In my line of work, if you rely on faulty information and print it, it’s called libel. If a public figure makes false remarks about a competitor, it’s called slander. But there are no repercussions if a regular person actually believes in rumors. It’s just called gossip.
There’s no telling what a person is capable of doing because of the information they rely on. That’s why it’s important to not only take a stand for the things you believe to be true, but also for the things you know are blatantly false. Especially if they are about you.
It’s part of the reason you take up the sword. or pen. or microphone. It’s your instinct calling you to the line, and it is always up to you which side you stand on. Stance.
A defensive stance will never work; it is too limiting, always trying to protect and close off. There is no room for mistake and because of that, there is no room for learning. You give progress no chance when the weight is on your heels.
An offensive stance is encouraging at best and threatening at worst. Which is why it’s important to emphasize encouragement if you are ever going to help people understand the proactive nature of problem solving. Especially if you risk everything just to step across the line and grab the hand of the one too afraid to try. Here. Hold my pen and let me show you.