Re: Opinion Page Cartoon, Free Lance, July 14

The Joe Heller cartoon on my favorite Free Lance page concerning a complex issue enlightened and entertained me. In one cartoon, it contained a whole strip explaining an issue difficult to understand. Beginning with: “It’s the hottest day on record…adding additional record breaking data documenting hottest week, month, year, decade, and century” and asking, “Now do you believe it?” then ending with the denier denying it.

Facts are difficult to understand but denying facts can be dangerous. As an illustration, watching the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament in London is pleasurable for me. The sold out stadium announced that the last two tickets sold for $31,385.00. While watching on TV in the comfort of home, that shocking fact was unbelievable for me. I can simply accept the fact and adjust my behavior to not buy a ticket. 

Adjusting behavior can be easy or can be difficult depending on the facts involved.

In that tennis tournament between the best player in the world and the #1 seeded player, many fans thought the best player would win, but that didn’t happen; the #1 player won! That was a fact. 

For tennis players who practice the sport, learning from facts makes a difference. The facts can teach skills, behavior and lessons in life. Facts become important for understanding reality. Reality does matter. Behavior does matter. 

Denying facts assumes a huge responsibility for the denier. Hiding behind belief changes the subject. The subject is about facts; it is not about beliefs. When we learn facts we may change our behavior. For instance, when we learn that too many desserts can make us fat we eat less sweets.  

Facts and beliefs are not the same. In the case of the hottest century fact, it becomes a life changing behavior. Changing behavior is most likely the reason for denial. Deniers resist change. Denying is deadly. Changing is the challenge.  

Mary Zanger


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