Truth Seeker or Phony? – There is a Difference

Recently, the term “Truth Seeker” has garnered a bad name for itself. The name appears to have been snatched from a group of honest people with original thought and integrity in intention and action. Stolen by people whose previous connotation was and should continue to be aptly named “conspiracy theorists.” Those who are determined to cleanse their reputation and put a more acceptable label on it at the expense of authentic seekers.

I am a truth seeker. I offer an example of a recent truth I sought out. I don’t believe Covid-19 is a hoax. It is a very real and ominous threat to our way of life. When it started, I was skeptical. My only knowledge of such events was through past iterations of the flu. Yes, people died. It happens every year. So, what was all the fuss? I analyzed the data I was receiving and sought out both sides of the issue. As the numbers progressed and were reported, as stories of its destruction arose, as health care providers’ personal stories emerged, and as I sought out one-on-one advice from medical professionals (the people who are on the front line and have the most knowledge), I began to realize that there was more to the pandemic than what I initially thought.

When the vaccine became available for everyone, I signed up. I still had concerns about it due to the quick turn-around from inception to release. But I knew, by this time, that getting the shot was not only for my protection but for everyone else’s protection also. I became fully vaccinated at the beginning of April of this year.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The bad rap “truth seeker” is getting runs parallel with another absconded term: “critical thinker.” Critical thinking is the key to working toward truth. A simplistic definition would be “gathering facts, examining all sides of an argument, reflectively analyzing the whole, and coming to your own personally formed opinion, free of mob influence.” It is a complex concept. You will find a more integrated definition at The Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Critical thinking is a desirable concept. In the university where I earned my undergraduate degree, it was held up as the highest aim of that institution’s goal for each of its students. Critical thinking moves an organization, a business, a society, a culture forward toward the elusive ultimate truth.

Do not be deceived. Truth seekers are:

  • People who authentically explore a belief, opinion, or previously supposed ideal to find their own truth. Then share that truth in the form of a logical argument.
  • People who are willing to give up on old conclusions in favor of fully thought-out, newly revised interpretations.
  • People who set political beliefs aside in their hunt for the truth.
  • People whose open-mindedness is pure and unselfish. They do not follow a blind mob rule mentality put forth by charismatic, but narcissistic leadership.

Truth seekers are not:

  • People who surreptitiously call themselves something else for self-centered reasons.
  • People who would bend and fold the truth into a subverted version to bolster their own egocentric agenda.
  • People who associate their truth-seeking activities with a political movement. Truth may be sought for political issues, but the process itself has nothing to do with politics.
  • People who follow herd mentality thinking before fully questioning the viability and authenticity of that concept.

We do ourselves a disservice when we label everyone who calls themselves a “truth seeker” as politically motivated, former conspiracy theorists. Instead, use some of your own critical thinking skills to root out the fakers from the genuine article. And don’t make the mistake of being taken in by the imposters.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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