LET’S TALK: Self-research – literal or figurative

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Yes, we all laughed at that “weird news” that came out recently: A supposedly intoxicated man spent hours helping a search party that was looking for… him.

“A Turk who went missing unknowingly joined search teams looking for him,” Samuel Osborne wrote in a September 29 article for Sky News, one of the media outlets that reported the story. “Local media reported that Beyhan Mutlu, who lives in the Inegol district of Bursa province, northwestern Turkey, was reported missing on [Sept. 28]. “

According to a website cited in the Osborne story, Mutlu had drifted away from his friends while intoxicated. (Getting away from his pals. In a forest. Drunk. Okay, that’s a horror scenario right there.) Several hours after he walked away, his wife and friends, who didn’t could not find him, reported his disappearance.

“Mr. Mutlu, 50, then joined a group in the area which was helping authorities search for him,” the Osborne story continues. “When the members of the search team started shouting his name, he replied, ‘I’m here.'”

This story went viral on social media, with some news outlets reporting that Mutlu spent “hours” with the research team before realizing he was their subject.

Then the folks at Snopes.com, this online debunker of urban legends and disinformation, got involved, saying the story was somewhat sensational.

According to Snopes, Mutlu told a Turkish newspaper online that he was with a friend in a villa in the forest, having a drink, then fell asleep around 1 a.m. “Mutlu said his friend didn’t quite understand this when he said he was going to sleep, which is why he was reported missing. Mutlu woke up around 5 am and noticed a team search in the forest. Unaware that he had been reported missing as a result of the misunderstanding with his friend, he joined in the search. ” It had been reported that he had spent hours with the search team, but according to Snopes it was somewhere north of a half hour before he realized, thanks to research authorities and rescue caller his name, that he was the one who was wanted. for. And the reason the authorities couldn’t reach him by phone first was that he had a new phone, a new number. And oh yes, he wasn’t drunk.

At least Mutlu had a real good excuse to hunt for himself. (And if the sensational version of the story had been true, he would have had the excuse of being drunk on his ass.) It doesn’t seem like it at all.

Number one, we, of a certain age, have all been engaged in particular hunts, but not on this scale. We looked for glasses perched on top of our heads. We researched the cell phones that we were holding… and that we might be talking about at the time. In the age of covid, we have driven away the masks that were wrapped around our wrists or under our chins. Worse yet, we wandered into one room looking for something, forgot what we came for and had to go back to the room we walked away from in order to remember why we got lost in the other piece in the first place.

Number two, as this man literally searched for himself, we all struggled to some extent to find each other figuratively. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “to find oneself” as “to learn what you value and really want in life”, while the free online dictionary defines it as “to discover and pursue one’s character. , his real and inherent passion, skills or vocation. . “For my part, I feel like I spent years looking for myself – especially in terms of values, desires and true character – not realizing what I was looking for. Being brutally honest here, I think that this hunt came to a noticeable conclusion quite recently… and who knows, there may be some post-hunt discoveries still lurking.

Number three, like Mutlu’s friend – who also shares a blame for confusion in this story – we all thought things were gone when they were right under our noses. In my house, this happens almost daily with the bedroom’s Roku-stick remote control, which likes to dive deep into the folds of our crumpled bedspreads or even hide in plain sight while Dre and / or I spend some time. minutes of our lives that we can’t go back hunting for that damn thing.

And hey, I won’t even mention the times we misunderstood each other’s communications.

Glad to see that everything ends well here. Mutlu’s friend can be credited with his concern for the comrade he believed to be missing. And Mutlu can be credited with volunteering to help find a missing person who he didn’t realize was himself.

And ideally, during all those times when we somehow chased away what was not lacking – including ourselves – we had some good laughs the hard way, and maybe learned some things from it. course.

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