matters not how well our lives we live,
Or that when hardships come we seek to mend,
Or that with kindness do we succor give;
When need arises, that we hands extend.
It matters not that we may loyal stand
If those about us easily believe
When lies are spoken and false fires fanned,
Embracing those who labor to deceive.
T’would seem that those whose knowledge covers years
Would not be taken in by falsehoods spun;
That they at least would question, but the ears
Too often open wide, and seize upon
False words that slander, spoken with intent
To render friendships broken, dashed and dead.
Why is it they see not the evil meant,
But heed, and let the friendships die instead?
Why is it that our history, though just,
Does not more weight than falsehood bring to bear?
Do folk more eagerly aspersion trust
Than truth, or is belief too much to dare?
Why is it that to strangers they would hark;
To folk they do not know give creedence true,
When such spin tales and set the villain’s mark
Upon our heads, like brands, I ask of you?
Though while in truth some folk do loyal stand,
And speak when calumny and spite arise
Defending truth, as friendship would demand,
Too many others gravitate to lies,
All eager, seemingly, to take the path
That leads down to betrayal, and to wrong.
They follow those who lead them but to wrath,
And when those beckon, gladly go along.
Is evil’s voice more easy to believe
Than that of long experience, sustained,
Or can it be so facile to deceive,
When honesty by villainy is feigned?
Are folk more willing, by their nature’s bent
To pay their heed unto sensation wild,
Than to remember where their faith was spent
When they would not see honesty defiled?
Those who believe whatever vile is said,
Without a question and without a doubt,
Believing evil and on falsehood fed
Would better with reflection turn about.
For voices touting wicked infamy
Too eagerly, may evil’s voice intone.
Those folk, believing evil, should foresee,
That evil’s rise they willingly condone.
[08 April, A.S. L, 2016]