I enjoyed this little blog post from Zoe Weil’s HumaneEducation.org. I, too, have struggled with apathy and questioned my own values when I have learned that people and groups I admired were lying. It’s hard to express how important it is to simply tell the truth from the outset, because what seems like a simple lie at first can snowball into something catastrophic.
But recently it came out that several details of Daisey’s segment are inaccurate. Daisey calls it “dramatic license,” but what it really means is that he stretched and tweaked the truth. What it also means is that Daisey has lost much of his credibility, and all those people inspired to take action because of that NPR broadcast — like those middle school students — are now left wondering what to believe and whether there’s any point in doing anything.
There’s a great danger that many people will fall into cynicism and apathy. AsZoe says in a recent post, “I hope Mike Daisey’s lie will be a warning to us to always be ferocious in our commitment to truth-telling, because when we are not, we harm our own best efforts and we add to the stewpot of cynicism and apathy that threaten to prevent us from living lives of real purpose, meaning, and goodness.”