Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Really? Is That True?

"Really?" is a question we all need to ask, all the time! When my kids went to school I'd tell them, "Just because something is in a book doesn't mean it's true." And now it's even worse! Besides books, misinformation has mushroomed on the Internet, and don't we all just love the emails flying around that churn out one urban legend after another?

Get a load of these emails:
"Cut onions are a magnet for bacteria!" (mix of stories, one true, one false)
"Cocoa mulch can kill your dog." (partly true)
"President Obama canceled the National Day of Prayer" (false, but you should read this for clarification)

SNOPES is a website to help us sift the facts and shed the fiction. I used it to make the parentheses for the email examples I listed. It not only gives a copy of the general email/urban legend, but also the history of it, and a "green" or "red" quick indicator of it's accuracy.

SNOPES investigates urban legends. You can type just about any word in their search box to find what you're looking for, or look under their categories. A short article will appear telling you the origins of the information--or misinformation--whatever the case may be. And it will clearly label it TRUE or FALSE. I rarely forward emails to my friends, but if I do, I try to remember to verify it on SNOPES. There's already enough fear in the world without me passing along the false ones.

And of course, even SNOPES can't be 100% accurate 100% of the time. So when my cat meows at the front door to be let in, I remember the email I got about the rapist meowing like a cat or crying like a baby at the front door. I look out the window first. But I also remember this: II Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 

It may take some self-discipline to not give in to fear and silly emails but it's worth living a life of God's power and love and self-discipline rather than cowering in the corner, isn't it?

Here's the website for SNOPES:  http://www.snopes.com/

Help out other widows by adding a comment through the comment line right below this post, or by emailing me your favorite single-living tips: wcplace@gmail.com
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P.S. If you were interested in the widow's story I posted last Wednesday, please take another look at it for the retraction I am adding to the article. Someone kindly pointed out that history indicates this widow's practice of contemplative prayer disintegrated over her lifetime into something I would never endorse. Thanks for your patience with me as I work to make this site a "safe" place for you.

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