|This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay.
I’m part of a small group of bloggers who stay in touch and chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest. Here’s mine for the week of . The photo above is from the Harney & Sons Fine Teas website.
|Link to This week’s full list|
|Link to my Story Blog. Come share a laugh with me.|
Good morning all.
I think our weather changes have stabilized, so we have damp, gray days and temperatures that make coats, hats and scarfs wise. I think stability also means that the normal automotive wear & tear oil droppings have largely washed off of our roads and our summer-only minded drivers have gotten used to slowing down enough that the wave of weather related accidents has passed.
So – relative peace has returned to the county. Our neighbors have paid their dues and deserve a period of a fire-free and wind-less normal electrical grid for a few months.
Today, I wish we all had access to a local Tea & Coffee Bistro where we could meet in person, share some face-to-face good times with good coffee or tea and a warm fire against one wall and an atmosphere of books, writing and bright ideas.
As the Christmas season settles in, I refuse to get too wrapped up in the shopping frenzy. I simply want to do right by my family and make some room to give to the needy.
I also am finding that I want to spend some time thinking and rethinking my opinions and some of the hard questions that are before us each day as the adults in our community.
For example, early this morning, I listened to a radio program from the California Commonwealth Club. I used to be a member of this group and they promote themselves as a non-partisan group of social and political thinkers who give audience to recognized thinkers with compelling messages. I’m no longer a member because I found they were not non-partisan and tended to ridicule my own beliefs and values. But they have the only radio program for “thinkers” in the 5am Saturday morning time slot when I’m rejoining conscience society, so I’ll often listen in.
Today, they had a speaker who, as a young girl immigrated to the US with her adult family and had written a book about how her father had run into trouble with the law and how this turned into a criminal trial and deportation and how unjust it all became.
I was left, conflicted because I disagree with how our government deals with both immigration and even justice sometimes. This speaker did a great job of pitching her point and left her audience with a compelling call to action, but I think she told only part of the story and depended too much on emotion rather than principal. One of the few things she said that I fully agreed with, is that if I conceded the facts as she gave them, her family did not receive justice from the system of justice that I want to be proud of.
Okay, you’ll like this. I found myself so annoyed and in need of thinking through again how I arrived at my views and whether I needed to tweak anything in light of what this speaker shared, that I thought perhaps I should write a persuasive essay in defense of my views and why I’m right. Yea – that’s a fine idea. . .
Then my morning (very strong) tea broke through the fog of half-informed, limited analytical emotions and I decided that: A) my “views” are not so well baked as to be ready to serve up to anyone just yet and B) I doubt any of my readers would be willing to read such ranting – which is exactly what most opinions of others now sound like to me. But it sure would be nice to just bounce such ideas around with a group of wise friends who could help me polish up and clarify my thoughts as we pass the plate of morning hors d’oeuvres around again.
So, instead I find myself retreating from the possibility of annoying everyone so badly that I finish the year by halving my follower count. I’m asking myself if there is wisdom in here somewhere that I can trust myself with enough to write and share with you today. Thus, the image of sitting around some nice fire with that stack of goodies and great coffee where I would stand a better chance of “thinking out loud” with people I trust and, frankly, limiting the damage I can do if I really share what I’m thinking.
From politics to religion, some history and some science, economics and even (un)common sense — sometimes it seems our precious culture has become so painfully polarized that we have all but lost the ability to talk through our differences and move each other by the quality of our analysis. I am afraid of sharing my views for fear of triggering and melting some poor snowflake. I’ll bet you share the same fears – unless you sense your views line up with a critical mass of media manipulation and Facebook posts.
Worse than critically hurting each others feelings, we’ve lost the ability it seems to sit still and listen to contrary views, think about what we just heard and decide if we agree or not with those views without being insulted, injured or outraged. Now, it’s more important to win the argument by any means and victory is often measured by a poll rather than how an opinion aligns with indisputable truth.
“Pilate said to him (Jesus) “What is truth?”” John 18:38
I offer that now, we can only bear discussions that agree with and strengthen our existing views, but cannot bear even facts that suggest we might be wrong or misinformed. This is tragic because it leaves us at risk of being on a known bad intellectual path, but unable to admit it, so we continue to whatever bad end the patch leads to.
When did we pass the point when we welcomed new views that might polish or correct our own? No one I know would ever claim to be perfect and error-free, so we have already admitted we still have room to grow. Are we so afraid of being wrong that we will actually deny facts that suggest we are? That’s just pride which has become ingrown and infected. Left untreated, this could get ugly.
– – – = = = ( o ) = = = – – –
So, do I have any reader-ready wisdom to share today? Maybe. I’ve had lots of ideas lately that may find their way into stories I have in mind for 2020. Here are a few that I’d like to offer that we most likely will all agree with and might enjoy some fictional analysis of.
- The middle age person who loves with the same quality they did as a young adult has likely missed out on many opportunities to mature their capacity to love through the realities of life.
- The full spectrum between capitalism and socialism all leave a group exposed to injustice as those with economic or political power protect themselves but not necessarily those who cannot do the same.
- Evil is within us all and given the required circumstances, we are all capable of terrible things. The trick is not to kill all trace of evil in ourselves which is impossible, but to recognize it, devalue it, own and correct any damage when we are responsible, and never welcome evil into our hearts. In this manner, we at least are always reducing our risk of hurting others.
Now, can I mold any of that literary clay into entertaining and compelling stories? I don’t know yet, but look at the calendar, we all get a brand new year to try such things. I’m looking forward to what 2020 holds for you and your writing.