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Emotion and Fact – Religion and Politics

I can’t tell you how many times I have told the story. If you know me at all, you may well have heard it.

As a child, I made some decisions about what was “good food” and what was not. Some of the things I concluded were conscious, some subconscious.

When I was a teenager, I took a “full time” job as a “kitchen manager” in a pizza restaurant (though the title more or less describes that for which I was responsible, I by no means carried it “on the resumé.”).

The man for whom I worked was a foreigner to the country in which we lived at the time (as was I). He had resources (some his own, and some just a function of the place in which we resided) that allowed him to have access to a number of foodstuffs that made his pizza very good indeed.

As an example, we worked very near a Greek “grocery store and delicatessen.” That entity had black olives that were imported directly from Greece. To make things better, they were not subject to the same sort of import restrictions that are in place around much of the Globe today.

Initially, I not only disliked those olives, but I thought that I actually hated them. In the course of time, I began to understand the concept of an “acquired taste.” Ultimately, I came to the conclusion I very much liked them (probably far more than I should have).

This was one of a few experiences that set me on the road to reexamining the things I had decided were among the things I cared to eat and what not.

My willingness to try things I had written off made it so I realized there were items I had previously called “not food,” or at least not good food, thatwere between somewhat edible, and delicious.

About now, you may be wondering what this has to do with emotion and fact. Simply put, my dislikes where sustenance was concerned, were largely a matter of decisions on my part that were essentially emotional (no fact involved). I decided something wasn’t “good.”  I sold myself on that “reality.” I acted in accordance with how I made myself feel.

This was not the only way in which I allowed emotion (read here, “feelings”) to rule my existence.

I was the quintessential “rebel without a cause.” So true was this that I was often a “rebel without a clue.”

Making this worse, I was (and remain to this day) excellent at arguing.

One of the important aspects of being a “directionless mercenary,” is that you’re more likely than not, to respond and react based on how you feel regardless of what’s real and true.

To make matters worse, my instincts were generally good. That means, often I would appear to be correct (or even be so) without having a solid basis for what I was supporting. That may not seem bad, but if it did nothing else problematic, it caused people to question whether it was reasonable to support the things for which I argued if they took any kind of serious look at my “logic” (or lack thereof).

I continued to act largely based on my feelings, well into my young adulthood.

The result was that I came to a series of conclusions that were sometimes correct, sometimes somewhat wong, and sometimes entirely errant. Even when I was correct though, when I made my decision or came to my conclusion based on my “gut feelings,” I was at best unable to truly support the conclusions to which I came.

This was just a part of the issue. I came to accept some things as truth that most definitely were not. For example, I thought that people were “doing me wrong” in ways they definitely weren’t. It seemed easier than accepting responsibility for who and what I had become (or refused to become).

The truth is though, because I held ideas and ideals with regard to who I was, had been, or could be, that were broken,  I was wholly unable to improve myself, to make myself better.

I’m not “totally over that.” It’s a work in progress. Still, the fact that I generally no longer allow emotion to “rule my roost,” means that I can objectively evaluate my performance and act somewhat more appropriately, particularly when I find issues in what I’m doing. This makes it possible for me to accept my (obvious) culpability in my own situation. Once that happens, I can take appropriate remedial actions.

I also began to realize that I was accepting what people said as reasonable and correct, when just a little research made it clear they were lying to my face. One of the places I now find this to be quite common, is in what media (almost as a whole) and the “status quo” advance as their perspectives and agendas.

One of the few good things about my childhood is, because I grew up being contrary (arguing a lot and about not much of anything), I became able to weather the storms that come along with not thinking like everyone else.

By way of example, people tend to not be interested in befriending you, among many other things. The result of this is that, when I began to realize that many folks were telling me stories, it wasn’t too great a stretch to refuse their “sagacity,” and think for myself, resultant acts on their collective parts aside.

The next step in my journey, was to start to work to “clue others in on” what was happening in the society around them. That’s what articles like this are intended to do.

The first thing one must do if he or she wishes to take control of his or her life and mind, is to cease the assumption that others will be forthright. Too many people have “axes to grind” and grind them they will. Stop hearing what people say (even people you think you can respect and believe). Start doing “due diligence.” Start questioning the rectitude of those around you (all quarters). Begin to make a practice of assuming you must do the research.

I hope you find this advice useful.

Thanks for reading and may your time be good.

