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MuskokaONline.com News - #GOTLOCAL



Posted: 2022-03-07 16:51:06 By: thebay

Early last week, as I started to write this week’s report, it was to be my annual tongue-in-cheek rant about the odd custom of relying on a weather rodent to predict the imminence of spring. At the grocery store, I passed the seed rack and couldn’t resist buying some vegetable and flower seeds. It was an impulsive, albeit pre-emptive gesture in anticipation of the warmer weather. I imagined my summer putts around the lake, listening to Hunters Bay Radio on my Bluetooth speaker, soaking up the bucolic splendor of this beautiful place in which we live. I’ve been eager to put behind me the social media-fueled divisiveness and rancor that has corroded my (our) peace over the past several years. We are all so weary of the bad news.

Then, unfolding almost as insidiously as did the news about COVID-19, came reports of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I, like many of the rest of you, was caught off guard, and the threat of world war was simply not on my radar. Now it is. Once again, I am incredulous, anxious, frightened, and on high alert. At what point does this become a permanent state of mind? All the everyday rituals I once took for granted are so much more precious now.

The other day, I was discussing the impending war with a friend –- and make no mistake, war has been declared, if only by one side -– and the subject of disinformation was front and center in the conversation. Clearly, the past two years have been filled with misinformation, worldwide, and I have become suspicious of everything I see, hear, and read, and which is presented as fact. DISinformation, fueled by the great Satan of Cyberspace is, in my opinion, a much bigger threat. Everyone is absorbing a different “truth”, and so much of it is pure BS. Whether it is the endless stream of scam phone calls, phishing expeditions in your e-mail box, Facebook "doctors" offering bogus cures for everything from toenail fungus to cancer, or any number of other deceptive ploys to convince you to “drink the Kool-Aid”, the big con has quite simply spiraled out of control.

If you are, as I am, astounded that the population of one of the world’s largest countries, fed their steady diet of state news, could be unaware of the overt war crimes being committed under their noses, then perhaps we need to take a closer look at our own culture. Have you broken ties with someone you love, because of your strong beliefs? Have you written or said angry, spiteful, mean-spirited things to complete strangers on the internet, people whom you have never met and do not know? Do you despise one political candidate or another, or anyone who supports him or her? Are you numbed to the omnipresent news of atrocities in other countries? I will not cast the first stone. It seems as if, as the world receives more and more information, more and more of that information is simply wrong, or taken out of context and manipulated to have a desired effect. As we creep ever so slowly towards that dystopian society where we don’t remember how to think for ourselves, are we any less enslaved than the people we view as the blind sheep of a totalitarian regime?

I pray for the people in Ukraine, and I pray for us all. It seems so simple to me, but then again, I want for nothing. If we hate anyone, if we shoot first and ask questions later, if we bathe in the hubris of the mindset that we are right and they are wrong then, unimaginable as it may seem, we will very soon be the lambs to the slaughter. Maybe we already are. Be wary of what you believe, because what you read, hear, and see may not tell the whole truth. I try to think with my heart, and my unselfish wish is that peace becomes as contagious as aggression. What I use to guide my actions is this simple motto: Do more good than harm.