“The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.”
As I am sure most of you know, especially those of you who are on my Global Issues mailing list, I have become very concerned about how many of us have become intellectually lazy. Not you of course, it is those other guys, you know the ones, the people who leave their thinking to someone else and once they pick someone to listen to they just adopt the other persons thoughts and conclusions as their own and go merrily on their way. Thank goodness you devote the time to learn all you can from the facts and do not listen to only rumor and innuendo. Today as I started the daily I remembered I had written something four years ago that I believe applies today. Here is what I said at the time.
I know we have talked before about how things look different depending on where you stand. Lately it seems that many of us can look at the same thing and see something very different. As an example we both could be looking at a field and one of us sees wild flowers and the other sees weeds. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just the way things are. My problem is that many of us perceive what we see as an absolute representation, and anything else is false. If you are like I am you are getting all kinds of e-mail containing information that is represented to be the total and absolute truth, most of the time it is being sent to justify one position or the other. It also seems that once many of the authors decide that their perception is unquestionably the truth they spend the rest of their time defending their position with no consideration of another’s view. It is even worse when they close their mind and see no need to reexamine whatever it is to see what they might have missed.
I am beginning to believe that our perceptions are often a reflection of what we want to see or hear. I don’t know if our unwillingness to spend time learning what another perceives in order to get another point of view is due to laziness or prejudice. I just wish that we used some of the energy we put into defending a position into reexamination and revalidation of our beliefs. I suggest we would be well served if we stop once in awhile and ask ourselves if we knew more would we be willing to change our minds. I don’t know about you but in my experience the best and brightest often change or modify their beliefs as they seek to accurately see what is going on. The recognition of reality that results in changing our mind is a strength, the change is not a weakness. If nothing else we should at least respect the others view and not try to force ours on them.
Life is not a game where we win by making sure the other guy loses. It is a journey that we all take together, it is when we learn what we can from each other that we have the best chance to make progress.
No matter what you believe, it doesn’t change the facts.
She said: My husband and I were at a restaurant with his boss, a rather stern older man. When my husband began a story, which I was sure he had told before, I gave him a kick under the table.
There was no response, so I gave him another poke. Still the story went on. Suddenly, he stopped, grinned and said, "Oh, but I’ve told you this one before, haven’t I?"
We all chuckled and changed the subject. Later, on the dance floor, I asked my husband why it had taken him so long to get my message.
"What do you mean?" he replied. "I cut the story off as soon as you kicked me."
"But I kicked you twice and it still took you awhile to stop!"
Suddenly, we realized what had happened. Sheepishly, we returned to our table. His boss smiled and said, "Don’t worry. After the second one, I figured it wasn’t for me, so I passed it along."
There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.
A drunken cowboy lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh Amarillo Theater. When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the cowboy, "Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat."
The cowboy groaned but didn’t budge. The usher became more impatient: "Sir, if you don’t get up from there I’m going to have to call the manager."
Once again, the cowboy just groaned. The usher marched briskly back up the aisle, and in a moment he returned with the manager. Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move the cowboy, but with no success.
Finally they summoned the police. The Texas Ranger surveyed the situation briefly then asked, "All right buddy what’s your name?"
"Fred," the cowboy moaned.
"Where ya from, Fred?" asked the Ranger.
With terrible pain in his voice, and without moving a muscle, Fred replied,
It’s when you run away that you’re most liable to stumble.
A READER’S GUIDE
1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country – if they could find the time, and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.
10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country, or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.
11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
A sales representative stops at a small manufacturing plant in the Midwest. He presents a box of cigars to the manager as a gift.
"No, thanks," says the manager. "I tried smoking a cigar once and I didn’t like it."
The sales rep shows his display case and then, hoping to clinch a sale, offers to take the manager out for martinis.
"No, thanks," the plant manager replies. "I tried alcohol once, but didn’t like it."
Then the salesman glances out the office window and sees a golf course. "I suppose you play golf," says the salesman. "I’d like to invite you to be a guest at my club."
"No, thanks," the manager says. "I played golf once, but I didn’t like it." Just then a young man enters the office. "Let me introduce my son, Bill," says the plant manager.
"Let me guess," the salesman replies. "An only child?"
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
John F. Kennedy
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.