We’re big fans of Ben Franklin and with good reason. He is, arguably, the greatest diplomat and voice of reason on record. Whether you agree with this or not, here’s another lesson from Ben, and this time it’s about beliefs.
“Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.” -Benjamin Franklin
There’s so much talking. Too much. In today’s world, there are many heroes of the internet, social media, cell phone, e-mail, and more. Few are the people who say words in person that they’d say on screen. Why? Well, through instinct, people deduct that a message is more about body language and tone than words alone. In fact, studies have shown only 7% of words convey a story. The rest of the story we tell through how we look when we say what we say, and our tone of voice.
Thus, having these conversations in person would lead people to see we’re lying in certain instances. Instead, we have this conversation via a screen. This eliminates tone of voice and body English and puts our words into account 100%. That’s dangerous, but only a problem for people who tend not be honest.
Also, texts, e-mails, posts, and the like, are forever. Even when deleted, they can come back with a vengeance, be saved by others, and be spread around. Don’t forget that these words say what they say, but aren’t necessarily true. Let’s try to hammer home this point with a random story we can pull from the air and see where our beliefs should rest.
One spouse mistreats another. Year after year, one spouse is subjected to neglect, lies, and belittling. The offending partner admits to this and promises to get better. The spouse who has stuck around, despite the mistreatment, then learns that the offending spouse has shared private information and half a story with an acquaintance who has no connection to the relationship. E-mails and texts surface of words condemning the mistreated spouse, but naturally, people who have been a part of these conversations side with the offender. “Yeah, what a jerk.”
It’s a case of joining the crowd and saying “rah, rah.” The brightest don’t engage in this. They realize that if it doesn’t add up to make sense, it’s usually not true. Also, there are three sides to every story.
- The story from one point of view.
- The story from the other point of view.
- Somewhere in the unknown middle, the truth lies within.
Don’t just join “rah, rah.” Ask questions that’ll dig deeper and you’ll normally find it’s not exactly what you hear. This is why you should believe none of what you hear. In regards to seeing, have we ever witnessed something and recalled it incorrectly? I bet. We have. The eyes are more believable, but a half-baked story none.