Science tells us we tend to superimpose our believes into our memories – that we remember things that happened say when we were 4 but the truth is that later talks about them get super imposed into our memory. I have no way of verifying that but implicitly trust it as it makes sense.
One of my earliest friends with whom I am still in touch – thanks to his efforts – is Shankar Venkatraman. Don’t know if he would like being named. We studied together in school but went to different colleges. I did my CA and he went to IIM-A and we both landed up in Bombay around the same time 1992.
1992 was the worst year for Bombay. First very late rains. Started only in End July. Then the Babri Riots and later the bomb blasts in 1993. There were many romors that used to float around. Very nasty and at times fatal too.
One of such rumours was the death of Morarji Desai. I remember telling that to Shankar and he was furious that I was spreading such rumours. That is one conversation I remember nearly 23 years later.
It has become an habit with me to verify from independent sources any news. One reason I hardly trust wikipedia.
It is not just about news but also about work in office by a colleague or say what your wife / son does. Trust them to do it right but also verify.
A word of caution – Verifying sometimes could be like walking on knife’s edge. It can get people to think that you do not trust them. And if they get caught when you verify – remember to give them an honourable exit out of the tricky situation