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Bah, Humbug! Beware of Charlatans Riding Trojan Horses!

Ken is a retired insurance executive. He is happily married with two adult children, a companion rescue dog, and nine grandchildren.

KEMAL HAYIT from Pexels

KEMAL HAYIT from Pexels

Trust is of the utmost importance to us and our society

Have you ever thought about the huge amount of trust we place in complete strangers from day-to-day? We empower them to feed us, educate us and our children, counsel us when we're despondent, and care for us when we are sick.

Take a minute and think about the enormity of the responsibility we give to others to keep us safe and protect us. An oft-used example comes to mind that I'd like to share with you:

Whenever we drive our cars, whether we are going to work, shopping, or even enjoying a ride on the weekend, we trust certain people have done their job to keep us safe.

  • We trust the car manufacturer has made our safety their top priority.
  • We trust the brakes will work to help us stop.
  • We trust the mechanic who installed the brakes is trained and qualified, thereby ensuring our safety.
  • We trust the stoplights and stop signs installed by our governing districts.
  • We even trust other drivers, drivers we don’t even know, to stop at the red light or stop sign.
  • We trust the transportation department employee who designed and paved the road.

When we purchased the vehicle, we made all of those “passive” choices, performed by people we’ve never even seen or met, to help keep us safe, allowing us to live a relatively safe life.

Hundreds of examples spring to mind when I think about the people I allow to keep me safe every day of my life. I won’t bore you with any more examples because they are from all walks of life.

It would seem highly plausible then, at least to me, that we dole out our trust in a more stringent fashion when the choice is ours to decide whom to trust.

Trust, therefore, is absolutely critical as we go about our daily living. What's more, for the people whose lives touch ours each day, it seems ingrained in them that they never break the bond of trust we give once it has been established.

user:johnhain via Pixabay

user:johnhain via Pixabay

In every conversation, someone or something is being sold.

I have read several articles lately, without naming authors or publications, that were circulated while lacking accurate information or sources to confirm the statements they are making.

The articles are not only misleading their readers but they are also being spread under the guise of truth when they are nothing more than “Fake News!”

Sometimes, authors, publishers, and/or publications might stretch the truth, or offer clickbait headlines to garner attention — I get that! After all, that’s the nature of fake news, designed to lure us in, offering just enough credible information for our minds to be tricked into believing it is true.

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When people or businesses do this, they feign ignorance, or they don’t respond to questions posed to them. Most times, they never issue an apology, other than a generic statement, such as “We regret that some people may have misinterpreted the intent of our article.”

First, they issue the fake news, then they deny it’s fake news. Further, they blatantly blame their ineptitude on their devoted readers! What a kick in the groin — how did that feel? Grab a hand and let me help you off the ground. You look a little woozy there.

As unscrupulous as this may be, they could not care less. That’s why news generates every minute of the day.

“Why?” you ask.

Simple… scruples don’t sell articles — lies do!

P.T. Barnum, perhaps “The Greatest Showman on Earth,” is famous for founding the Barnum and Bailey circus. Not mentioned as often was his philanthropy. He was an author, publisher, and politician. I believe he was a skeptic at heart, as evidenced by his talent of exposing fraudulent vendors of his day.

An excerpt from his Wikipedia biography identifies him as “The Prince of Humbug,” noted here:

Barnum was often referred to as the “Prince of Humbugs”, and he saw nothing wrong in entertainers or vendors using hoaxes (or “humbug”, as he termed it) in promotional material, as long as the public was getting value for money.

They credited him with coining the phrase, “There is a sucker born every minute.” He was well known for exposing the fraud of several “mediums” popular in his day.

Today, the hucksters are at it again, dishonestly selling small ideas, using questionable techniques!

If Barnum was still alive and saw what’s still going on, I’m sure he would have a fitting reply:

“Bah! Humbug!”

Thanks for reading this!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Ken Kayse

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