Archive for the ‘Men & Women’ Category
“This report is about fair and honest observations and not about opinions
When you read this blog Report Number 2 and our flagship Joe Blow Report, is that what you really come away with? That we are dedicated to stimulating thought over belief? Joe recently said the following:
“In that regard, the Joe Blow Report, aside from the stated reasons (above), and we’re sure to those that read his observations here and elsewhere realize that the Report is dedicated to the “intelligent,” the “thinking” and the “reasoning” reasonable person.”
“That is why the moronic, stupid, imbecilic assaults and attacks against the object are dealt with and defined for what they are.”
On this Blog (upper right-hand corner) Joe says,
“Joe Blow’s self-evident observations on Truth, God’s gift of Equality, unalienable Rights and Justice before Peace.”
The Joe Blow Report is about stimulating those “little grey cells.” The “Third Option.”
“Let’s continue to effect the changes we are committed to, but never forget that our own thinking and feelings are not the final authority and represent only one version of truth. They are far too easily influenced by pride, fear, hate and isolation. Why don’t we interact today with one person who has a different viewpoint, a different type of life? It might help to keep us humble.”
we just had to reprint her article here.
There are about 6.8 billion people living in the world today, yet many of us have an unprecedented ability to avoid interacting with people who disagree with us.
I can date my acquaintance with the Internet from about 1999, when we were living in a small town in southeast Nebraska. It has since changed my life absolutely. It is a very rare day when I am not on the Internet for some reason — to check e-mail, check the weather, read news headlines or to chat with my daughter who attends school over 700 miles away. Since my daughters cajoled me into using Facebook about two years ago, I have become reacquainted with friends I haven’t seen, or talked to, in 35 years. Some have changed; many seem just as I remember them. What is different now is that we have the ability to seek each other out. And each Internet site I visit, each friendship I maintain via Facebook, each version of the news I read online, help to keep me safely in the world I find the most comfortable.
As I was growing up in a small town outside Denver, we had six TV channels. (My husband, who grew up in rural Kansas, had even fewer!) Americans watched one of three network news channels. Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, and other anchors/reporters were familiar to all of us. We trusted the non-biased news reporting the networks and anchors attempted to provide. Now, as subscribers to satellite or cable TV, we have access to more than 200 channels — but most of us probably watch about a dozen regularly, the ones we prefer to watch. We can watch news programs that are slanted any way we like — but many of us still think we are getting unbiased reporting.
The effect of all these choices is that we are able to create a kind of shell around us. We can make judgments about people (and often do, based on highly partisan reporting) and have largely lost the ability to discern propaganda, or hate-speech, presented as news. Our own opinions become reinforced by the information we self-select. Many years ago, we heard about the boy whose immune system was so compromised, he lived in a bubble to isolate him from bacteria or viruses that would threaten his life. Are our lives today much different?
Even loved friends can contaminate us with their views. The fact that we trust them, that they know the same people, watch the same news and circulate the same e-mails from the same perspective, only concentrates their impact on us. And the more serious we are, or the more fearful we are, the more we lose the ability to engage in childlike laughter — to remain humble in the face of all our encounters in life.
The word “humble,” from the Latin word “humus,” which means earth, should help guide us. Every winter, on Ash Wednesday, Christians all over the world have ashes imposed on their foreheads, hearing the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” It is one moment in the year, but a significant one. It reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously — even our own all-too-human thinking and fears.
Let’s continue to effect the changes we are committed to, but never forget that our own thinking and feelings are not the final authority and represent only one version of truth. They are far too easily influenced by pride, fear, hate and isolation. Why don’t we interact today with one person who has a different viewpoint, a different type of life? It might help to keep us humble.
The Rev. Jeri Gray-Reneberg is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Redway. She is a member of Clergy for Choice and has several years’ experience in the domestic violence field. She and her family live in Arcata.
So, what’s the “Third Option”?