Sunday, September 15, 2019

Criticism Witticism Culture

A  L  O  H  A !
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain 
but it takes character and self-control to be 
understanding and forgiving.
                 Dale Carnegie

The pleasure of criticizing takes away from us 
the pleasure of being moved 
by some very fine things. 
                 Jean de La Bruyère

It is much more valuable to look 
for the strength in others. 
You can gain nothing by 
criticizing their imperfections.
                       Daisaku Ikeda

If we judge ourselves only 
by our aspirations and 
everyone else only 
by their conduct 
we shall soon reach a 
very false conclusion.
 Calvin Coolidge


"Whatever is good, right, beautiful:
Think on THESE things."

The flavor of our whole culture now
is criticism, derision, winning.

Lincoln famously said, that he
defeats an enemy by making
that person a friend instead.
Today, we are too busy making
snap judgements about others
based on what "side" we perceive
them to be on. Then we trash
them, or invite them to trash
the "other side" together!

Even a minor mistake
by a person providing a 
service to us becomes occasion
for stinging reviews and
outraged posts on social media.
I care more about the "deficient"
worker, and what they may be 
going through in their day, instead. 
Silly me!
People are under enormous
pressure today and need a little
slack more than they need
complaints and judgement.
Patience is a virtue 
that pays dividends, for
you, for the other person,
for society!

I have tried to explore
what motivates BOTH sides 
of an argument, and been
vilified in rather extreme terms.
I assure you, I am NOT
the problem with society because
I try to understand the germ of
emotional truth in even the most detestable
point of view. We have lost our ability
to reason, to discuss and to care it seems.

At root, hatred
and xenophobia are aroused
by fear of change. Immediately
labeling someone racist,
instead of exposing them kindly to
other points of view,
is not noble or effective
in creating consensus.

We all experience how angry,
divisive, narrow and motivated 
"conservatives" can be. BUT
frankly, progressives
have "frightened the horses"
too long by focusing on the 
NEXT group or issue that 
needs rescue, while completely
ignoring the base of the party,
the mass of this country:
working class people in an
increasingly winner-takes-all
system that devalues their
skills and needs. Those people
respond to main street solutions,
NOT arguments over who is a racist,
Israel bashing, and lawsuits 
about cakes and bathrooms!

Add to the mix, skilled, ambitious
communicators - whole networks of them -
whose aim is to arouse
passion by playing psychologically on 
the fears of viewers,  gain eyeballs
for sponsors, and votes for their 
preferred party, under the guise of
balance. All while attacking
and undermining real news
organizations of ethics and
the journalistic skills to label
Facts clearly from Opinion.

Today EVERYTHING is opinion
based on gut emotion and
the full play of cultivated
bias and blind spots.

Everything today is 
a conspiracy panic;
Sign of a sick civic culture;
Shown also in the undeniable
rise of antisemitism,
fearmongering, "other-ing"
and the rise of mass violence
in public places.

All while distressing longtime allies
while downplaying real
geopolitical dangers behind
photo-ops with no  agreement
or progress. 

No wonder people are stressed!
Let's take a step back to sanity
for ourselves and for one another.

Let's look for good things to
notice, praise, and share.

Let's be clear-eyed and
pay attention to "Who
What Where" instead of
o the latest alarms and
clever hourly misdirection.

United We Stand.

Divided we are puny critics,
and warring tribes of fools.

I choose Stand! Join us.

Thank YOU,