Episode 6

Welcome to Minding Your Mind, a weekly show for those looking for new thinking about old knowledge in the areas of Time, Living, Success, Health, Love, and Happiness.

In episode 5, Words was the topic; how we use and misuse them; how sometimes we don’t say what we mean when we simply should. Then there were words I suggested we substitute for others.

Hello everyone. This is going to be a first for me. I am going to do something I’ve never done before, much less in public, and in a space like this.

Why now? I don’t know. Maybe it is just timing and inspiration.

Anyway, I am not a religious man or a politician. In religion, there are too many questions, answers to which, was that I did not need to know.

I have my own mind and curiosity makes me uncomfortable with such an answer.

When I don’t know, and ask a question, I expect an answer even if it is to say the answer is unknowable; not that I do not need to know.

I am reminded of parents who would answer a question a child would ask with, “because I said so” or “that’s just the way it is”.

I hope we’re beyond that by now. Because we should always encourage our children to be curious; to ask questions and expect an answer, an honest answer, especially if it is, of us.

 If we don’t have an answer, we should encourage them to seek it out. Better still, it could be a journey you can set upon together.

Nothing stunts growth more than questions gone unanswered. Nothing criples growth more than untruthful answers. Nothing kills curiosity like telling anyone, they do not need to know.

Talking about religion, discussions can go on and on, and in as many directions as they are beliefs, opinions and perspectives. Such it is about discussions based on emotions and faith, and not necessarily truth.

For many, it is more about having faith that something is true, even when it is unknowable. For this same reason and even not being religious, I have faith in God, and I see nothing wrong with having faith in something that represents good even if it is unknowable.

I guess, this makes me an agnostic theist, and I’m good with that.

Religious beliefs about what happens when we run out of life, a place called heaven, and another hell, are all unknowable, as is so much else in life.

People of great faith believe these, and I find nothing but their own righteousness to live their faith in them.

I for one believe life is better for it; for those believing in something that represents good, knowable or not. On the other hand, I believe there is no good in judging those, you or any religion.

There is love to be found in people and in religion if, that is what you seek. Start with the love you have in you, and don’t tell me there is none. Not even you believe that.

Furthermore, you don’t have to be religious to be kind, loving, respectful and nonjudgmental, do you, of course not? The least anyone can do and should, is to do no harm.

Is this too much to ask or expect? I hope not.

Listen, I believe there is only one judge, God. I don’t know him, her or it. But I trust and live my life that way.

Over the years, I have had experiences that tested my faith and others that affirmed it. Do you believe in miracles? Are they the same as coincidences? Could the only difference be faith or are they one and the same thing?

I haven’t decided yet. But I may, in an upcoming episode, share a story that will give you a better sense of what I think; what I believe. This is as much as I will say for now.

Until then, may God bless you.

Politics on the other hand, a dirty hand it has become, uses the truth, not for its intrinsic value, but as a means to an end.

In this way the truth is not used in its nakedness. It is dressed in lies, lies repeated so often and to so many, they become believable.

They are insidious enough to capture the imagination of those not sure what is true, and plausible and convenient to those who find comfort in it.

Yes. The truth always come to light, but too often after the wrong is done.

Now, since when doing wrong becomes necessary to do right?  When that happens, you have a wrong and a lie to deal with. How is that reconciled, if at all? Which do you take on first? 

If you are going to reconcile the lie first, it will have to be with the truth. If you tell the truth you will have to admit you lied in the first place and that the resulting wrong was willful. I say willful because no one accidentally lies, so let’s not go there.

On the other hand, if what you believed to be the truth was a lie, the resulting wrong is still a wrong.

How do you come back from that? How do you make right a wrong? Saying you’re sorry does not undo the wrong. But you can reconcile with yourself by honoring the truth and living by it.

If you are going to reconcile the wrong first, again, you will have to tell the truth, admit you were wrong and ask to be forgiven right?

Well, in some cases there will be no forgiveness except the one you give yourself. You will need to do this if you are to honor and live by the truth.

Unfortunately, there will be those who just don’t care, especially if the lie is a means to a particular end.

