“Search engines find the information, not necessarily the truth.”
― Amit Kalantri
"How do you make the best vegan chocolate?” This simple question started a three-hour journey down an internet rabbit hole. One video led to another: Coconut oil or cacao butter as a base? Raw cacao or cocoa powder? Sugar or maple syrup?
Before I knew it, hours had passed and ads began to show up on my social media and search feeds pushing me towards purchasing raw cacao, cacao butter, other chocolate making products, and even towards people who are vegan chocolate artisans.
Everywhere I looked online, my reality began to shift and morph to my new interest while also pushing me toward more intricate and complex versions of homemade vegan chocolate making. On the surface this seemed inane or benign—yet a larger truth revealed itself to me: instead of my world expanding to include a new hobby, it was becoming narrower.
A quote that’s always stuck with me—I’ve heard it in various places, including from some of my colleagues—goes: “The quality of our life is determined by the quality of the questions we ask.” While there’s truth in this statement, whom we question and how well we listen also matters.
A responsible search for truth and meaning is an important part of my spiritual life. If I ask questions on a search engine that’s designed to narrow and conform to my private world, that’s one thing. But in the real world, our privilege does this, too: if we aren’t willing to ask the important, uncomfortable, and even scary questions, we won’t get to larger and deeper truths.
Spirit of Truth and Love, reveal your self to this troubled world. Soften the lenses of those with more privilege so that we may reshape the world into one of justice and freedom for all.