There’s an interesting prompt in another thread. It pertains to the use of ‘sarcasm’. I like that prompt but the person offering it proposed that sarcasm was akin to negativity.
My first thought was “Really? How could something so much fun and humorous be a bastion of negativity?” It was then I realized that the bias of that presentation was just a personal sensibility. No harm, no foul, of course. We’re allowed personal viewpoints. The creepy part is that some people frame their views as absolute, inarguable, truths. Do they believe that or are they just being a bit inartful? It’s hard to tell. I’m not a ‘mind reader’.
That whole thought process made me continue to examine the propensity of human beings to define the ‘world’ according to their personal sensibilities. I think the leadership of the U.S. have on many unfortunate occasions decided to impose American values on other cultures. I believe many times (not all) it came from an altruistic arrogance on the premise that we had found the ‘correct’ course and assumed the role as a ‘teacher’ to all humanity. Well, if countries do that, I’m sure individuals are capable of that approach too. Reagan’s “Shining City on the Hill” speech may have been the best way to ‘teach’… by example. “Because I say so.” is a poorer way to influence others than “Look at how well I’ve done.” As we learn, any lessons we have to offer are clear from our successes or failures. [Our current predicaments are attributable IMHO to an outrageous disregard for our Constitution which had made our prosperous progress possible. When will we (our leadership) learn?]
Expanding the stream of consciousness brought me to the broadest question, “Do we exist to learn or to teach?”
As a self-described ‘student of life’, my tendency is to want to learn. You’ve already noticed that I enjoy asking questions. But there is a ‘teacher’ in each of us too. Especially those who are parents and mentors of children.
I had to laugh during a recent vacation day spent with my granddaughter and a day care friend. We humorously caught on to a theme that developed quickly as we visited. There was a lesson in every topic I proposed! We got to the point when I said something we’d chime, “Here comes the lesson!” LOL
Yes, I wanted to ‘teach’ the kids. But the manner I chose wasn’t at all in the form of a lecture. It could be better described as a series of “Let’s think about that together.” moments. I told stories about difficult situations I had been confronted with in my life then invited them to examine “Why?” I made my decisions and “If?” they would have decided the same. I didn’t impose my values; I showed the kids how I had applied them. A few times, I asked their opinions on whether I may have been wrong. I truly wanted their opinion!
So, I did assume a ‘teaching’ role, but my lessons were to be found in an uncertain ‘testing’ of my values. I had remained primarily a ‘student’. IMHO… if more of us asked questions and perceived ourselves as fellow ‘students’, there would be far fewer righteous judgements (conclusions) made and more questions asked. By reading the comments on the ‘biased’ prompt that I opened with, it appears to me that some ‘adults’ think their roles in this life are primarily as ‘teachers’ of how others should behave. It’s curiously always implied that ‘decency‘ depends on their ‘rules’ too. [I’m starting to imagine that the ubiquitous concerns over “bullying” have given them this authority in their own minds. To that I would ask which mimics ‘bullying’ more? Telling others “How they should behave.” or asking “Why they behave the way they do?”]
It just occurred to me that my interest in writing stories and poems comes directly from my desire to offer my viewpoint for others to consider and learn from for better or worse. They are still free to decide. Freedom is awesome!
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “element.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!
The term “element” means a basic building block that more complicated principles, things, or beings, are built upon. Elements cannot be changed or created. They just ‘are’. You may call them ‘truths’ which are unchanging and undeniable. Human beings are extremely complicated. There are layers of ‘inborn’ traits and then there are experiences which nudge them in multiple directions. In other words, every one of us is unique. When it comes to the current ‘diversity’ mania, it sadly overlooks this ‘truth’. So why all the anxiety over instituting ‘diversity’ everywhere? Well, human beings love to simplify and make conclusions about everything. Actually, the search for the quintessential human ‘elements’ probably is an inborn purpose. Our curious nature drives us to explain everything and to truly explain anything means we need to start at the ‘roots’. There’s a problem though. First, human beings are not meant to nor have the capacity to understand, or even explain, everything. Secondly, many human beings don’t know (or refuse to believe) this. All human beings have what I call “the oops factor”. I don’t care how educated or expert you may believe you are, ALL people make mistakes. Some are small, like forgetting your grocery list, and some are large, like the oft seen headline, “Scientists Baffled”. So why the nearly ‘religious’ reliance on what ‘experts’ say these days? Furthermore, why the vitriolic movement to quell any questioning of ‘experts’? There are likely more reasons than I can ‘see’ but taking my human limitations into consideration, I still think it’s good to offer my viewpoint to the discussion.
The ‘elephant in the room’ at the elemental level of human hubris is the arrogance that accompanies the lack of belief in a Creator. You don’t have to ‘buy’ any specific religious dogma to realize there are unexplainable forces at work. Such forces which human beings are not the commanders of even if they care to label them. Socrates- a fulltime thinker- believed he actually knew ‘nothing’. That realization of his own limitation of full understanding made everything else he said all the more valuable, IMHO. Humility is key. You cannot have humility when you believe YOU are all powerful and all knowing, aka God.
(The concept of ‘perfect‘ as something attainable in ANY human life has also done more harm to human happiness (and many marriages 😉 ) than any other concept, IMHO. I purposefully refrain from using that term… especially around children.)
Those who can repeat the term ‘settled science’ with a straight face certainly need a humility ‘injection’ along with their Covid shot. In our current oversimplified, secular, celebrity ‘worshipping’, culture there’s a tragically low level of humility and an even more tragic reverence for “expert” opinion. Add to that a few generations who had their ‘self-esteem’ artificially inflated and were told that THEY can (and are entitled to) do anything they choose, you get a hopelessly incurious and compliant population. They’re even easier to turn against each other with this empirical mindset. This makes Marxists salivate with glorious expectations.
There’s one ‘truth’ when it comes to Communism, the central element of which is the capture of the minds of people in order to dominate them… Religion must be eliminated. The religious, and or, the ‘thinkers’ who cannot worship the government as “all knowing” because of their own humility, are dangerous to the effort of creating a ‘collective’ of unquestioning serfs.
IMHO- Any society’s measurable freedom is unequivocally linked to the amount of leadership humility and human humility is undeniably linked to the belief in a Creator. That’s why Freedom of Speech and Freedom to Worship are elemental to our country’s prosperity and survival. I’ll defend those two elements any way I can.
Happy Saturday everyone! Embrace your beautiful uniqueness today!
Since so many other online writers have blogs dedicated to their writings, I’ve decided to jump onto the bandwagon. All posts published here will be either fiction or poetry, some new, and some previously published on various places on the Internet. Some of my works are conventional, and some are quirky. All fiction posted here, except for fan fiction, will include the letters "rose" somewhere, as a tribute to my Baba.