Posted in Lore

Click HERE for Validation

I was sitting at coffee, eaves-dropping on the table next to me . . . . er, uh . . . I mean . . . minding my own business, when I hear the guy say,

“Nope!  Never had a vacation in 15 years!  Never had a reason to leave home.”

While I sipped my whipped chocolate java goodness, my mind wandered to places I visited years ago.  It’s been a long time since I ventured very far from Minnesota.  Funny how one year can turn into four, and the next thing you know, you’re sitting in a coffee shop telling your buddy you have no reason to leave the comfort of your home

Now, I’m not one to eaves drop.  Well . . . okay . . . I am, and you can read about that here.  But let me be very clear that the guy deserved my eaves-dropping for two reasons.

  1. He was very loud.
  2. While I was enjoying my first sip, he said, “Good morning, how are you?”  Not in a your-eyes-meet-and-its-just-a-polite-thing-to-do sort of way.  He said it in a “Hey, little lady” I-hadn’t-even-glanced-in-his-direction sort of way.  It was awkward.

So yeah, he’s just asking to be overheard . . . and judged.

When I zeroed back in on the conversation, he was telling his friend all about what the people around the world think of Americans.  “They don’t like us,” he said.

Now, this may be true or not.  We’ve all heard people say it.  I’ve also heard people talk about their travels and how nice everyone was to them.  But here’s the thing . . . on what experience was his statement based?

WB11 News At 10 - What's his name?
(Photo credit: NYCArthur)

Is he watching his favorite news channel?  Back in the day,  it didn’t run all day and night.  There was the 5:00 and the 10:00.  They lasted for an hour, and if you only wanted the weather, you knew when to tune in.  How long does it take to report the real stories in a factual manner?  Now we have channels with nothing but news 24/7 and they have to fill in the gaps with personal accounts packed with opinions.  With all these viewpoints being aired, they found it necessary to have not one, but several, different 24-hour news stations to cater to everyone’s perspective.  Presto!  You now have your world views validated every hour of the day without challenge.

English: Newspaper "gone to the Web."
Newspaper “gone to the Web.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fewer people than ever have the newspaper delivered to their door.  When I was a kid, almost every house on my block got the paper.  My parents sat down each day to catch up on current events.  They budgeted time in their morning routine because it was important to them.  Sure, some newspapers lean one way or another, but they only have that one issue a day to interest everyone, so they tend to offer a buffered perspective.

These days our information is digitally delivered on the internet.  And do you know what the internet recommends for you?  Links that it knows you will like based on what you clicked in the past.

 

@brockuniversity Social Media
@brockuniversity Social Media (Photo credit: giulia.forsythe)

It’s all just marketing.  You see, they need to tell us something we agree with.  Because the more people who subscribe, click, follow, like and retweet, the more money they make.  Unfortunately, we are all becoming convinced there is no other valid opinion but our own.

“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.”
— Frank A. Clark

It is sometimes difficult to listen to another point of view; to find out that we may have been wrong — to think we may have spent 15 years sitting in our living room watching t.v. instead of seeing the world.  No one wants to be wrong, but when we are always right, we stop evolving.

Bringing myself out of my thoughts and back to reality, my loud neighbor was now talking about gun control.  He was quoting Archie Bunker who was not only a fictional character, but one who failed to evolve forty years ago.  I couldn’t wait to go home and Google “Archie Bunker on gun control” to educate myself.


I must always stay open to the possibility that I am wrong.  There is a splendid gift in being given the truth.  We need only be open to receiving it.

Please don’t make the mistake of interpreting this post as a political one.  This is about pulling your head of the sand (or wherever you might have it) and seeing all that is around you.  Challenge that which you have always believed.  Listen consciously.  Speak carefully.  Grow deeply.

 

Peace . . .

 

 

Posted in Lore

Trust Me

Trust implies unreserved belief in or reliance upon something or someone.  Do I consider myself a trustworthy person?  I do.  I can keep information told to me in confidence.  I can hold something valuable for someone without hocking it.  I will, to the best of my ability, do something I tell you I will.
 
Why then, can’t I trust myself?  Did it start in childhood?  I showed up unexpectedly ten years after my mom had planned to be done bearing children.  Living in a household of people who always knew better than me, maybe I learned trust was something you put in others.
 
Was it later when my instincts were nullified?  When I was told that creepy men who tried to seduce young girls were just being nice?  When I was told that the kiss on my cheek was nothing more than friendly?
 
Was it going straight from being taken care of by my parents to being taken care of by a husband?  Being told how to think, what to believe?  Certainly it was familiar — like having older siblings, parents, grandparents who always knew better.  I let myself be taken care of.  It was comfortable.
 
I learned through my children’s eyes how to be a trustworthy person.  I still remember the first time my daughter caught me in a white lie.  That is when I learned how to grow strong and be honest toward others.  While I was teaching them it was honorable to follow through with promises, I was proving to myself it was possible.
 
And then the biggest promise of all was broken.  Our family suffered a divorce.  Suddenly, with no formal instruction, I was handed the reins to the rest of my life.  I was one of those women who had never shopped for insurance, never bought a home, never had the oil changed in my car.  I was like a child in a grown-up world.  It was a necessity that I learn a lot in a very short time.
 
With my parents gone, I had no one to trust but myself. I can’t tell you how many times I wished, and still do, that I could ask my mom what to do. There are people in my life who can offer advice, but once my parents passed away there was no one left who would ever have as much invested in my life as me. No one who cared that much. I realized that it was time to invest in me, because no one else is going to. Time to trust in myself.
 
While I will tell anyone who asks, “You can trust me,” I don’t hold that same confidence in myself.  I’ve let myself down.  I’ve lied to myself.  I’ve spent money I told myself I wouldn’t.  I’ve given myself advice on things I know absolutely nothing about.  Experience being the best teacher, I have no business trusting myself.  Trust is not given, but earned.  That takes time.  Yet what I need more than anything right now is to be worthy of trust in myself.