To those I say, you can’t be wrong and strong. Wrong is weak.

Being honest is a virtue generally not applied by politicians while in the game. Otherwise, they are basically decent folks. Still, it does not make them right.

While in the game however, rare is the occasion when one would give a full-throated admission that they lied and take full responsibility for the resulting wrong.

Common is the occasion when they speak out of both sides of their mouths, when what is said is for those who can find comfort, convenience or plausibility on one side or the other. It is the posing of a question with a suggestion that the truth may be the lie.

You may have heard it said that two wrongs don’t make a right. Well, neither does one wrong.

A promise kept by doing wrong is simply wrong. What kind of promise is that, and to who? To knowingly accept such a promise makes for two wrongs. It is like knowingly receiving stolen property, which as you know, is a crime.  

I for one don’t blame politicians. I am the one to blame when I am lazy minded and allow my imagination to be captured in this way. I am ultimately responsible to seek out the truth for myself, as well to deny the lies even when they seem convenient or plausible.

Otherwise, I become a spreading agent of a virus that could infect and divide a nation, a world. Fortunately, we have not yet reached pandemic levels. But, in recent years, we have come precariously close.

This treatment of the truth sounds like a wartime strategy to me; divide and conquer; win at all costs.

There is an old adage that says: The country whose army wins the war, write the books. An uncomfortable truth, however, is that the good guys don’t always win.

I have a mind, and it is to be used to think, to think for myself.

With this in mind, here is a metaphor (or not) for something that happens by design, not by simple happenstance. It is about what has become the ultimate game in town; politics, and for now, only two teams.

Unique to this game is a sworn oath taken by team leaders to protect and defend the constitution of the united states (the rule book), for the privilege of serving and promoting the general welfare of “all” the people (the goal).

In recent years however, the goal has shifted, and rigging the game has become a game within the game itself.

Unfortunately, years of one team forcing the hand of the other has made both teams good at it.

It is now about, at all costs, winning control of the levers of power and rewarding high stake season tickets holders.

It is a shame and a disgrace that what is supposed to be a noble endeavor is today a damned and dirtier game. 

 You have heard the saying: All is fair in love and war”. But politics is neither, right? If it is a war, who is the enemy, you, me? If it is Love, why so much hate?

The weaponizing of words is a tactic used by both teams to capture the imagination of the fans, the voters.

This approach has been proven to be insidiously effective. It is the reasoning that if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes believable and, believe it or not, lying is not illegal, it is not a crime. It is a real political strategy.

Team players and fans fall for the lie either out of blind and fanatical allegiance (winning at all costs) or being lazy-minded.

Thinking is too much work, and it is easier to rely on opinions and conclusions pushed by commentators, slash talking heads and team leaders. It is the ultimate con job.

A quote titled Words.

Words are like keys or weapons. We use them alone, in combination or sequence to open minds to capture the imagination of those we try to persuade. Choose your words wisely. Speak the truth”.

Still, because something is believable does not make it true, right? But who cares? It is about winning at all costs and that includes sacrificing the truth on the altar of corrupt power.

Ardent fans in the bleachers cheer for their team as they fall for one lie or the other. “I don’t care, truth or lie, win or lose, I’m sticking with my team”, they say.

 Winning the game boils down to whose truth is the “real” truth when possibly, neither is the truth.

The argument is reduced to something new called, “The alternative truth, facts, or shades of Truth. Really? Are we going to continue to go down this muddy road?

If the truth will set you free, a Lie will imprison you.

I am afraid so many are already arrested by confusion, deceit, division and the uncertainty of what is to come.

Meanwhile, they remain jailed waiting for trial and hoping the truth would free them sooner rather than later, not after serving 2 to 4 years.

But what if the quote truth unquote you hope will free you is another lie? What if that lie, dressed as the truth frees you, then what?

The truth will have been sentenced to death in that case, that’s what. How long can we survive in such a corrupt realm? When will we come together to face the truth and speak it? When will we have a battle of ideas based on the one truth? When will we let the best idea win?

