In honor of Gwen Ifill, I will suggest that we all try to come together as a nation. Perhaps we can all identify as human beings and citizens of a great nation.
All of you on my friends list here know how painful this last week has been for me. So I truly understand the pain and fear many are going through. I also am beginning to understand the impatience of the other side who cannot understand that pain, often because they have felt disrespected and ignored.
We need to HEAR each other. We need to READ IN DEPTH, and LISTEN with intent to understand. We need to ANALYZE our news sources so we can recognize spin and outright hoaxes. And finally, let us all find ways to find common ground. Let us all find ways to identify the issues that are the most important to us. And let us do something practical every day to improve our lives and the lives of others.
Gwen often said that her job was “to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society.”
Let us cool down the heat and turn on the lights.
I admit it. I have been stumped by Trump. Why has this joke not gone away? My reading came together this morning with an editorial by Charles Krauthammer, and a Psychology Today article posted by a former teacher colleague of mine I greatly respect. The disregard for thinking deeply, along with the rise of bullies who shout the loudest on social media goes a long way to explain the Trump phenomenon.
The solution to the Donald Problem is education. It is NOT a quick fix, and apparently it is too late to save us from Trump. Only Hillary or Bernie can do that right now. Ultimately our saviours will be our teachers. If we can stop burdening them with senseless testing requirements, there will be time to teach students the deep reading and analytical skills they will need in this complex world. We will have time to teach them how to debate with their intellect and not the volume of their voices.
The article by Charles Krauthammer supports the ideas expressed in the Psychology Today article. In the editorial Krauthammer explains why so many Evangelical conservatives support Trump, even though it is obvious to ANYONE who has EVER attended a Christian church regularly, that Trump is NOT an Evangelical….or even a serious Christian. What he IS, is a loud-mouthed bully who gets his way by being the most aggressive. People are scared and think this is the only way to be safe in a world increasingly run by bullies. It is easier to have a bodyguard than to find a way for people with differing opinions to live together in peace, treating each other with respect.
We DO have a choice. We can resist the Trumps of this world, or we can bow down and pay them the protection money and power they are trying to extort. Which will it be?
The latest “controversy” over Starbucks Coffee Cups is another example of how we have lost the ability to just be nice.
I grew up in the 50s (a very un-liberal time) and at least a third of the “Christmas Cards” contained the phrase “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” and probably half the songs used the phrase “Happy Holidays” or featured snowmen, Santa, and reindeer etc. No one thought it was a “War against Christmas!” Guess we just assumed people would enjoy a friendly greeting and a happy song during the season.
For the rest of the season, I plan to block all websites that harp on either side of this “issue” – so that I can have a Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holiday Season, Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, Happy New Year AND wish Happy Holidays to EVERYONE, even those who celebrate Hannukah, Kwanza and any other holiday.
I like people and, oddly, I like to wish them all well. Christmas is my tradition. I will probably say “Merry Christmas” at least half of the time. To those who are NOT Christian – I am simply wishing you the happiness that Christmas gives me. If you reply with Happy Hanukkah or Happy Holidays or whatever, I will concentrate on the word HAPPY and assume you are wishing me well.
I hope that EVERYONE will have a peaceful season, no matter what your religion or non-religion. I will tell you that stopping all the political and social issue websites from entering my feed has made me a MUCH happier person. I highly recommend it!!
Meanwhile – PLEASE – Let There be Peace on Earth!
This would be a great article for high school teachers and librarians to read as they prepare students for college level research.
Getting a “quick fix”: First-year college students’ use of Wikipedia