It used to be that the News Media held their sources to the highest standards. They went to extreme efforts to not just verify the personally integrity of their sources, but to also make certain they could personally vouch for the veracity of their claims. These days the source could simply be a random tweet reported as “news” in order to scoop the competition.
Everyone on every channel spends all day talking about the tweet, and then spends all evening discrediting the tweet (which turned out to be false) and those who spoke of it — everybody on every channel — except their own.
People do the same thing at your office.
Someone (not you of course) hears a rumor of a rumor, or it’s simply their opinion based on their own perspective with neither fact or an inside “in-the-know” source to back it up. But it doesn’t stop anyone from talking about it all day long.
There is another thing to consider about the source of information, and that’s from where it originates. Not from who — but from where.
The person starting (or spreading) the rumor, comment, tweet, Amazon review, Facebook wall post, blog rant, message board response, etc. is pulling from a deeper source than a randomly whispered or inferred piece of information.
The original source is typically Emotional.
Most stories (sadly) originate from fear. Fear of “not being good enough”, fear of change, loss, pain (physical or emotion), fear of being fired, being left alone, being disappointed, ridiculed, rejected, fear of failure, death — and sometimes just simply fear of the “unknown”.
Words originating from this kind of tainted source cannot be trusted and are not to be believed (and for heaven’s sake don’t continue to repeat them and extend their reach!) But too often that’s what happens. The rumor is too juicy not to retweet, the cutting remark too sharp not to share.
The next time you hear something intended to reduce or demean a person, a company, or an idea; stop and consider the source.
- Is it pure?
- Is it unmotivated by fear or jealously?
- Are the emotions and responses the insight intends to elicit innocent or illicit?
If the motive (the source) isn’t pure, why would you want to drink from that well or to share its waters with anyone else in the world?
And while you are considering the true source of others, why not consider your own?
Before you utter words intended to draw emotional blood, cause dissent, or dismiss the ideas of others, think about the source of the stream of words you are about to spout. Do they come from a calm and placid place, or from turmoil and mistrust?
Will your statement:
- Solve a problem or point one out?
- Build someone up or tear them down?
- Improve the situation or make it worse?
- Make someone feel better or embarrassed?
- Create or Destroy?
It’s all about the source of the comment.
Even hard truths are easier to swallow when they come from a clean and unsullied source.
By the way…
If you’d like to help create a literal clean source — why not consider a donation to Charity: Water? The holidays are a wonderful time to give and 100% of your donation goes toward funding clean water projects all over the world.