We have spent a lot of time around the Mitlo household cleaning, fixing, painting, renovating, since we’ve been told to stay at home. We even made our way up to the attic. We brought down ALL of the cardboard boxes and transferred what we wanted to keep (why we thought we’d want 1/8th of the stuff that was up there is mystifying) to plastic containers. I came across all of my college textbooks and notebooks. It is AMAZING what I used to….used to know. I came across my old stats class from my senior year. I had a terrible flashback to an horrific “truth” that I learned many years ago.
On the FIRST DAY of class my professor said, “I have testified before Congress and the Supreme Court. I have been used as as expert witness in multi-million dollar private cases. I will tell you this. You can make any statistic look like anything you’d like. Everything I am going to teach you is meaningless when it comes to truth.” That has haunted me to this day. Especially, it is haunting THESE days.
We hear a lot of about models, projections, mortality rates, hospitalization ratio’s, curves, data, reports. We have experts at all levels. Some are experts on public health. There are experts on disaster management. There are experts on modeling (data, not runway). There are experts on government. There are experts on economics. We are desperately lacking on one area of expertise…truth.
Everything is manipulated. I’m not saying most everything. Everything is being manipulated. If I wanted to be all cerebral about this I would get into the fact that we distort everything we take in through “confirmation bias.” That is the way that we see and take in information and have it support only the facts/causes/beliefs that we align ourselves with before we took in said “facts.” While that is true, it is worse than that.
There is no news outlet that is objective. They are all beholden to their corporate ties and political leanings. Your government leaders are not objective. They are beholden to their special interests and the greater pull of public opinion. Even the “experts” advising the politicians are not without bias. Who are they connected to? Who funds their research? The health expert does not factor in the impact of their decisions on the economy while the economist is not as concerned with public health. Those doing the “models” will pick and choose what data and what factors based on the non-profit from which they are employed or policy they support. Even governmental statistics on the virus are skewed by reporting data. Governments in the EU may be inflating their death tolls (by including all deaths of people with the virus as, in fact, deaths caused by the virus) so as to qualify for more EU stimulus monies. Other governments may be hiding their mortality rates so as to appear blameless or of better response acumen.
Then, what do we do. Everyone shares chart after chart, model after model, article after article supporting their preconceived…bias (there it is again). We believe what we want and follow who we want to follow. Yet, for the open minded, one thing remains. Doubt. Much of it. In uncertain times such as these, doubt is debilitating, demoralizing, anxiety inducing (for some/many), and oh so frustrating. If there were only some truth.
Well, there is. Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life.” THE truth. Not “a” truth. Not “A pretty nice idea.” Not, “Something to consider.” He is truth. We can only trust in God. Everything else will let us down. Take heart in this. Jesus also said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
If we look to the world, to statistics, to “experts”, to the government, we will not find truth. We will not find peace. If we look to Him, we will have truth. We can have peace.
Once again, this is not exactly groundbreaking or new. It is not something that hasn’t been said before. It is something that at least I need to focus on once again. As I seek the truth I have to remember to look at who is truth first.