Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is It True; Is It Useful

I was reading something from Thich Nhat Hanh awhile ago, and made a note of his litmus test for "right speech;" ask "Is it true?" and then "Is it useful?" If both of these conditions are met, then I can generally be pretty comfortable saying it. I taped these two questions to the top of my monitor.

I mention this because I've been troubled for some time by a sense that those who would lead us seem to favor trying to scare us witless, and then offering some draconian "solution" that we'd have to be witless to adopt. Yesterday I noted that it was World Day Against Cyber Censorship, and I got two responses about the need to censor bullies and pedophiles and naive teens. Really? None of those are issues unique to the cyber era.

Today, Sean Dustman (Doc in the Box) pointed me to this blog post from The Economist back on March 2nd, and I just wanted to share it. I feel like we're circling the bowl myself now and then, so I get that we might feel overwhelmed; but is it true? Is what we feel is happening really happening on such a scale that we need to reset?

Sadly, the Republicans don't seem to carry many tools on their belts, and they seem to me to rely heavily on trying to scare us into accepting that we need to restore America to the way it was in the Coolidge administration. The MSM seem to be complicit in that, probably because it's good for ratings for their "news" programs. The questions I ask when I hear such talk are "Is it true" and "Is it useful." More often than not, it isn't even true.

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Blogger Kay Dennison said...

I like your test! What galls me is that people actually believe the downright lies being perpetrated by a certain political party.

I had to take a day off today from the media. I simply couldn't take it given what's going on in my life right now. That said, I was delighted to see a post from you -- we don't get to see your always welcome rationality often and you are missed, my friend.

3:38 PM  

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