Ptolemy believed the sun revolved around the Earth. Linus believed in the "Great Pumpkin."
(Sally to Linus, after missing Halloween... "What a fool I was. I could've had candy, apples, and gum, and cookies and money and all sorts of things. But no! I had to listen to you! What a fool I was. Trick or Treats come only once a year, and I missed it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead!")
When I was a kid I believed in the "Push-Me-Pull-You" -- the two-headed llama from the Dr. Doolittle stories. (I was such a sucker!) In my 'tweens -- upset and completely horrified -- I stood in front of a caged, one-headed, completely healthy and whole llama and said "How could this have happened...where's its other head!"
I did ultimately find some comfort for my naivete when I learned that Cher thought Mount Rushmore was a natural phenomenon!
Our culture is filled with mountains of myths and mythinformation -- Santa, UFOs, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Bigfoot, Crop Circles, the Loch Ness monster. In the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, "It is so; it is not so. It is so; it is not so." I'm not always certain, either...perhaps you could call me a Doubting Thomas.
In case you don't know, to be called a Doubting Thomas means that you're someone who -- without straightforward, tangible, right in your face proof -- refuses to believe in any number of things. (e.g. See the list above.) The expression is based on the doubt of the Apostle Thomas concerning the resurrection of Jesus. Although Jesus had been crucified, Thomas only became a true believer when he was able to place his fingers into the resurrected Jesus' wounds. (After that llama incident, I think I'd require a demonstration like that, too!)
Skeptics are everywhere, and we remembered them on October 13, International Skeptics Day. If you're not certain who they are, take a mindful look around: they're easily identifiable as the folks who doubt truth and accepted theory. They just won't see or accept what's "a given," what's believed by the majority of the people based on scientific scrutiny. When I'm asking questions, I'm curious, and when I'm questioning, I'm skeptical. But when I refuse to separate fact from fiction, that makes me just plain-old blind to reality.
Take for example Governor and Vice Presidential (shoot me now!) candidate Sarah Palin. Perhaps the Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny and maybe even Doubting Thomas himself told her that climate change and global warming aren't caused by human behavior and that a changing environment could never have been man-made. We can all fail to recognize the reality of global warming much like Palin thinks that drilling in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is swell for birds, fish and wildlife. But until we all place our own hands into the proverbial wounds of the world, we'll all continue to doubt our own personal responsibilities.
And much like the Gov's responsibility to own up to the truth, we, too, can make mico-steps towards change. While carefully and safely cleaning our bodies or our homes, (gun-toting-moose-hating-soccer-mom, lipstick-wearing-or-not, notwithstanding) by being thoughtful of our actions and intentions while we do even the smallest of tasks, we meet ourselves in a simple, mindful act of purifying our personal environment, and by extension, our ever-changing world environment. I believe that every individual can have a positive effect on the enormous problem of Global Warming, and I believe that it can happen one household at a time. (Forgetting about the Push-Me-Pull-You kerfuffle, of this I'm certain.)
Bullwinkle-the-Moose once said, "Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what can you believe?" (Even the moose was a skeptic!)
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.