Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Offense of Winning: Can We Just be Kind?

I am all for winning! I support those that celebrate at the end of a game. I am all for keeping score, competing to your best ability, this highlights the best in the human spirit. Ive watched a youth from the losing team celebrate after a touchdown. He was kicked out of the game in an attempt to make sure no one was offended, political correctness misses the point again.

We are desperate not to offend these days and yet we are more nasty to each other than ever, just read the social media posts. Instead of honest dialogue that can be addressed and corrected, it is kept under wraps, it seeps to the surface, and it's more vicious than ever.

When kids are very young, that's when they need to be taught, not only not to say hurtful things but why they shouldn't. Instead of political correctness, we need to teach humility, empathy and compassion.

An expectation of nice and an intolerance to the unkind is not working. The bully is a bully because of something that is not being addressed. We need to open dialogue, we need to pull the bully out of the shadows and address the unkind instead of ignoring and suppressing them.

Even those being bullied are suppressed because defending yourself has become somehow just as unacceptable as bullying. Instead of ignorance of the fact, punishment and intolerance, maybe knowledge, compassion and common sense would be more effective to address the issue of a society that seems it's becoming less kind.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Who can we trust? Too many news options and each with their own agenda!

Where do you get your news? Some insist the mainstream media is left bias while others are sure Fox News is a right wing propaganda machine. Both sides are sure they are being duped.

What I’ve learned while trying to find out the actual popular vote; you can find whatever answer you need to support your theory. There are fact checker sites that debunk false stories, but who’s debunking them?

It’s frightening to me that with all of the news options we have, it’s hard to find one undisputable truth. Everyone has an opinion and if you listen to the same people assuming they are the truth tellers-you will always be at the mercy of innate bias.

I don’t consider myself very trusting, I don’t trust any news or media outlet because these days it’s about opinion and proving a point. The media finds it their responsibility to educate the foolish masses, so the end justifies the means.

You only get a snapshot of a conversation, a specific photo that proves a point. Much like our system of law, prosecution and defense are based on a theory and you show a jury only that which supports that theory.

We can show the state of affairs in any way we see fit. If we want society to seem hateful and bias, only show the rioting and hide any sense of harmony. Just like the defendant is dressed up in court to show an appearance of innocence, suddenly that rough exterior is changed to a clean-cut persona.

Unless we are there, we really can’t take anything as truth or fact and yet each side talks down to the other as if the other is uninformed. The blur between pure journalism and propaganda has become indiscernible even though, or maybe because, we have so many options to get news.

No one calls their news propaganda, only the people that receive the news and question it’s authenticity use this term and it’s usually after the fact. In 1939, Germany could not justify war for its true intention of expansion but if you stage incidents and call it self defense than the people are behind you. It’s all language, showing just what you want the public to see, if there is no violence and you need it to be violent, you bus people in to show there is violence-the end justifying the means.

I believe that doubt is actually a great thing. It keeps us discussing politics and world events with question versus bias and certainty. I only wish we could have a bit more civility between us as it is supposed to be a country of many ideas and just because someone doesn’t agree with yours, it doesn’t mean they are stupid or uninformed.

So where do you get your news and how do you know it’s true? Let’s start a conversation and maybe in the end we will find a glimmer of truth.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Morning: So many stories so much commentary, so little time

I watch Sunday Morning every Sunday. It is a special show to me because it doesn't concentrate on just the good or only the bad, it doesn’t linger on theatrics, fears or politics. It speaks of truths and it connects us to the human condition and leaves us inspired.

I love to see stories about people who do incredible things from the simplest backgrounds and beginnings. To me, it speaks not only of the human condition but often the American ideal.

You get to make your own decision and most often the person I didn’t think I liked shows me something beautiful about their spirit, about who they truly are behind the headlines and bias.

I enjoy the collectors, writers and dreamers. I’m inspired by those that build planes, building and businesses because they thought they could. It shows the immigrant, both sides and from different perspectives.

It peals away the outside of people, places and things and describes them without judgment. It is a news show that tells the story the way it should be, allowing the viewer the privilege to share just a glimpse into another’s life and see from another perspective.

I’ve never watched the late show with John Stewart but I think I’m going to start watching Trevor Noah, his replacement. He talks about true racism, Apartheid rule, where you can be arrested for marrying the wrong race and even worse for daring to have a child.

He’s from a black mother and Swiss father and his humor has the depth and truth of his experience. He speaks about being pitied for his past and what he’s come from, instead he sees it as triumphant. His mother is shot twice, once in the head and her humor allows a young child to get through a terrible situation.

His mother offers him two things that she can make sure he had, knowledge and food and she delivered against all odds. They are heroes in my book and instead of complaining and fretting about fair and unfair, they have lived extraordinary lives.

I have spoken with people who have lived in Africa and the one common thing they’ve said is that America takes a lot of what they have for granted. Instead of realizing how lucky we are, many look for lawyers to get us what we deserve, demand the government give us what we need and cry about fair and unfair.

The life of a victim is not a great life and if the people in other countries who have lived through the trials and tribulations of true racism and oppression can see themselves as fortunate and triumphant maybe Americans can find a positive place to live in this great, not perfect but still great country.

The People that Make America Great

Two other stories I was impressed with was a man that cleans the tombstone for veterans and a group that resurrected a B29 aircraft. It’s people in this country doing small things that bigger and more important than what makes the news.

You see into people’s lives and you realize there is good in this country. Regardless of religion, race, creed, there is more that connects us than divides us. There is great in this country, there are great people who love this country and love each other and do great things. We just don’t often hear about them because they are not sensational, they don’t know the Kardashians and they aren’t tabloid fodder.