Do you ever feel like you’re being misled, not only by Fake News but by misleading marketing and advertising? In 2016, Hunts made a commercial that stated, “No matter how far afield you look, you won’t find a single genetically modified tomato among our vines.” Why would Hunts infer there are genetically modified tomatoes when no such thing exists? Simple. It’s called fear-based marketing; it is deliberately misleading. They don’t think you’re smart enough to know, or discover, the truth.

More than 3,500 years ago, a resident philosopher in Greece by the name of Plato, challenged people to search for truth rather than buying into Fake News or Misleading Marketing. He called it, “The Allegory of the Cave.”

Imagine you walk into a tall cave with a path straight through the middle. One the left side is a fire burning brightly. On the right side is a long bench with its back to the path with people chained to it, staring at the wall. Down the path, people carry various things like a watermelon or an apple and they hold it aloft so the light from the fire casts a shadow on the wall in front of the people chained to the bench. The person carrying the watermelon says, “watermelon.” The person carrying the apple easy, “apple.”

The people chained to the bench have only seen the shadows so they believe that the shadow is the reality. That shadow of the watermelon, they are taught to believe, is the real watermelon.

As Plato suggested, our real challenge is to find the reality and not be duped by the shadows on the wall. Surprisingly, his view of human nature wasn’t the most optimistic because he believed that if you showed those people chained to the bench the source of light and the real object, they would become angry and return to the bench.

If you feel like you’re being duped by fake news and misleading marketing, you are.

It takes work to find the truth, to understand the substance rather than believing in the shadows. But only the truth will set you free.


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