Nearer to Truth

The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Norvell, Jun. 11, 1807

Were progress to be marked by a relative proximity to truth, these past two hundred years have seen little movement. The same inquietudes weigh upon men now as they did then, though they are presented more quickly and with less respite, thanks to the digital revolution.

Were Jefferson to have written the quote above in 2014 rather than 1807, he likely would’ve substituted “internet” for “newspaper” and “it” for “them,” but apart from that, the statement would not need to be altered. The modern media outlets which vie for man’s attention are no less polluted now than they were then. In these vehicles, style trumps substance, gossip and intrigue upstage tales of righteousness and the greater part of words spoken and written tend to perpetuate the primacy of human nature over truth.

Much more can be learned of truth from a conversation with one’s neighbor, gardener or even a perfect stranger while traveling. Such encounters tend to remind us that we are all on the same planet together, with a shared purpose: the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. I personally find meeting new people to be invigorating on the balance, whereas an equal amount of time spent reviewing the news of the day tends to sap my energy and diminish my hopes for a brighter, better future.

What about you?

12 thoughts on “Nearer to Truth

  1. Steve V

    I appreciate the rolling increase of agreement to your words. We are on this planet together so designed to love what is real and true. As we rerealize this and find realignment with this the true passions of our hearts are reignited! Your blog is a centering place for this to increasingly occur. I can hear the words being sounded “let all with ears hear.”


  2. Colin

    There is a part of the news that likes to think that it is about bringing the truth to the people, but that is the truth of what is wrong with humanity, and not the greater truths that define our nature. Even this idealistic part of the news media knows that it is and always has been corrupted by the influence of those that have either something to gain by influencing the masses in some way, or something to lose by having the real truth come forward.

    While I think there is some value to being informed on world events, there is no value in it whatsoever if your life is not firmly rooted in embracing the deeper truths that define our world and our nature, and you will not find that in the news.


  3. CA

    At the birth of my first daughter I stepped way back from connecting to the media. I felt that even as an infant, if these stories and politics filled the sound waves , they would reach her core. In a protective stance, to preserve the fragility of her innocence, I shut it all down just glancing here and there at the main events around the globe. There was a freedom that came with this decision. I had no fuel to add to the fired conversations that could emerge around me which I found relieving and enabled whomever I was speaking to to move on in conversation. Although accused at times of living in a bubble I truly feel that in the end my “bubble” has preserved my hearts ability to connect, relate and love all those I cross paths with.


  4. Ernest

    So much of what we read in newspapers has as its intent to sell newspapers, or even worse to sensationalize ‘facts’ to bring attention to the author. I guess that unfortunately the internet has become the same. Realizing this I have learned over the years to rely on the news for things that they can’t distort such as sports scores as far as what I am actually going to believe. And I so agree with you Gregg about the value and joy in meeting strangers, who for some reason or other don’t remain strangers for long.


  5. Joy

    Just yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting a stranger who instantly became a friend. I may never see him again, but in the space of an hour our hearts touched in a way that I know was impactful to both of us. We spoke of the founding fathers of Nelson Mandela and of our commission in this day. It was magic, and it is the fuel that keeps me loving my work. So yes Gregg, I agree whole heartedly.


  6. Beth C

    Meeting new people and having new experiences tends to shake up the status quo of our thoughts and perceptions. I agree that it is a good way to learn particularly if approached with an open heart.


  7. David R

    It does seem that the more informed we are in terms of access to media, the less informed we can become about the core matters of life. Perhaps we don’t need to become utterly isolated from the “news of the world”, but that so-called ‘news’ can be very old as well! Precious indeed are those who bring something fresh, new and unpolluted into the world!


  8. Coco

    I am an avid reader and still somewhat keep up with world events but I find my choice of when I read and what I read is crucial to my rest. I don’t read the accounts of crime, or lurid details of misspent lives or unfortunate events. I do keep up with world events, yet I find politics a bore. As the years pass where I would have read a newspaper for an hour I find my cursory read is a ten minute event. On the other hand I have searched out a few excellent blogs such as yours and thoroughly enjoy their daily discourse. Lively, well written content is a joy to share and invigorates my personal interactions. Thank you for your consistently uplifting subjects.


  9. Isabelle

    Although there are a few aspects of the news that I enjoy, they are unfortunately mixed within the dross and it’s not a worthy venue for gold panning. Even though I am a “quieter type person,” I love to meet new people, talk with them, learn and discover who they are. My life is always so enriched by others in unimaginable ways.


  10. I agree wholeheartedly! It has become increasingly important to me as I mature as a mother. Observing my daughter I am amazed at me how fast the digitally induced addictions take over the mind and heart. Getting in nature, spending time with people of substance, learning the real value and meaning of life is so important!


  11. Troy

    It is amazing how the power of the written or spoken word can reveal truth but also be that which blocks human beings from the truth. I have had to limit the amount and what type of news or information I listen to or read, as these things very often just leave me with a troubled heart. On the other hand, like yourself, when I have wonderful interactions with strangers, and or those close to me, there is a sense of invigoration, joy and hope that permeates this experience. This must reflect the spirits that surround an alignment with truth. Whatever the case, to me, it’s a much better use of my time on a daily basis and at the end of the day, my heart rests. Thanks for your daily efforts to provide a space to balance and rest my heart!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s