July 2011

I have been giving a lot of thought to the concept of political correctness.  I say the concept because I don’t hear the phrase spoken much anymore, and it seems this may be due to the fact that it has literally permeated society.  And, I wonder what it has done, and does, to our ability to be honest and trustful.

I am learning that protecting and caring are not mutually inclusive.  For instance, with my children, I strive to do less of keeping the world from them than supporting their understanding of it.  I don’t see the point in protecting them after the fact from anything to which they’ve been exposed.  I believe we are meant to have the experiences we do and that trying to save my children from their experiences by not addressing the truth of those experiences does not serve them.  If I think for a moment that an experience is “not allowed”, I may shy away from addressing it with my children.

Along these lines, I find that political correctness more often perpetuates the same misunderstanding and intolerance it may have meant to resolve.  If I am told to be a certain way, if the choice is not mine – to be more respectful for instance, am I really more respectful?  I may appear more respectful, but do you really have my respect? 

I can see where political correctness sought to bypass the time necessary to empower people’s choices through awareness, understanding and practice.  Such a process takes time and effort.  By bypassing the opportunity to have people understand and make better choices for themselves, we now have, all too many perhaps, people who have actually become disconnected from how they feel or what they think about things because it “isn’t allowed”, it isn’t “politically correct”.  Being so caught up in the need to appear “politically correct”, prejudices and hatred have been buried into subconscious and reveal themselves in the active polarization of groups and society.

If we cannot be honest with ourselves about how we feel or what we think, how can we be honest with others?  If we cannot be honest with others, how can we possibly work through our differences?  For me, polarization is symptomatic of the need for honesty toward working through real differences.  If we are living a “politically correct” existence, how can we be real and truly make a difference in the world?

Most graciously,

~ Jacqueline

I must reveal that I had a serious lack of appreciation for the conspiracy theories spun by Glenn Beck.  It occurs to me, though, that he might have generally been on to something.

I read, years ago, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup.  One of many observations and recommendations she shared was to “turn off the media”.  Her reasoning, which still rings true for me, was that we have enough in our own lives to be concerned for and about.  Think about it, our families, our health, work, friends, the list goes on.  It’s just too stressful to know about so many things over which I have no control whatsoever!

My going on 9 year old daughter was told at school to not believe anything on the internet.  With its advent and the ability of anyone to post anything, this actually makes a lot of sense.  Whatever we read, we must consider the source, and often times, we would do well to do some of our own comparative research.  Well, folks, I would suggest doing the same with our news media.  And here are some reasons why…

1) In Reagan’s years, the Fairness Doctrine that governed news media was done away with in the United States, though not necessarily in other parts of the world.  BBC still presents news like they always have and similar to how the US did prior to Reagan’s era.  Anyone else recall?

2)  In order to gain a profit, news media must compete for our attention.  To do this, generally speaking, each entity chooses a market, and then proceeds to tell that market what we want to hear in ways we want to hear it in order to gain our faithful attention, and, er, market share.  In this case, no pain, no gain.  When we aren’t being exposed to both sides and – truly – being given the opportunity to decide for ourselves, what’s the personal growth in that?  Most of our news media in the US not only gives us the news but interprets it for us as well.  Saves us time and gets our attention if its the interpretation that immediately makes sense to us, but doesn’t this make us akin to cattle?  I, personally, find it rather condescending.

3)  How many times have we, and more importantly our children, been exposed to information that might have been better left alone and dealt with on the local stage rather than on the national or global stage?  I’ll leave it at that.

4)  I, personally, voted for my politicians because they know politics better than I and generally trust their views align enough with mine that the outcome will work for me.  I am ok to let them do their job and make the compromises necessary to get things done.  So, the bombardment in the news media of every little step our politicians takes is, for me, way too much information.  And, it certainly speaks to our current seeming standstill.

Bottom line, politicians aren’t our biggest issue.  I dare say they’d get a lot more done if the media hadn’t created a whole slew of micromanagers with whom they need to contend.

‘nough said.

Make it a discerning day,

~ Jacqueline

I have heard an enormous amount of news running about the eoncomic crisis. This week, I have heard about Greece, the EU in general, the US housing situation, our national debt, to name a few. I take the perspective that money must be well-managed though not the goal of what we do. How many of us hold a job in which we are anything from mostly to completely unsatisfied just to make a buck?

One of my more recent posts had to do with the creation of our reality. Our economy is one thing I believe is pure creation on our part, a necessary creation, but a human creation all the same. For this reason, I can’t help but wonder, what is it we are missing? What is the lesson to be learned? If not for money, why do we exist?

Well, I tend to put value in the idea of trustful relationships. If we are building these, it is my experience, and many others I have read, that the money to be managed well comes when are doing what satisfies us and building trustful relatinonships in the process. It is troubling to me that those I believe are essentially gamblers, whose focus is obviously on the accumulation of money, have indulged their habits in the economy, only to weaken it for everyone. Speculations on our housing and oil markets are top of mind.

This is not to say that anything we do with regard to money is wrong or bad on the whole. It might just serve us well, though, to check our involvement with money, with what we do and why we do it, and the relationships we build in our lives. If money is at the top of our priorities, well, it’s up to each of us to make that choice.