How do you handle an epidemic in the age of fake news? There are the official orchestrated statements from LGU’s and other governing bodies and also advices driven by experts or what we call the science-based. Then here comes the lies and theories spreading all over the World Wide Web faster than 299, 792, 458 m/s or in common terms, faster than the speed of light. Fake news are very rampant nowadays. We should filter what we are reading and at the same time be accountable on what you say, both on and off line.
Upon scanning through our contract work for our EPIC class, one name caught my eye, Epictetus. Most probably all high school students taking philosophy class knows him as one of the 3 famous person who practiced stoicism dating back to 3rd century B.C. I find it fascinating that the 3 modern stoics are all so diverse in their way of life. First is Marcus Aurelius, being the Emperor of the Roman Empire. Second is Seneca, the adviser of the Emperor and here comes Epictetus with the complete opposite of the first 2 mentioned stoics. Unlike the Emperor and the Adviser, he was a slave.
In one of his famous lines he said, “We have two eras and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. With all knowing that his words dates back to centuries ago, it certainly survived and continuously to survive even up to this date as evidenced by a number of household and schools trying to inculcate his philosophy in the minds of every single individual. Being speakers and listeners are innate to us and we should put in our mind that we need to listen twice and comprehend things twice as much as we speak. You speak when you have something to share, especially when you are sharing something that will make this world a better place to live in. You listen when your heart is pure because only when your heart is pure, you could actually listen and understand.
As a person full of peculiarities, I asked my circle of influence- my family on their take on what Epictetus said. Instead of getting an answer to my question, I received a question. My niece asked me a question that left me hanging for a few seconds. She asked “when is the right time to listen and to speak ba?” I felt epithelial layer of my skin in my face that gave me the guts to ask them shred after I heard that.
My mom came into the picture and rescued me! “Every time is the right time to speak and to listen” she said and added “But that’s not the issue. The issue is who you speak to and who you listen to.” Right there and then, in just a split of a second, my thoughts redeemed. What I realized is that we should listen to both the wise and the fools because we learn from both of them. The moment we listen to both the wise and the fools, we speak.