I received an email early this morning.
You know the kind. A hyperbolic headline. Followed by a first line of text that says something like, “Can you believe this?” And then endless scrolling down through forwarded addresses of others who have received, commented and passed the message on.
Eventually you get to the subject. Usually a block of text describing the imminent danger we are all facing, or a conspiracy of some sort. They exhort you to be afraid. And to act. And to pass this on to as many people as you know.
What the web giveth the web taketh away. And the advent of Snopes had made it a simple matter to validate or deny the content in a couple of moments.
Over the last four years, none that I received were ever found to be true. Not one.
Which hasn’t stopped people disseminating and propagating. A waste of time and emotional energy of staggering proportions.
And the creation of negative energy on a massive scale.
An action that has consequences. If you believe in Noetic Science. Which can be over-simplified as the power of positive thinking. As support for which some people offer The Global Consciousness Project.
The GCP uses random number generators around the world to track whether collective human emotion makes these random patterns more cohesive. Whether thoughts can affect the physical world.
On two occasions, the Project believes they did.
Lady Diana’s funeral.
There are many scientists and theologians who dispute the science. I’m neither.
What I know is that those two days represent the days in my life in which I have felt most connected to humanity. A fact. Not a claim.
One which supports a belief that we are more connected than we want to know.
And that what we feel has the power to cause change in the physical world.
Which brings me back to this morning’s email.
It contained a picture. Of Barack Obama. In 2005. Taken with eight other people. Including the White House gatecrashers. Tareq and Michaele Salah.
Supporting the picture is a lengthy dissertation that connects Obama to Hamas and accuses the White House of co-ordinating cover-up efforts with a pro Palestinian organization.
As proof of these claims, the email provides a large, bold link to Snopes. Which in turn confirms the authenticity of the photograph.
What the email doesn’t show is a picture of John McCain with the Salahs. Apparently from the same event.
Truthfully, it didn't take a lot of research to find this second picture.
It was in the same Snopes link the email author offered as proof. The same Snopes link.
Politics creates emotion. As do differences of all kinds. A fact Dr King so powerfully made in 1963.
The election of 2008 was a remarkable event. The power of positive thinking at work.
But as Doctor King's dream comes true, so must new dreams be forged.
My dream is for a world which looks at the whole story.
My dream is for a world in which we use only the power of positive thought.
My dream is for a world in which the future is better than the past.