Reactionary Tales

Objectivity & Perspective

A regular activity of mine is listening to NPR (National Public Radio). I only listen on my drive into work and on my way home; when I’m not talking to someone on the phone. I hate commercials and music stations are too repetitive. I should admit that I do pay attention to what’s going on in the world a lot more than I did before because of America’s current president.

This past Friday, I heard the most interesting story. It was about conspiracy theorists in relation to the Sandy Hook shooting. I won’t go into detail about that tragedy because it’s depressing. Feel free to look it up on your own. Anyway, the journalist on NPR was interviewing a mom who had experienced losing her child because of this tragedy and her feelings about being asked to come on a new show to be interviewed by a known conspiracy theorist.

To those who may not know, a conspiracy theorist is someone who believes that certain events in history and today were staged by an individual or a group of individuals for whatever reason. They believe they can explain the circumstances down to the very last detail because all things can be explained I guess.

In this case, the belief here is that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged; that the children who were killed are actually still alive in a bunker or hidden spot somewhere and all of their families came up with this plan for monetary gain.

I listened to this woman explain what she and these other families have experienced in the last 5 years. She said the worst thing in the world besides losing a child to a shooter in America is having to defend that her child is actually dead. When asked how she shields her 12 year old son from potential questions about his sister, she said she’s practiced a script with him because she realized its impossible to shield her child in this world.

This affected me, ok. I’m driving home and I’m feeling sad and angry at the same time. So I turned around and called my husband right back and started with, “I just heard the most depressing thing ever…” and I explained the story to him and ended it with a healthy dose of curse words about how messed up I thought it all was.

My husband silently listens to my rant. When I come up for air, he starts to tell me his own story.

He tells me it’s ironic that I mentioned this because earlier in the day, a coworker showed him a video supposedly of one of these parents faking tears on camera. I guess someone caught video of the parent’s emotional state before the video went live vs. after. He said this coworker was trying to show him “evidence” of why conspiracy theorists think the things they do.

I got a little pissed, I won’t deny. I said something along the lines of, “you’re telling me that if one of these parents came up to you crying their eyes out about losing their child that you wouldn’t believe them??” Got seriously worked up here.

He calmly says, “I probably would believe them but hear me out.” Earlier in the day he was also listening to NPR but it was a different story. He said the journalists were discussing human nature. As humans, we innately, instinctively want to believe that when a person tells us something, they are telling us the truth. We don’t want to believe a person is a liar unless given an express reason why right? When presented with evidence that things may not be as they seem, how can your perspective not change a little bit? He said he’s not saying he believes his coworker but he’s not saying his coworker is wrong either. Who are we to say who’s wrong and who’s right when we aren’t personally involved you know?

My worked up emotions died at this point. I never thought about it that way. It’s hard to be completely objective when presented with different perspectives. I don’t want to believe that the world is that ugly that people would fake mass deaths but if I’m honest with myself, I’ll never know the real truth and I have to be okay with that.

It’s amazing how the course of a conversation can change in the span of minutes. I started it upset but I ended up feeling much better by the end.

This isn’t my usual happy go lucky story and I apologize if it upsets any of you but I wanted to share it to get an idea of how you all think. Do you try to look at the world objectively? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said about a person’s perspective of the world? Do you think my perspective is wrong (I won’t be offended if you do)? Let me know in the comments below.

Nel

Happily married, bookaholic, Netflix-a-holic sharing random experiences and interpretations of my world which is brutally honest most of the time.

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5 thoughts on “Objectivity & Perspective

  1. updownflight

    My husband listens to NPR religiously on his way to and from work, too.

    I would definitely have serious doubts about such a conspiracy theory. I’d believe it as soon as I’d believe the ridiculous theory that Hilary Clinton had a child slavery ring set up under a pizzeria. The crazier the idea, unfortunately makes some people believe such crock.

    If there was in fact a mother not crying before a video and then crying during the video, I wouldn’t find that too surprising. My family just lost my nephew to suicide. There are times when we are OK, and then on the drop of a dime the tears start flowing. So does anger, and many other feelings.

    1. Nel Post author

      I honestly never heard that middle theory (see how much I paid attention before?) But I agree. That is kind of ridiculous. Still, as ridiculous as it may sound, who are we to say it can’t possibly be true? That saying anything is possible comes to mind. But is it because we need to believe something bad about a person to feel better about ourselves? It’s curious really.

  2. theorangutanlibrarian

    Really interesting post! In all honesty, I don’t think there is any way to look at the world objectively- even our perspectives are filtered by the things we choose to engage with, so our perspective can only ever be limited- the best we can do is look at things as broadly as possible and from different angles that we may not have considered before. That said, I don’t and will never get the Sandyhook conspiracy theorists. I mean, as I said, I try to understand even if someone’s wrong on something- cos then at least I can argue against them- but I do not understand what these people think there is to gain by making something like this up and so I think these people are just a bit crackers (and yes- I wish these crackers people could learn to be sensitive to others so that they don’t cause anymore unnecessary pain to grieving families) (And as you can probably tell, as reasonable as I’m trying to be, I did just dismiss these people out of hand as nutters- which shows exactly what I mean about not being objective 😉 )

    1. Nel Post author

      You sound exactly like me. Even as I was writing the post trying to come out of it objective, I still couldn’t cause there’s just no way something like a mass children shooting, or any shooting could be fake. I feel for the parents. People are just getting crueler and crueler these days.

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