Warning – there may be some politics and controversy in this piece
I have not published much lately, and not because of a lack of ideas, but but because I have been unable to resolve my ever present conflict about any ideas I have. That is – just because I have thoughts or opinions on a topic, any topic, that does not automatically infer that I have the right to make those thoughts or opinions public.
They may not deserve to be public for a few reasons such as;
- they may be personal and not something I want to share in great discourse.
- They may be not fully developed and I may not have all the facts.
- Or I do not feel that by me airing them publicly that it will add to the discussion, or improve the public domain.
I mean, there have certainly been plenty of things to blog about – guns, shootings and the LGBTI community….the political debate that has raged on in America (Hillary/ Trump/ Gun control), the political debate that has raged on in Britain (Brexit) and the political debate that is happening in Australia.
Not to mention funny and amazing things that my boys have been up to, that the dogs have been up to, that I have been up to or that I have been sick for 3 weeks with back to back viruses, that has played havoc with my vertigo ( hence making it damn near impossible to sit at any screen and type) and has completely floored me. I am back at work, but still recovering.
I have had heaps of things to say, just not sure that I can justify needing to air them in public.
The shooting in Orlando is a key example. I have my opinion about guns, their use, restrictions. If anyone asks, I am happy to converse about it.
Nobody has asked.
Certainly my Facebook feed has filled with pro-gun this and anti-gun that. All one sided propaganda, and it is so one sided that it completely deters someone like me from discussion. I was having a wonderful discussion with an American who is a member of the NRA and although we disagreed on some (not all – are you surprised?) points, we both learned some things from each other – which is the whole bloody point!
Now my feed is filling with people who voted in the British referendum to stay or leave the EU. And many of these people are now saying that they were not sure what they were voting for and if they knew they would have voted differently.
Do you know what caused this?
A lack of ability to discuss things. To discuss or converse to drill deeper than the headline, into the motivating factors, and underlying causes and to truly gain an understanding of things so that you can grasp the concepts that are essential.
A good example of this is:
Imagine your child or life partner and the relationship you have with them.
Now sum that relationship up in a 5-7 word headline.
Does that encompass everything about your relationship? Does it explain why you and your partner laugh at something that is sounds horrendous but has become a private joke between you? Does it allow an outsider to understand why you allow your child leeway on certain things but other things are non negotiable, even though to the outsider it seems counter intuitive?
Will one blog piece or article explain it sufficiently?
Well, now apply that perspective to anything else that matters to you in your life.
And extrapolate it out to include political interests like election policy.
When I was younger I hated pit bull dogs. I believed the media. They were trained killers, born bad, murderous dogs owned by criminals and thugs.
I have since discussed this multiple times with people on both sides of the fence, I have watched documentaries, read articles, and wherever possible, met dogs and gotten to watch them play and act and be, I have asked more questions and always been skeptical of one sided arguments. I know now that dogs are not inherently bad. They, like people can have certain traits, characteristics and certainly an entire breed of dogs should be maligned because of what a few get up to in the hands of humans.
(If this was another type of blog post, I could easily and happily insert ‘humans’ instead of ‘pit bulls’ into that paragraph…but that is for another day.)
What am I actually blogging about?
I guess I am blogging about being skeptical
2.PHILOSOPHYrelating to the theory that certain knowledge is impossible.
Do not believe propaganda – whether it be for or against. If something is against or for an entire group of people – whether it be Muslims, white Australians, soldiers, etc – then examine it further. If something seeks to enrage you with a grabby headline – look into its source.
It is your responsibility to look into things, to see if what someone is telling you could possibly be motivated by fear, or ignorance, or laziness. i do not mean that you should believe the exact opposite of whatever you are being told – just assume that there are layers or motivating factors you may not be aware of. hell, most people put more effort into finding out the pros and cons of what vehicle they will buy, or what food they will eat then they do about the big issues.
Hell, you can apply this to individuals – not everyone is an asshole, maybe they are just having a bad day today and you unintentionally copped it.
Anyway, as you go to vote this weekend in the Australian Election – make sure you have read past the headline on whatever policies you have strong feelings for or against. Then make an informed decision.