The new political era is quickly ushering in new ways of seeing the truth. Before ushering you to your seat to watch the political theatre unfold, let’s turn the tables on you. This concept of alternative facts isn’t exactly anything new. However, it’s THE current topic of conversation. It seems that the truth matters to everyone. But, not everyone seems to use the same metrics for measuring the truth. At the end of the day, though, it’s your integrity that I am thinking about. Do people have alternative facts on you?
People the world over have gone non-linear over alternative facts, likening the concept to George Orwell’s concept “Newspeak.” In his novel 1984, Newspeak is a state-controlled and designed language. According to Oxford Dictionaries, it’s intention is to “suppress free thought, individualism, and happiness.”
Reading this, I became compelled to write about this and ask if people have alternative facts on you.
Okay, I don’t think that government has alternative facts on you, per se. But, I genuinely do wonder whether people do. I know it can be possible because it happened to me, and more than once in my life.
As a boy, other kids told me, literally, several times a day at school how ugly I was. In this case, the language was harsh and brutal. It was repetitive, how people told me, and how I could not escape hearing it. It happened so much that people believed it was a fact, especially me. This tactic was very debilitating, and I think that it destroyed me for some years. The volume of other kids telling me how ugly I was like having the TV and the radio blaring at me non-stop. I couldn’t get away from the frequency, no matter how I tried.
A few years ago, someone in a professional networking group falsely accused that I discriminate against Latinos. It was not only wholly untrue [oops, is that Newspeak?], but it was embarrassing. Based on life experience, I worried that his loud voice would convince people that he was telling the truth. These were people with whom I professionally networked, and I was very protective of my personal and professional integrity. So, I did the only thing I felt I should do: quit the organization.
But, before I did, I made sure to tell him: “No, ######, it’s not that I discriminate against Latinos. I just dislike you!”
So, when I am suggesting that you think about if people have alternative facts on you, it’s because it can happen at any time, and to anyone.
To be sure, I feel totally good about my appearance and self-image today. And, if you only knew how many Latino men I’ve been on dates with since becoming single… Just saying…
It may be hard to always win the war of people having alternative facts on you. But, it is very important to persevere in the end. It is just as important to “protect and defend” your integrity like elected officials are sworn to uphold the Constitution by the same principle.
After studying the facts of our current political situation, I have a conclusion about the presentation of alternative facts. Presenters of alternative facts are bullies. Give a bully a pulpit, and the ability to “suppress free thought, individualism, and happiness,” and the bully will spew untruths.
If people have alternative facts on you, representing the very best sense of yourself is the key to eventual triumph. Above all else, refuse to buy into such alternative facts.
In fact, refuse to buy into any alternative facts presented by a bully or his subordinates in all possible connotations. If we all collectively do this, we will strengthen our individual selves, our great nation, and our planet. Be the truth. Seek the truth. Tell the truth. Have integrity. Live up to your best and full potential. The world needs each of us to do this.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley.” Get details about Joseph’s proven program that transforms your life through personal brand and style development.