Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

Hi and Happy Tuesday.  There is a saying that ignorance is bliss.  I however, do not agree with this statement.  I like being informed and knowing what is happening.  I also like to know the facts and make up my own mind on issues.

It seems, however, that not everyone agrees with me.  Many people follow and believe what someone else tells them, whether that person is telling the truth or not.  What is the deal recently with alternate facts and shaping the view of people to fit what certain people want?  When did that become okay?

I don’t get it and I don’t like it.  And, more importantly, I don’t want my son growing up thinking that is okay.  Truth and lies are different and will continue to be.  Putting such a spin on things is an entirely different ball game.

Also the continued criticism of the media and the Constitution is troubling.  As I have said before, the media isn’t perfect and has many, many flaws.  But, they are needed in a democracy to ask questions, to present a variety of points of view, to inform us, and to investigate.  And, we as citizens should watch, read, and listen in order to become informed.

To me, they aren’t to be called lying and untrustworthy and they are certainly not an enemy of the people.  For me the enemy is the lying, the hate, the constant bickering and back-stabbing, the calling people names, the division, no democracy, no freedom, and the unwillingness to listen to someone else’s opinion.

Let me quickly say that I am biased in favor of journalists and reporters and those in the news.  I don’t agree with everything they write, say, or do.  But, I have a degree in journalism, had a career in it, and still write.  So, it is something I will continue to fight for and speak in favor of.  I do question and think about what I am reading and hearing and hope that you will do the same.

And, regarding the constitution.  Let’s remember these men who wrote this amazing document came from England and other countries where lifetime monarchies ruled.  They didn’t want that for the new world.  So, they created three equal but separate branches of government so no one could reign supreme.  The executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch all are important to our democracy and our freedom.

They also realized, as mentioned in Hamilton: The Musical, that the President should only have a certain amount of years to serve.  The song, “One Last Time” discusses the fact the President must step down and have another President elected.  Also, that the country has to have a transition of power and the ability to move on.

Another song in this amazing musical states that winning is easy, governing is much harder.  We can see that at work right now.  Trying to come to a consensus of something that will help and benefit all citizens is very hard and often seems to not be important.  I just wish that more would listen to each other to learn and see another side of issues.

My hope and prayer is that those in Congress can find a way to work together and to work with the President to do what is truly best for all citizens.  I am not sure how that is possible, but I am hopeful that it can and will happen.  And, there are elections coming up again where we can vote and have our voices heard.

As I have mentioned before in other blogs, I have never liked being told what to think, what to believe or how to live my life.  So, I will continue to ask questions, pray earnestly and continuously, and search for answers.  In other words, I will not be ignorant.  How about you?

Kindness Does Matter

DSC00725This week, I have woken up in the middle of the night with thoughts and worries.  Much has been on my mind since so much has changed so quickly.  It is making my head spin.  I have also been thinking about the fact that our society is now so rude and no longer tolerant of those who don’t agree with us.

Contrary to what is seen on social media now and on television, kindness and respect matter.  Differences of opinion without being threatened matter.  A free press and chance to speak out matter.  Our constitution and promise that all men are created equal matter.  Helping each other and loving our fellow men and women matter.

When did it happen that these things no longer matter?  I don’t remember but it is on full display now.  And, it is so ugly. This way of thinking has been brewing and building for a long time and sadly has continued.  It is from all sides of the issues.  We can do better than this.  We must do better than this for our children and for each other.

I had the amazing opportunity of growing up in a diverse family.  We all didn’t think alike, believe alike, love alike, talk alike, or act alike.  You know what?  It didn’t matter since we still loved each other.  We were family and that mattered more than our differences.  Not to say there weren’t heated arguments and hurt feelings because there were.

The difference was and still is that we have apologized, tried to repair the relationship, and worked on healing.  We listened to each other in order to learn where each other was coming from.  We took the time to find out another side of an argument.  And most importantly we didn’t try to shame one another into believing as we did.  That skill seems to be gone today.

Instead we are on edge before a conversation even starts.  Instead both those on the left and those on the right are trying to one up each other and scream at each other that the other’s belief is wrong.  Is that how we’d want children to act?  Would we put up with it from them?  If not, why are we with each other?  I just don’t understand.

How will things change and improve for our entire country and all of our citizens if we can’t even have a debate without yelling and screaming at each other and calling one another names?  I wasn’t allowed to do that as a child and my husband and I don’t want our son to do that either.  Yet, many adults do so each day.

Another thing that concerns me and that is hard to explain to our son is all of the blatant and outright lies being told by people in leadership and those speaking for them.  That too has been going on for far too long and needs to stop.  As I told someone yesterday, I don’t like lying from any side and never have.

And, just because someone says something over and over and over again doesn’t make it true.  Facts are facts.  We may not like them but by their definition, that is what they are.  I don’t understand why people seem to not understand that and believe the lies as truths.  That has not made sense to me for a long, long time.

I also think that blind devotion in anything can be dangerous.  I think that we should ask questions, we should investigate, we should learn, we should discern, and we should pray and/or meditate.  We shouldn’t be told how to think or what to think.

I told our son something this week I never thought I would say, “Just because you hear an adult say something doesn’t make it true.  Mom and Dad will talk with you about any and all questions that you have and things you don’t understand.”  As he gets older, he will have to discern for himself.

I just hope and pray that we have taught him enough about morals, ethics, kindness, love, forgiveness, empathy, and tolerance that he can stand on his own two feet.  And, to standup for what he believes in without tearing someone else down.  We still have so much to teach as well as to learn from him.  Isn’t that an amazing blessing?

There is so much more I could write about and probably will in the coming days.  Until then, I will keep praying, studying, watching, listening, and discerning what I see, read, and hear.  My prayer is that you too will do the same.

I will continue to work with my husband in teaching our son the values that we hold dear, whether or not society does the same.  My prayer is that you practice kindness today as I will also try to do. May we always remember to love and be kind instead of to hate.