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Business For LinkedIn Health and Fitness Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Rashness – Religion and Politics

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

– James 1 (KJV), Bible

Rashness – Acting or tending to act too hastily or without due consideration. – Dictionary.com

Of all people I expect to understand the above admonition, someone serving in the office of Pastor, Preacher, Priest, Reverend or similar, would be at the top of the list.

The sad truth though, is this is anything but reality.

By way of example I was on social media today, and unwisely clicked on a link where a pastor was allowing as how he “Walked out on” the mayor of his city because the aforementioned referred to him (and others) as being, “You people.”

In this particular case, the pastor in question happened to be of African family (at least sufficiently so to be “identifiable as such” in his video).

The problem? I’m quite sure he assumed the mayor in question was making his comment with regard to Americans of African heritage. What did the mayor have in mind when he made the statement in question? I have no idea.

The pastor was sure he knew. Yet when I consider the position of the mayor, I’m far from sure he did.

Is it possible the pastor’s assessment was correct? Certainly! Will the pastor ever know? Assuredly not!

The pastor apparently chose—instead of asking what the mayor “meant by” his statement, or listening to what  more the mayor had to say—to walk out on the meeting and make a video that he hoped would “go viral” instead.

There are those who believe it’s never appropriate to group folks together. I disagree with those individuals.

Fact is, when you have a group of people who tell you more or less exactly the same thing, it’s entirely reasonable to conglomerate those folks together as a result of that belief or statement.

You have to be careful, since it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming that because they’re kindred in some regard, they will share other perspectives or ideals as well. This is obviously a misconception. It may even prove itself to be largely accurate, but even so, it’s not fair to say it was reasonable to presuppose its truth as a rule.

That having been said, were I a betting man, it would be my wager that the mayor in this case, was talking about people who shared the same belief of beliefs, not “people of color” generically.

I count myself Conservative in my views, and folks of my ilk (read here, “you people”) are routinely demonized for our lack of tolerance and acceptance of folks of a variety of types.

If you haven’t heard the things of which we’re accused, I have to ask whether you’re a space alien, or living under a rock. I know, I know, Liberal folks have similar issues—that is, being accused of all having the exact same set of core beliefs of one sort or another, a thing which is obviously not the case.

Here’s the thing, where my primary “hero” is a Jew, name of Jesus (called Christ),  I have a number of folks I look up to, who are African by family. There are some I respect, but with whom I don’t agree (Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Barak Obama). There are some I respect, but who I feel have some “growing to do” (Mia Love, Candace Owens). There are some I agree with in some ways and don’t in others (Dr Ben Carson, Bill Cosby, Dr Martin Luther King JR). And a few who I agree with relatively completely (Walter E Williams, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Allen West). These individuals are in groups that are completely unrelated to their supposed “race.”

This is equally true for folks for who I have little respect, or like very little (Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton). I dislike them not based on the “color of their skin,” nor their familial origin, but because of what they support and represent.

I could easily go into detail on any one of the persons mentioned herein, but  haven’t the time to do so in this article.

The point here is, my allegiances, my agreements and disagreements are not based on skin tone, or from where your family “originated.” Rather, they’re based on what I see them to be saying and doing.

If I had to guess, I would tend to reckon the mayor in question was thinking along the same lines when he said what he said.

I would go so far as to say, I would be surprised to hear that he didn’t “lump” people of African family in with folks who believed likewise to them, but were of European or Asian (or other) lineage.

If this is indeed the case, I think it reasonable to assume that his “grouping” was on some basis other than “race.”

Were I to attempt to divine what the basis of is grouping was, it would be the ideas and ideals the folks in question support in an ongoing way.

The ultimate point is, the assumption that the pastor mentioned at the beginning of this article was making was almost certainly false. Further, that supposition was—intentionally or not—almost certainly “racist” (inasmuch as I can support the use of the term at all, which isn’t very far).

And the fact is, if I’m correct about the mayor being considered, since his statements were almost certainly based on ideas and ideals, not color of skin or ethnic origin, his statements almost certainly were not “racist.”

But my bigger concern is the apparent rashness with which the pastor passed judgment on the mayor.

Yet again, out of any person on the face of the Planet, the one I would expect to be least likely to be rash, would be a Christian “authority.” This is yet more true if that person is one who is likely to be treated badly on basis that presuppose things that aren’t necessarily true, based on their “race.” This too, is inappropriately “rash.”

So, putting a point on what I’m saying, people need to come to a place where they refuse to support a “position of rashness” in any but a very few (usually emergent) situations.

As usual, may your time be good, and thanks for reading.