As a historian and journalist most of my life, I pledged to research, examine and report facts. I may have left the newspaper field 30 years ago, but I’ve never abandoned truth, justice and the American way … at least reality.
In those roles, I was trained and yearned to question and dig deeper … to distinguish facts from opinion. One goes on the news pages, the other goes on the editorial page. However, nowadays, those lines are so blurred that I feel like I need a new eyeglass prescription every week.
As an observer of human beings, their actions, reactions and emotions, I wonder if widespread suspicions, cruelty and arrogance stem from a underlying need for some people consciously or unconsciously to “prove” they’re:
• “Better” and/or smarter than most anyone else.
• Living on the island called Me.
• “Right” every time … and everyone else is “wrong” all the time …
Because I’m a student of history who learned more than dates and locations, I focus on the REAL reason people are trying to rewrite history.
And that is? Because they’re embarrassed by it and the decisions THEY or their ancestors made. Think about it.
The purpose of storytelling has become twisted and warped in a world rampant with lies and polished fallacies. Storytelling dates from the earliest times to pass along the truths, experiences and life lessons learned from one generation to the next. That’s what has kept us ALIVE … understanding the mistakes of the past to avoid them in the future … to save grief and pain and promote the human side of our very existence.
The lessons are there to warn us of injustice and inhumanity … to offer hope and health … to build respect and relationships … to live and love with confidence … for us to continue to evolve to fulfill our purpose on this planet.
I worry about the evaporation of several key phrases crucial to our co-existence as a nation, as a human species:
• “I’m sorry.”
• “Please tell me YOUR thoughts and why.”
• “Thank you for listening to ME.”
We all cast long shadows during our time on this earth … just as our parents, grandparents and their ancestors did. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all hurt someone else, knowingly or unknowingly.
However, we have new opportunities every day to make amends because we can educate ourselves in ways our foremothers and forefathers could never imagine. We have access to a wealth of knowledge that bares our human strengths and weaknesses … victories and failures … so that we can learn from them and improve our lives … and the entire world.
We may live in the communication revolution, but a growing number of people are afraid to admit they don’t have all the answers or all the solutions … or know all the facts.
Our vital human bonds will continue to crumble … those relationships we value with our family and friends and communities … when we don’t accept the truth first about ourselves … that we are not perfect … that we are NOT God.
Imagine how your shadow can light the world for generations to come … I’m short but I have a lot more spark left.
Hey, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. I’d love to speak to your group, organization or company about working our way through the pain and challenges of everyday life. You want straight talk? You got me!