We live in a world full of bias. Every story has an angle.
Today, I came across an inspirational tale that I perceived to celebrate sincerity and selflessness.
Artificial attempts to go viral are just that…artificial. It's sincerity and creativity that inspires. http://t.co/a2GkaBiQ56
— StrategicGuy (@StrategicGuy) July 9, 2013
The family of a 30-year-old man named Aaron Collins who had died fulfilled a request in his will to leave a randomly selected waiter an unexpected $500 tip.
Donations that have totaled more than $50,000 poured in, sending Aaron’s brother on a trip across the country to deliver more big tips. Videos have gone viral; the mainstream media latched on to the story.
Yet, out of curiosity I conducted a Web search to learn what had caused Aaron’s death as it was excluded in the media accounts of his brother’s mission. I assumed it was an illness or accident. The cause turned out to be suicide.
While suicide is certainly tragic, the failure of journalists, bloggers and social sharers (like myself) to disclose this point colors the perception of the story.
This blog post authored by a person in his mid-20s who is dying from a terminal illness provides a different perspective:
This Aaron guy is being touted a hero, a martyr for terminal illness and a victim of the healthcare industry. Even in the articles and news columns the comments are all mislead, bleeding hearts, giving their money freely with only half the story.
The news, insight, information and analysis we read, watch and listen to is motivated by an agenda. It’s up to each of us to invest the time to form a comprehensive understanding of the story so our opinion and conclusions are informed.
This is an absolute responsibility in today’s world of fragmented information sources.