If you have to cheat to win, it just makes you the biggest loser and history will remind everyone.

When team leaders lie and it is believed to be the truth, what becomes of “the” truth? When the truth is disregarded for no reason other than to “take one for the team”, what becomes of the team, the fans, and the game?

What about the opposing team? Do they sacrifice their quote truth unquote for the sake of the game? If they do, it will put them at a disadvantage and neither team wants to lose. Neither team can afford to let down their fans.

Well then, should there be a compromise to settle for a shade of the truth or an alternative? Will the rules and the game have to be changed? Will a new game have to be invented, rules and all? Who will invent this new game and write the new rules, the current winner? How can there be any agreement on any rule when each team have their own version of what is truth and when neither is, at least not the whole truth?

Remember the old adage “The country whose army wins the war, write the books. As well, do not forget the good guys don’t always win.

The same applies here. The team that wins, write the rules, rules written on sheets of paper laced with lies as watermarks; the same lies used to win.

Doctors give medical advice. Politicians make promises. Have you ever read or heard this quote, A promise is a comfort to a fool?

Well, too often we are made fools of when we fall for promises based on lies; promises not intended to be kept.

But of course, when the promise is artfully wrapped with lies and people do not think for themselves, what else could you expect?

 At this point I do not believe there has to be a new game. But during changing times new rules are appropriate.

Meanwhile, we, as fans slash voters, should pay closer attention to what team leaders and talking heads are saying.

Do not allow your imagination to be captured by slogans, clichés, alternative truths, shades of truths or outright lies. Do not allow them to think for you. Think for yourself.

Quote “Better to have a thief over for dinner, than a liar”. It is easier to determine if something is missing, and the cost to replace it, than it is to determine if a lie was told, and the cost we may have to bare because of it; a cost that could affect your life in unexpected and detrimental ways. Unquote 

I believe it would also be helpful to listen to those who speak for the opposing team. Pay attention to and think about what they are saying about your team. You will be surprised how the truth becomes clearer as lies are revealed. Your conviction will be tested.

Quote “We learn things about ourselves from our enemies that we otherwise would not from our friends”. Unquote

The rallying cry, “We are all in this together “and that we are all on the same boat is true. What is also true, is that if the truth is buried under the weight of lies, the boat is sure to sink and we all drown, the teams, team leaders, players, fans and everyone else.

If you do not believe the boat could sink, think again. Winning at all costs could sink it. The death of truth will result in chaos followed by the death of us all.

It would be like the old fashion Duel where both duelers shoot each other and die.

Regardless of which team you cheer for, demand that team leaders speak the truth. Hold them accountable during the game and not at the end, when it may be too late.

Think for yourself, think. The protection and defense of the constitution and promoting the general welfare of “all” people is NOT a game.

Regardless of which team you support, do not continue to allow yourselves to be played.

Neither is it a war, remember. We are always facing a future and a choice. We should choose to be united, more empathetic, respectful, and nonjudgmental toward each other as human beings facing the same reality, that every day we live, leaves us one day less to live. I repeat, every day we live, leaves us one day less to live.

Listen. You must think for yourself especially knowing that no one gets an extra day for winning, no one. And do not mistake the saying, “winning the day” for an extra day.

The virtue of truth is in its nakedness. It needs no clothes. A lie, on the other hand, does. Seek out the truth with curiosity, a present, open, and independent mind. It exists and is there to be learned.

To ignore or not seek out the truth imprisons you in an alternative reality, an alternative that could only be rationalized with lies against reality itself.

I don’t want to live in such a world, do you?

It is a sad life, one lived with the truth in your heart and a lie in your mind. Choose the truth. It makes for a good and decent life. God help us all.

“Finding is exclusively reserved for searchers”.

It’s Now O’ Clock. Seek out the truth for yourself!

In episode 7 I will talk about happiness, what it is and how we know we are.

Before then, visit my website, nowoclock.live. Be curious. There you will find more original, positive, inspirational and thought-provoking content you can mind your mind with. Share what you find there and spread any idea you agree is worth spreading. There is something there as there was here, for almost everyone.  I hope there was for you.