Trusting People Who Trust People
Are you the person collecting every specimen for COVID-19 tests? Are you the one evaluating all the results? Are you the one compiling all those results?
So who are we?
We’re the ones trusting other people who trust other people who trust other people.
We’re trusting that they’re doing it relatively right. That they’re reporting it relatively right. That those they report it to, are reporting it to us relatively right.
Is somebody along the way getting it wrong? Of course. They are all humans, just like we are.
But are most people along the way doing their best to get it right?
I’m trusting, yes.
Repeat Often: “I don’t know”
So listen to multiple sources, not just one. Evaluate broadly, not narrowly. Take a comprehensive view and not either extreme.
Don’t believe everything you hear, read, or say because at least part of it will be wrong, if not today, at least by tomorrow.
Hold your opinions loosely. Give news stories time to breathe. Eventually the truth always finds its way to the light.
And most importantly, repeat often:
“I don’t know.”
You may choose to elaborate afterward with what you’ve heard and read from media (regardless of what you call it, any source of mass communication is “media”) and/or from your cousin’s best friend’s aunt by marriage that works at a hospital in some town whose name you can’t quite remember.
After you finish sharing your expert knowledge, follow up again with, “But I don’t know.”
And if you’re extra humble, tack on, “I could be wrong.”
None of us down here can say for sure what’s going on with COVID-19. It’s new to everybody. Expect mistakes. When initial explanations are proven wrong, trade them in for more accurate information. Gladly. Humbly. Gently.
Don’t make this a pride issue.
We all want to have relationships to return to when this disaster fades away. And pride is a relationship killer if there ever was one.
A little humility can go a long way in keeping our relationships intact.
So don’t assume you are the one holding all the facts. On any topic. None of us is that person. None of us is God.
I admire the scientists who admit that they’re still learning, that they’ve had to change their mind along the way, that they wish they knew more but they’re not there yet. That’s honest.
And for the overly confident who claim they know all the correct facts, figures, and solutions already?
I just have to say about them, “I don’t know.”
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