#truth #falsehoods #DisturbingImages #opinions #facts
Sometimes, one has to see or hear the worst to learn how bad things happen.
An ad for diabetes awareness shows three stages: illness, disability and death. The narrator says, when death is shown, “Too much? That’s the point.”
In the true-story movie “Till,” currently showing in theaters, Emmett Till’s mother insists that her son’s dead body be shown in its entirety after his lynching, to illustrate what those who lynched him in Mississippi did to him before they killed him.
Some TV news clips may be preceded by the broadcaster telling the audience something like: the images you are about to see may be disturbing. Some even advise you to take young children out of the room before viewing. Some even spell out what you are about to see, to allow the viewers to decide whether to watch.
The main point is that sometimes, seeing things we’d rather not look at is necessary to know the true story, instead of some sanitized or varnished view of a story.
So, why is that? Can’t one just let his or her imagination determine how bad something looks? Often, leaving things to one’s imagination creates a vacuum, a place in which falsehoods can reside masquerading as truths.
Not showing EVERYTHING, no matter how bad or disgusting, can be a form of cover-up.
The images may be disturbing, but often, we need to be disturbed. Certainly, there are things that are not suitable for young children to see. They need to mature before being acquainted with some of the nastiness of life.
A good rule of thumb might be: if the activities of humans create the disturbing images, and the images are not altered for extra drama, they probably should be shown.
If people are doing bad things to other people, they need to be shown.
In the hardened modern world, disturbing images don’t always alter opinions. Even the most verified information can be called false, even if it’s true, because certain people want others to think it is false.
The same actually goes for falsehoods. If someone wants people to think something that is false is true, he or she can keep showing or saying it, and, eventually, some will indeed think it is true. But, repeating something false never makes it true.
We can’t always persuade, but if truth is on one’s side, keep showing or saying it.
Truth can not only be disturbing, it can be inconvenient, to borrow from former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
But, if truth is on one’s side, timing should be irrelevant. Ramifications should not be the primary consideration, even though, in some cases, thought should be given to those ramifications.
Of course, in political campaigns, timing is everything. But, again, in our hardened, opinionated world, timing matters less and less.
When in doubt, if one possesses the truth, it’s better to say it or show it when one knows it – at least in important matters. Perhaps, in trivial matters, things might be better left unsaid, or not shown.
The truth may not always set one free. But, more often than not, truth is always better said or shown, rather than concealed.


#teachers #education #parents #SchoolAuthorities #TeachersQuitting
First, the pandemic imposed extra stress on teachers.
Then, politicians started telling teachers what they could teach, how they could teach it and what books or other tools they could use.
It’s hardly a wonder why teachers are asking why anyone would do this job.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tackled the rapid departure of teachers in a recent column.
She quotes a Rand report on the pandemic’s role in teacher resignations. Researchers found that half the teachers who resigned did so because of the pandemic, she writes.
She also writes that stress, more than low pay, was almost twice as common a reason for resigning.
“At least for some teachers, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have exacerbated what were high stress levels pre-pandemic by forcing teachers to, among other things, work more hours and navigate an unfamiliar remote environment, often with frequent technical problems,” Downey quotes the Rand report.
Teachers didn’t leave the profession necessarily for higher-paying jobs. The Rand researchers said most teachers who left took jobs with either less or about equal pay, Downey writes.
The Merrimack College Teacher Survey, a poll of more than 1,300 teachers conducted by EdWeek Research Center in January and February 2022, says the profession is in free-fall, Downey writes. Only 12 percent of K-12 teachers are very satisfied with their jobs, down from 39 percent a decade ago,’ Downey quotes the survey. It also says the salary satisfaction rates are lowest in the South and Midwest. Only 21 percent of teachers in those areas believe their pay is fair for the job they do, Downey quotes the survey.
In 2011, 77 percent of teachers believe their profession is respected. Now, only 46 percent of teachers believe that, Downey writes.
In short, teaching is a relatively low-paying profession that politicians love to pick on. There is already a teacher shortage, which could become acute if the pressure and restrictions on teachers continue.
Certainly, everyone wants parents actively involved in the school(s) their children attend. Some mostly inner-city teachers have seen a lack of parental involvement as a serious problem.
But, there is a difference between involvement and interference. Involvement means parents are supporting what teachers are doing, and encourage their children to vigorously participate in their education.
Interference means parents are standing in the way of teachers teaching truth to children. Few teachers will put up with that for a long time.
People go into teaching, and education in general, for the love of the job. They certainly don’t do it to enrich themselves. Yet, good teachers can play a significant role in making the world a better place by encouraging students to learn.
If the current milieu continues to chase away teachers from the profession, we may soon have schools that can’t educate students.
Those in authority over schools should not only know the difference between parental involvement and interference, but also the difference between educational improvement and educational destruction.
Teachers acutely know the difference and are voting with their feet.


