I’ve chosen not to make my blog a political blog – just seems like it would get me into trouble. I would rather use this forum to talk about our lives as a family. But, the name of my blog is Considering the Options; daily decisions that change our lives. And I think we as Americans are making some daily decisions that are changing lives – our own and those around us. I think we all need to consider our options a little more carefully.
I have to say, enough already! Today, just days after the horrific shooting in Tucson, the rhetoric in the media and blog land has pushed me to speak up. In the last 24 hours I have heard countless individuals and media figures analyzing every word that Sarah Palin uttered in her videotaped response to the shootings. Her comments are being broken down syllable by syllable, delving into the meaning of every one of them. Analyzing the “true” meaning of the phrase. The video is played again and again in 15 second segments. Everyone has an interpretation of what she was “really saying”.
She is not alone in facing relentless criticism. The airwaves are flooded today with commentary on President Obama’s “performance” last night. From his smile to his tone of voice to his body language. Every minute detail is being scrutinized. And opinions abound about the intentions driving every gesture and word. Nothing went unnoticed and noone hesitates to offer their commentary.
I did not watch Palin’s video in its entirety, nor did I watch the President’s entire speech. Sometimes I feel the need to tune out of the craziness – to shut it all out. I suspect the vast majority of people, even some of those who are waxing poetic about the language and demeanor, didn’t watch them either. And yet, everyone has an opinion about how wrong they both were.
I find it much like the way lots of folks read the Bible. They pull small phrases, words, very short passages and use them as the basis of their faith and understanding. If you try hard enough, you could probably find words in the Bible to support any thought, ideology or belief. But you would be wrong. The Bible is one book, with many authors. You must read it in its entirety to understand it. Reading one verse in the Old Testament won’t give you an understanding of the Bible. It may make an argument for you, or seemingly justify your behavior. You can pull one phrase to support radical beliefs or to make your argument that the Bible is not relevant today. But you would be missing the point. All the books and chapters in the Bible were included for a reason. As a collective they tell the story of my God and His people.
When we pick and choose what we want to hear, we lose the meaning. Our super-focus leads us astray.
What if, we all just took a step back? What would happen if we would listen, truly listen to the message? What if we all seek to understand where someone is coming from? Maybe, just maybe we could begin to move toward a place of collaboration. A place where we work together to find solutions to the truly challenging issues that our country is facing today. What if we brought passionate people, those with expertise, and problems solvers together at the table? What if they brainstormed creative, innovative solutions to the challenges we face?
Oh the places we could go, the problems we could solve. If only we could understand.