I came home tonight after a long day, with a raging headache and just wanted to relax… what I walked into was a wild debate with my husband.
Let me set the stage….. Someone my husband knew, a “well-educated” former military leader had re-posted an article on Facebook by pulling out one single snippet, taking it completely out of context, and posted it as a factual, inciteful rant.
My husband got caught up in his post and was angry at the author, just as his friend was, again, just looking at someone he “trusts” the post caused conflict in our home. I was on the direct opposite side. I pushed my husband to read the full article, look at the original author’s words, not a “cliff note version” or a snippet that potentially was out of context.
Once he read the article, he agreed with me that his friend was wrong and had taken the small piece out of the context of the bigger picture. In reading the article, it was far more a history lesson of today’s events and history that followed the same path – yes, I’m talking about the eclipse….
“The shadow of the moon doesn’t care where it falls or who lives below.” Alice Ristroph
The worst part…. I read many of the comments made about the author’s blog, and they made me furious – while you can be highly academically educated, common sense evades many. People clearly have not READ the full article, in the original format – people are calling the article written by Alice Ristroph racist, the eclipse therefore racist. THAT IS NOT WHAT SHE WAS POINTING OUT!
What I took away from Ms. Ristroph’s article was an interesting history lesson, and something we should recall when we work to improve our relationships today. Many of us didn’t retain everything we learned in middle school history class, and she shared several valuable lessons, that as an adult, I can appreciate and see beyond, by looking back. The path of the eclipse was metaphorically used to show where we have come as a country, and how much work we still have in front of us to ensure equality, fairness and inclusion. As a country we are full of educated, un-educated people; smart people who don’t take the time to investigate or ask questions before forming an opinion. We are a people who believe media, acquaintance, friend’s posts / opinions and soundbites. We don’t constructively challenge others to get to the bottom of the problem, we “go along”…
I will anger a number of people with this blog, but I think it’s less about the content than it is about a person’s inability to go beyond themselves. It’s easy to sit in your home, pull up Facebook or turn on the nightly news and get a filtered amount of information. It’s completely something different to step out of your comfort zone, ask questions, challenge opinions, cause conversation. I’ve come to learn that Americans really don’t like conflict (sounds weird right – given all the things we see in the news). We like to join the ride of others we think are “just like ourselves” –
It’s easy right? Yea, yea… I see what you mean – I agree with you – when what you’re really getting is only a very small piece of the puzzle. A client today shared a quote (not sure who the original author is) and I’m actually paraphrasing his - “You can make an easy decision and have a hard life, or a hard decision makes an easy life” – meaning sometimes you “take the easy way out” but it leads to a more difficult long-run, where if you had taken time and made the hard choice, really worked at something, you could end up with an easier life.
I’d like to say – let’s all just get along, but I know that isn’t our reality. There are so many people with so much angst, anger and “me-ism” that I can’t see a future without festering conflict. What I can do is ensure those I come in contact with are more educated, that they ask more questions, and feel comfortable in my presence to challenge me / my ideals in a constructive manner. I’m always up for a good debate (just ask my husband and kids), but I’m also willing to see multiple views. Are you open enough? Are you willing to take what we know about the past (facts not rhetoric) and make a better future for us and our children?
Take a few minutes and read Alice Ristroph’s article (here is the link https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/american-totality-eclipse-race/537318/) – and then and only then, share your thoughts. I personally do not think she should be drawn and quartered – and welcome your thoughts on it.
Are you willing to start an open, constructive dialog?
You can reach Laura at 888.626.2404 or Lmeck@sonataventure.com
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