And while we're on the topic. Of death, I mean. Did you know that in 2012, 4,700 people in the US died while RIDING THEIR BIKES? That is seriously crazy. Those are deaths - not injuries.
I am really sorry for bringing this up. Hundreds of you will read this - and some of you will be alarmed. For that, I apologize. But for most of you, you're going to read those facts with a grain of salt, feel bad, and probably go about your day, forgetting I mentioned them.
But, what if you saw those facts on almost every headline of leading news sites and science journals, as well as that sweet, little blog you visit every day? And then you went on facebook, and all those groups and forums you follow were having conversations about water consumption and the dangers of too much?
And then it goes on for weeks, possibly months.
How would you feel then? What if the stories that went viral, were all about how bikes should be banned, and what a horrible parent you are for even considering letting your child ride a bike, with or without a helmet? And some bloggers suggesting that bikes be banned altogether because of the risk. Or that a new law should be in place prohibiting all bike-supporting idiots from even considering buying a bike, let alone riding one. Just think about that for a moment. If the news is everywhere all at once, how is that affecting our choices?
Do we even have choices, in that case? Is it possible that our opinions are being manipulated? Even remotely?
So then, after you decide your family is not going to ride bikes anymore, or support anyone who does, a credible company suddenly comes out with a safer alternative to a bike. And the reviews are going through the roof. All at once. Bloggers are blogging, news sites are singing praises, for this supposedly less-risky device. Hmmmm... Would you question it? At all?
It only makes sense that effective marketing companies would change their strategies to go with the flow of consumers, but without them knowing it. We all know that marketing has changed rapidly on a large scale, and in a very short time (don't forget, facebook didn't even exist 20 years ago). It's much easier to sell something to someone if the masses agree that it's a no-brainer and are fully supportive, right? If they feel like it's basically gospel-truth. "Why wouldn't I buy this alternative to a bike? I'm basically committing suicide if I choose to ride a traditional bike, or worse, letting my child ride one."
Sharyl Attkisson agrees with this concept and states in this video, that it's widely used TODAY. Food Renegade sheds some light on this as well.
This is not a theory. THIS.IS.HAPPENING.
Do you believe everything you read/hear on the internet? I'll assume you answer that with a strong, "No". But how do you know what to believe? And who to believe? Do you have a filter?
Here is my personal, internal filter for information found on the internet:
1. Question EVERY.THING. All of it. Even the stuff that seems grassroots. You have a right to ask questions. When someone tells you not to QUESTION, you should have little alarms going off in your head.
2. Consider the source. Sometimes sources are trustworthy, sometimes they're not. Sometimes sources that seem credible and trustworthy are regurgitating information they picked up from someone less credible. This is common practice with media these days. Dig for answers...and then still question.
3. Love. Love covers a multitude. If a headline or blog topic wreaks of emotion and the language provokes a response in you like fear, you better question it immediately. If there is peace surrounding something (in the wording and in your heart), that should always take precedence over the opposite. There is always hope. Always. Love and hope EMPOWER, and equip you to make informed and better decisions.
4. Never EVER make decisions while your heart is full of panic and fear. These are impulses meant to protect you in an emergency, but with our culture adapting more and more to a virtual reality (internet), things that seem like emergencies, are likely not. You have time. And you have hope. Ground yourself and keep your eyes open to truth. Don't panic.
5. Ask the oldies. Grandparents, elders, wise-ones, whatever you want to call them - they deserve our respect and consideration when we're faced with life's questions. There is an epidemic of disrespect towards the older generations, but I implore you, listen to their advice - take it with a grain of salt. It is good to measure our current philosophies next to our ancestors in order to give ourselves a broader view.
6. This one is sort of private. If you're really interested and open-minded, message me, and I'll gladly share my secrets.
I hope you hear my heart in this.
I cannot be a by-stander and watch the people I love attack one another and walk around in fear because of the internet. I do not take this lightly. We live in a world that is not black and white, so I can't give you all the answers, but what I can offer you is HOPE and LOVE.
(disclaimer: I am not making light of the current media hype, but I'm also not talking about it directly because I know in a few months the media topic-of-choice will be something different. Also, I am not here to tell you what decisions to make, only to bring awareness and give you a better way to filter information for yourself. I hope you question the very things I bring up in this post.)