I’m very confused…

I have to say that I have watched more news this year than I have watched in my entire life.

Interesting stuff.

Never before has it been so obvious to me that the television, cable and internet “waves” are not as much for our entertainment as they are at swaying public opinion and driving sales of widgets, soap, music, movies and agendas.

Seems to me that it used to be better hidden.

All out in the open now.

Everyone is required to be “up in arms” about something each and every day in order to feel as if they are part of the global conversation.

Trouble is that most people only seek out and listen to opinions and view that align or support their own views and opinions.

In fact… the search engines and algorithms and genius bars and blah, blah, blah are specifically designed to track our “clicks’ and therefore “interests” and then, after a short period of time, only suggest things that support our current beliefs.

Let me explain: When you buy a certain song on iTunes a little bubble pops up and says “If you like that song… you may like this song!” It makes a suggestion and is often right on the money.

With music… that’s pretty cool.

Movies too… maybe.

I think that same process is going on behind the news and articles we click on but without the little suggestive bubble.

So… if we only surround ourselves with ideas, notions, opinions and headlines that support what we already believe we believe and think we know…

…What happened to discovery? Where is the joy in stumbling on a new idea, a new perspective, a fresh and often challenging opinion.

By the way… offending someone is not against the law. Having an opinion that differs from your spouse, best friend or a stranger on the street is no grounds for a lawsuit or a change in public or national policy.

There is no constitutional protection against being offended even though there are those, in the name of tolerance, who seem to think there is or should be.

“If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s intolerance!”

I actually heard someone say that. But I digress…

I’m confused about the belief that erasing, ignoring or rewriting the truth about what we had for breakfast this morning or where we went to school or what our parents, or uncles or great grandmothers did in their spare time can possibly change what we actually had for breakfast or what our family tree was involved in.

My dad played the guitar and my mother loved to color with markers.

I play the guitar and fancy myself an artist because of my history. Their history.

My family, and I suspect your family as well, also includes some traits I’d rather not have and rather not pass on to my children.

I am aware of the good and the bad in my family because we recognized it through the generations. We talked about the good stuff and the bad stuff. We nourished the things we wanted to continue with and discussed the repercussions of furthering the bad stuff.

We did not pretend that the disagreeable stuff didn’t happen.

By the way… we also didn’t always agree on what was actually “disagreeable.” We don’t have to agree on everything.

Here’s a BIG notion: Everyone is entitled to their opinion. There is no such thing as a wrong… or right… opinion. There’s only “popular” and “unpopular” opinions.

Curtailing someone’s freedom of speech is, at the same time, curtailing someone else’s freedom of hearing.

Ponder that one for a moment…………

I love history. I love people who fight for what they believe in. People are willing, and have always been, willing to die for what they believe in. People will never be willing to do so for what someone else believes in.

Life is an individual exercise done in a group. We are born an individual unit. We die as an individual unit. If we are lucky we have another individual unit to share the ride with but we don’t have to agree with that other individual unit in order to love them. In fact… I will go as far as saying that some of the things we love most in those we love are the points where they differ from us rather than where we are the same.

“If two of us are the same… One of us is unnecessary.”

Let’s leave our history alone so we can learn, both good and bad, from it.

Let’s not pretend we had an egg white omelet this morning if we actually had French Toast.

“Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it.”

Still confused but not calling a lawyer!

I’ve got cool stuff at the store. Come check it out HERE.

John Schneider