Who Influences Your Life? Bloggers, Writers, Scholars, Friends.

scholarsAnyone who has studied in college knows the importance of finding scholarly resources to use to complete assignments. Professors vary on their requirements, but in general we must log into our college library database and use EBSCO host to find the right resources.

The lessons we learn from this are helpful. Right? Very educated people right scholarly papers that are accepted by other very educated people. Large groups of educated people accept their research and because of their acceptance their paper becomes an accepted scholarly resource. We can trust it and use it as a solid resource for our research.

Is the key to this scenario that it is educated people? Is a resource solid if an educated person writes it? They admittedly have read more books, have spent years learning more about subjects than uneducated people, and have paid a high price to get their degree. Aren’t there a lot of people who are seen as experts and we have no idea what their educational background is? We listen to actors, actresses, singers, writers, public figures, bloggers, friends, family, and co-workers without knowing their education or work background.

Is the key the large body of people? If the scientific community accepts my research then my research is valid. If the human resources field accepts my research then it is valid and so on. Can we write, influence or operate in a valid way without a large group of people accepting it?

Is the key the acceptance? If people accept what I do does that makes it valid? This might be the caveat of our times. We have a strong desire to have our lifestyles accepted. We still struggle with being bold enough to start new businesses, go on new adventures, and change our life in a way that isn’t accepted. We want acceptance. Is a resource that isn’t accepted valid?

Centuries of scholars have taught us an important lesson. Collect and use only valid resources. The definition of what is valid changes depending on your environment, but perhaps the point we can take from it is to be careful who you listen to. Collect the best information that you can when formulating plans, outlining goals, and making decisions.

The world wide web has given us more information than we know what to do with. The Internet elevates the opinions of people and awards the title of subject matter expert to those who know how to get the most views. This however does not mean that poor social media marketers have less validity. It means they need to learn how to get their information to pop up higher on Google results.

In the wink of an eye our lives will pass by. Our days melt one into another. Weeks, months, and years go by without a thought. We let information pass into our minds without ever questioning what we are listening to. Let’s be our own scholar. Our own man and woman. Let’s be intentional about who we listen to and what we use as resources to guide our lives. We only get one life. Let’s make it great.

Marcy Pedersen

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