DO FACTS MATTER?
Facts can play a minimal role in major decisions. I’ve had the experience of being in a meeting with a number of people. When we discussed the meeting, after it was over, it was as if we attending different meetings. My analysis or summary of the content presented differed greatly from some of the others.
I’ve heard people repeating something I said, my only concern was, I didn’t say what they said I said. In some instances what they were saying I said was better than what I actually said. I wish I had said what they thought I said. I assure you I used it the next time I spoke on the same subject. As a public speaker I’ve learned what I’m saying is not as important as what people are hearing while I’m talking.
Making people think was once a noble endeavor. Now, it can be a risky business. Interrupting some people’s thoughts is viewed as an act of aggression. A peril that must be eliminated. Even if you can find good manners in public discourse you can’t trust them. Behind many smiles is a desire to kill you for your differences. I’ve never seen hatred bring about virtue. Stagnation is the result of holding onto fear. Decline is when we insist on someone, other than ourselves, being responsible for our discomfort. Forgiveness and maturity are threats to the chaos that some people feel entitled too.
HOW DO WE FORM OUR OPINIONS?
I think the core of America is reasonable, logical, and realistic. You can’t know that from strongly biased media outlets that sensationalize everyone but themselves. If you want to observe children playing and having fun your best chances are at playgrounds. The adolescent anchors and reporters on news organizations have a different kind of playlet where honesty, fairness, and neutrality seem to be forbidden or scarcely tolerated. Very little data provided from news organizations make it into my process of forming opinions. I need untainted information. A rarity indeed.
Candy-sticks and bandages drive hypersensitive positions. Traumatized people are often unsafe. They are different from vulnerable people who have been victimized. Victims want to recover and move on to better things. The traumatized are living in pain. Unable to get past it. Since they’re always injured their bandages become a part of their identities. When people don’t heal, their wounds can become weapons. They can turn on themselves or others. Sometimes both.
On the other end of extremism are those addicted to licking their favorite lollipop. Their flavor of choice becomes all that matters in their world. They drive too fast. Weaving in and out of traffic. Endangering everyone on the highway. The rules of the road don’t apply to them. Red for stop, and yellow for caution, are unacceptable. Green for go is the only color that should have ever been allowed, in their opinion. Their belief in their right to pleasure supersedes the safety of others. They want what they want and if you dare to interfere with their agenda you had better sleep with one eye open. They take their entertainment way too serious.
Then we have those less inclined to put their opinions on display. Not wanting to see their values used for sport. This is not the do-nothing-crowd. Their existence is almost denied because they aren’t vocal. They are less punitive than those who have a taste for blood. But, don’t be fooled by their lack of impetuosity. They have a tolerance meter with a clearly marked line of “That Is Enough.” They may not be seen leading chants or carrying picket signs, but they are responsible for creating balance in a Nation that’s suffering through an identity crisis. When they decide to move our Nation gets a wake up call to the necessity of moderation.
CAN YOU BE A SAFE PLACE?
I won’t use your weaknesses against you. I won’t use vitriol to promote my self-righteousness. I won’t beat you down to feel better about myself. I won’t abandon you to avoid being abandoned. I will stand up for myself when you defraud me but I will forgive you. I predetermine to walk with you even if we don’t agree. I will use respect as a basis for dialogue. I ask for your patience as I workout my shortcomings. I offer my strengths as a comfort to be shared. I pledge to do these things because, I get it!
Power is only safe in the hands of those who know how not to abuse it. The only thing worse than voting for either presidential candidate is not voting at all. Doing what’s best for the Country requires a forfeiture of selfishness. Yeah! You have a right to be you. We all share the right to be ourselves. Do we know how to give our best to each other? Do we know what our best self looks like. Does being lawful ever make anything, automatically, expedient? Before I vote I ask myself, what does this mean for me, my grandchildren, and the person next to me?
I get the unrest. I get where everyone is coming from. In my opinion, the success of certain candidates this year is not an approval of their personalities so much as it is disapproval of our state of the union. People are fed up with corruption, hypocrisy, abuse of power, and the political class. Emotions are running high. Passions are elevated. The insanity of continuing to do the same things over and over again is fully represented as well. I pose the same question to you I ask myself;
DO YOU GET IT?