I’ll start with a little confession.
Shortly after moving into the neighborhood, my husband and I took Quinn for a walk. (That’s not the confession.)
On our walk, we saw a sign similar to this in a neighbor’s yard:
Now we had not yet met this neighbor, but that did not prevent me from making several assumptions.
It did not take all that long to discover at least one of my assumptions was wrong, as this neighbor did indeed have a dog. (Actually two dogs.)
I made this discovery when the dogs ran down the driveway and onto the road, barking at us as we walked by.
In the weeks that followed, I would see the dogs marking their territory in our yard when the neighbor took them for a walk.
When one of the two signs below appeared in our neighbor’s yard, my reaction was…
And then I may, or may not have, called him a few names. (None of which were flattering.)
Fast forward a bit.
One day, when my husband and I were visiting our youngest, we took Quinn for a walk in her neighborhood.
And guess what was in her neighbor’s yard?
Yep. That’s right.
The other political sign…plus this one:
My reaction was not ‘figures’.
So there you have it.
Two similarly purposed signs in each yard.
- Vote for!
- Keep your dog and its poop off my yard!
And two completely different reactions by yours truly.
(Now that’s my confession.)
My bias was clearly clouding (haha…clearly clouding) my perception.
A common test taking strategy (stick with me here…I am not digressing…promise.) is to dismiss multiple choice answers containing absolute words such as ALL or EVERYONE.
I’m thinking this advice would also be beneficial in the real world, as there is an inherent danger in making absolute statements about groups of people.
I recently read ‘an open letter’ to a specific group of people. The letter was filled with ‘you’ statements directed at the group. This troubled me for several reasons: one, the assumption that everyone within the group had the same story. (They don’t.) And two, the presumption that belonging to a specific group signifies your morals and values. (It doesn’t.)
See where I am going here? Remember the ALL or EVERYONE thing? That’s where I am going here.
If I told you who the letter was addressed to, would it affect your reaction? Would you have been angered if ‘the who’ was a group you identified with? Would you have been supportive if ‘the who’ wasn’t?
If we desire a humane world, we need to acknowledge and understand individual stories. If we can’t do that, it’s going to be difficult to develop the empathy needed to find solutions to the problems we face.
Whether or not we agree with each other isn’t the issue. Being respectful regardless of our differences is.
An atmosphere of antagonism and enmity won’t produce peace.
So what can we do?
Begin with yourself. The only person you have control over is you. You cannot change how another person acts or thinks or speaks. Frustrating, but true. Pointing out the faults of others is easy. Identifying and correcting your own, not so easy.
Be consistent with your own values and morals by addressing the unfairness and injustices regardless of your affiliations (political, religious, occupational, etc).
Share truth. Is your news source providing factual information? Please, please, please, check your sources. Use this chart to verify your source. I know you may not be surprised to see The National Enquirer contains inaccurate/fabricated info, but you might be surprised by a few others.
Think before speaking. Think before posting. Think before sharing.
- Is it True?
- Is it Helpful?
- Is it Inspiring?
- Is it Necessary?
- Is it Kind?
Something to Eat
by Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping
Gena’s recipes never fail, so I didn’t even hesitate to double the recipe. I made a full size loaf for the hubby and I, and cute little mini loaves to share with others. They taste like fall! Chances are, you have everything you need to make these in your kitchen right now (provided you’ve stocked up on pumpkin puree, like I have).
Something to Watch
The Social Dilemma
You need to watch this documentary. I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable of the dangers of social media, but this documentary had me thinking about aspects I’ve never considered. We are becoming more divided as a nation, and this provided thought provoking insight as to why and how it’s happening. Much of it has to do with your actions on social media. It’s was a bit lengthy, but totally worth the time.
Something to Ponder
…and that’s all she wrote!
Thank you for reading and I hope your weekend provides time for reflection and rejuvenation! Take care and be safe!