#uncertainty #answers #life #changes #preparation
To paraphrase a Mayo Clinic TV ad, the best way to deal with uncertainty is to have answers.
On its face, this implies a black-and-white type of world.
Or, it implies there is an answer for everything.
But most of us are aware that there are many shades of gray. Not everything is what it seems. And, for some things, there are no answers – at least definitively right ones.
The world is filled with uncertainty. One might even say that things we thought were “certain” may not be.
Opportunity can be disguised as uncertainty. Alas, so can peril.
The Mayo Clinic may work diligently for answers to some uncertainties. It has a pretty good track record for doing that.
But other uncertainties persist, not just in science and medicine. They persist in the everyday world, and our everyday lives.
For example, one may think his or her job is a certainty. But, companies reorganize. Managers change. Something that for many years was a certainty suddenly, without warning, is not.
What do we do about uncertainty?
First, we have to presume it is always there. Always presume that someday, sometime, something you thought was certain will suddenly become less so.
That may be difficult to do, especially in times when things in your life are going well.
On the other hand, it can be easy to do when things in your life are not going as well.
An old adage goes: “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
The key word here is PREPARE. Try to have a Plan B, just in case what you thought was certain suddenly is not.
Most importantly, try to deal with sudden uncertainly with rational thought, instead of emotion.
We are all emotional about some things, but, when uncertainty hits, we should take a breath before deciding what to do next.
That breath – that time for thought – could make the difference between doing the right thing for you, and not doing the right thing.
It may be easy to react emotionally. It may not be as easy to react rationally.
Secondly, look for something good amid sudden uncertainty. Most likely, the thing that’s uncertain may only be a part of your life. There may be other parts of your life that give you pleasure, and may be more certain at the moment.
Sometimes, there may not be immediate answers to your new uncertainty. Therefore, you may have to look harder to find more certainty.
Death and taxes may be certain. The rest of life is very likely less certain. If something in your life suddenly becomes uncertain, you may not have an immediate answer. Searches for answers can be a lifelong pursuit, not just for the Mayo Clinic, but for all of us.
Presume there is more uncertainty in your life than you realize. That way, when the uncertainty is revealed, you may have a wider variety of potential answers.


#overreach #rules #regulations #beliefs #freedom
Everyone wants freedom.
Few, if anyone, want mandates.
Still others object to overreach.
That is, until one, or one’s representatives, gets power.
People are out there protesting for their “freedom.” The emphasis should be on the word “their.”
They want the freedom to do what THEY want, but don’t want others to have the freedom to do what “THEY” want.
They object to mandates that they don’t want, but are happy to mandate on others things those others don’t want.
Some will object to overreach by this or that entity. But, those same folks are happy to overreach when seeking their own goals.
Yes, democracy is not easy. One person’s freedom is another’s violation of beliefs. One person’s mandate opposition is another’s necessity.
In short, we want our own freedom, but are willing to impose restrictions on others that those others do not want.
It’s all about power, and who has it. It’s all about making the system work for YOU, regardless of whether it works for others.
To paraphrase the James Bond title, it’s the Live and Let Die syndrome.
To make society better for everyone, we have to be more “live and let live.”
One does not have to adopt others’ beliefs, but that same person should not impose his beliefs on others.
We end up with laws and policies imposed on people by others who would not be affected by them.
One is entitled to a set of beliefs that suits him or her. One is entitled to follow rules and norms that are part of those beliefs.
But, when one imposes those rules and norms on others who don’t necessarily follow those same beliefs, it crosses a line that need not, and should not, be crossed.
There are certain rules imposed on everyone that have been demonstrated to contribute to the public good. There is, more or less, general agreement on those.
But imposing unnecessary restrictions aimed at specific groups is wrong, no matter the imposer.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as the adage goes.
We all should be able to live in a diverse world without feeling marginalized or oppressed. We all should be able to find common good among differences.
We will not change the world by imposition. The world will evolve, no matter who imposes what.


#HoldYourHeadUp #KeepYourHeadLow #ambition #survival #jobs #goals
Hold your head up.
Keep your head low.
The first concept, the title of a 1972 song by Argent, tells you to put your head up, get noticed and go after it.
The second concept, taken from a 1974 song titled, “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero,” by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, tells a soldier to keep his head low, avoid getting shot and come back to his fiancée.
In a workplace, do you hold your head up, do something unusual to draw recognition with the intention of attracting the boss’ attention? Or, you keep your head low, blend into the woodwork, thinking, perhaps, that you are less likely to get your head cut off – lose your job, or otherwise get punished.
Different types of people keep their heads in different places. Ambitious people hold their heads up. Those who just want to survive keep their heads low.
If you are in survival mode, stop. Think about what you want and where you want to be. Survival should not be a goal. It may require you to think about what you want your life to look like. EVERYONE has life goals. You can try to survive as a temporary status, but you should have a goal to do something that will get you want you want.
A job is a job, but a life goal may help you convert a “job” into a means to an end.
You may not want to keep your head low forever. You may want to raise your head slowly, and, eventually, keep it up.
A raised head is always better than a lowered one.
Then, you may have to find something to help you keep it up. Your current job or situation may not be it.
For no other reason, keeping your head up will help you help others. Others will respond to people whose heads are up. They may not see, or recognize, someone whose head is low.
“Billy,” the soldier, did not take his fiancee’s advice, according to the song. He volunteered for a risky mission and was killed. The fiancée was told she should be proud, but she threw the notification letter away, the song says.
The fiancée wanted Billy to come home alive, for her own, understandably selfish reasons, Yet, Billy was unselfish.
In short, goals can create ambition. Those who keep their heads low and blend in may never get the life they want. They learn to settle for contentment – or just plain survival.
If you don’t have natural ambition, you have to generate it yourself – and you can. You have to know what you want, why you want it and where you want to go. If you determine all of those things, you can find how to get them.
That is how ambition is created.