Letter: Transparency – Intellectual dishonesty
"It's easier to fool people than to convince people they have been fooled." — Mark Twain
This could be a story about a lot of things, but I'd like to share a simple story for rural Americans. It has to do with realities of living in northern Minnesota, but it could be any part of our vast America.
When buying a new iPhone 6s in fall 2018, we were offered phone insurance. We were told with kids who may break the phone this is a nice way to protect our investment, paying around $15 per month for a couple of years sounded fine.
Six months ago, that phone was left outside in the rain and its microphone stopped working. We thought, well, good thing we bought the insurance. After calling Sprint, we found the only repair store was in Minneapolis-St Paul, 150 miles away.
We could consider mailing the phone, but then upon contacting Asurion — the insurance company Sprint contracted to — we found if the phone was found to have been exposed to water, we then need to pay the deductible of $225.
The Sprint salesperson was honest — we simply did not read our contract. Our fault of not being an informed consumer. They made the case stating all of the positives, but the company had information they were withholding.
This may be a good strategy for a lawyer or a person to win in a debate, but it certainly destroyed our trust with Sprint and Asurion.
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." "The one unforgivable in life is hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing another." —Gary Johnson
We can live life telling white lies, parents, kids, businesses — most everyone does it. Revealing information that only benefits our cause and hiding the rest.
We now feel that paying $15 per month for insurance is a waste. We can skip most product replacement plans and put a small amount of money away each month in a savings account and save up our own product replacement amount in an account. Then if we don't use it, we get to keep it.
Being virtuous is something that needs to be worked at. Throughout life, we toe the line, and once you cross it, it is a slippery slope and you may get up realizing you are in a place you never wanted to be. Are we truly being honest and seeking out all of the information, or just finding information that confirms what we already know?
It isn't always popular, but life is often simpler when choosing the path that is right versus easy. In the short term it is easy, but in the long term, it typically comes back to haunt you.
During this election time, we are often faced with information that confirms a bias we have, but rarely are we told the whole story. Consider the source and their motives as well as those who motivate them (more simply: "follow the dollar") and we often find the actions aren't consistent with the words.
A often find myself defeated by my naiveness. I never assumed someone would do that, but that "Minnesota Nice" can get you in trouble because how you define happiness and your life's pursuit of it may be very different from someone else's.
Keep that in mind come this election. What promises are being made, will they actually do them and at whose expense?