Skip to main content

Civilized Discussions

I listened to a Ted Talk yesterday that explained how the media has begun to cater to our individual preferences without most of us even being aware of it. I found this a little bit horrifying because I believe that for progress to me made in the world we absolutely must understand the perspectives of people who are different from us. According to the information that the speaker I watched presented, even on social media sites, what we actually see scrolling in front of us, is what the system thinks that we want to see the most. How can we possibly develop an understanding of things that we don’t know about, if the system is choosing to present us with things that we already know about, and probably agree with? It is very scary.

I have a really eclectic collection of friends and family…I could call it a menagerie of sorts. From people with vastly different political views from my own, to people who have vastly different religious beliefs, to people who have completely differing opinions about social responsibility from those that I have…these people are all my friends. I do not want to be surrounded by a bunch of people who share my exact same ideas and beliefs, if I were I would never ever grow, and in my opinion I would probably regress.

It is convenient for the media to devise news that will keep us happily glued to our television sets. The news media is remarkably successful at providing us with twenty-four hours of news every day, specifically crafted to our preferences. The ads that we see on our computers are perfectly designed to sell exactly the things we are looking to buy. This is why an ad for a Louis Viton bag has never, ever appeared on my computer screen. So how far do we have to leap to come to the conclusion that we are being sold the news that we want to hear in the same way that we are being sold toothpaste?

If there is never any conflict, never any healthy disagreement, never any clashing of opinions; then we will all turn into the consuming automatons that industry (which has currently taken over our government) would like for us to become. One of the best things that we can all do for our own communities is to seek to meet new people with differing views from our own and to engage with them in civilized discussions. We should especially do this in front of our children and other young people so that they learn how this is done, and learn how it is done correctly. Civilized discussion excludes insults and labeling, and it embraces the explanation of personal experience. There has been no better time in the world to engage in healthy discussion than today, because today we have a world of information at our fingertips. Misinformation no longer needs to be tolerated in an intelligent argument because everything can be googled in an instant.

I urge everyone to engage in civilized discussions, and even though I know that it can become terribly messy, I also urge people to do it online. I know many people who have vowed never ever to get in another social discussion online after they were involved in one where things got a little messy. I think that this is a shame. I think that it is important that those of us capable of discussing hot button issues amongst people we do not know, while still respecting each and every individual involved, desperately need to keep doing so. It sets a good example for other people and it keeps people thinking, and engaged in healthy arguments. I am involved in one as I am writing this as a matter of fact. I think that it is worth the risk to take the chance that someone will get angry and say something rude, as long as I myself am doing a good job of being consciously respectful of the beliefs and opinions of everyone involved. It makes a difference.


Popular posts from this blog

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.
1.There is a big difference between a roach and a palmetto bug. Real roaches are the guys from New York. They infest, they are spooky smart, they are dirty and nasty, and you have to work really hard to get rid of them. Palmetto bugs however, are big and creepy and dumb. You usually see them outside at night and they will fly right at your face. They don’t infest because they are native and they can’t survive in our AC temps. 2.Every public indoor place will always be frigid. Most of your friend’s houses will be as well. I take a sweater with me almost everywhere that I go, and if I forget to I regret it. 3.Outside of weather emergencies, weathermen are superfluous. In the rainy season, which is most of the time, there is an eighty percent chance of rain, every single day. The weather man has no idea what time it will rain, how hard, or for how long, and there is no way for him to predict it. You just have to go out there with your fingers cr…

The Power Of Willful Ignorance

I watched a woman say these words in a speech a few moments ago and nothing could be more true...willful ignorance is insanely powerful. Willful ignorance is the reason that good German people allowed their neighbors to be dragged off by the Nazis in the middle of the night. It is the reason that American people choose to believe our homeless are lazy and irresponsible instead of facing the reality that their situations have arisen because of widespread mental illness and cooperate greed. It is the reason that you will pick up a steak on your way home from work tonight, not bothering to find out where it came from, because you just don’t want to know. The truth is too disgusting.
I have gone on about the meat industry quite a bit and my goal here is not to do that. I love to eat meat, I will state that again, but the example that comes from our consumption of factory meat is so powerful when it comes to explaining willful ignorance that I want to use it. Out of ALL of the many, many,…

Resolve to be Happy

1. Stay In

2. Read Books

3. Let it go to Voice Mail

4. Write a Letter

5. Dance

6. Invest in Mood Lighting

7. Have Dinner with Friends 

8. Take Walks

9. Bake

10. Breathe Deeply

11. Enjoy your Morning Coffee

12. Play Board Games

13. Hug your Pillows

14. Adopt a New Ritual

15. Look Around

16. Give a Gift

17. Happy Cry

18. Smile at Strangers

19. Cuddle

20. Savor Small Portions

21. Stretch

22. Take Pictures

23. Use Profanity Freely

24. Give Hugs

25. Listen Carefully

26. Beautify your Space

27. Share your Favorite Movie 

28. Laugh Generously

29. Accept Gifts Gratefully 

30. Give Thanks