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Musings: What Are We Talking About…?

27/03/2012

“I’ve always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.” Ronald Reagan

Talking XX by Khalil Gibran
And then a scholar said, “Speak of Talking.”
And he answered, saying:
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words many indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly. Contd below

Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of hot topics circulating in the media. Frankly, most are emotionally charged, hot button subjects that some of us would prefer not to discuss. It is not just the nature of the topics that have gotten us to pay attention but also some of the talking points; the feedback, backlash, and salvos we hear and read. One of my blog buddies, Writerlious, wrote a wonderful review of the hottest new movie Hunger Games. If you’ve been reading the news, you’d understand my comment: I know there’s been a lot of buzz around this movie and its controversial subject (children killing children). My kids saw it and I’ve been reading the reviews and media reports. What saddens me is the endless reports I read that many people were unhappy that people of color were cast in the film. Here we are in the 21st Century and bigotry and racial hatred persists. What makes it even more disturbing is that the voices of dissent are those of my children’s generation. I appreciate that you wondered why Katniss wasn’t cast as a person of color as per the book, and I pray that we, as members of the human race, can find the compassion and humanity to respect each other’s right to exist on this planet. We are all God‘s children in my book. If one child is seen as less than the rest, it is because of our collective failure. Excellent review. TY! Perhaps, there is something to be said about watching what we say/how we say it and the power of silence. What are you talking about? More below.

“Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about.” Sakya Pandita

Musings: What Are We Talking About...?

There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.
And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.
And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words.
In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence. Contd below

A truly tragic and equally disturbing hot button topic is the growing controversy around the murder of Trayvon Martin. While the media attention and judicial investigation into his death is now building momentum, and his parents are reaching out to the public via petitions and a news conference, there is a sector of our society that continues to malign this young man. The fact remains that a young life was lost, another life is in shambles, and the least we can do is drop the vitriol. Many are talking about this matter, some in compassionate and some in cruel ways, and my prayer is that we rally together to find concrete solutions to the tensions, the hatred and the mistrust. What do you say? Khalil’s poem on Talking offers much wisdom on the subject. As our mothers used to say, “If you have nothing good to say…

“How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?” Plato

Musings: What Are We Talking About...?

When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place,
let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.
Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered
When the color is forgotten and the vessel is no more.
Khalil Gibran
Lyrics via PoemHunter.com

Another hot topic that is getting a lot of press is the  Supreme Court hearings on the  constitutionality of the Health Care mandate.  Daily, supporters and opponents camp outside, stand in line hoping to enter the court and hear the proceedings, or simply voice their positions on the subject outside the building.  The arguments rage on as we wait to hear what the highest court in the nation will have to say about universal health care in the USA. All of it, the other topics covered above, and more, add up to the great need for us to begin to practice the tenet: Love thy neighbor as thyself. What are your thoughts? Have you read any of the news reports on these subjects? What are your thoughts? Do you think we will ever find social harmony?  How do you imagine we can best resolve issues? Do share! Thank you. ;-)

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! :-)

Positive Motivation Tip: It is not just talking but walking the talk and acting with compassion that will bring us closer together in this world.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS:  Mandala photo by Keith Allen Kay on Quantum Fractal Mandala sites: on Facebook and Website. All other photos The Conversation, Public Health, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr  Poem/Lyrics via PoemHunter.com

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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41 Comments leave one →
  1. Goz permalink
    28/03/2012 1:45 am

    This is plenty food for thought and well worth digesting.. Good post, Liz.

    • 28/03/2012 4:13 pm

      TY Goz! What I would love to see is a bit more compassion towards each other in this wonderful world of ours. Points of view differ on the topics but if we can, for one moment, imagine ourselves in others shoes, and act with compassion, it would be a great start to helping all heal. :-)

  2. Words We Women Write permalink
    28/03/2012 2:21 am

    Every time I hear that the Supreme Court is spending 6 hours listening to arguments about available health care for the least among us, I cringe. Only 6 hours. 6. Thanks for the musings.
    Patty

    • 28/03/2012 3:55 pm

      Tell me about and I cringe too… That we have to even fight over what should, from a compassionate, humane view, be a given for all in this abundantly wealthy country, is a travesty. TY for your insights! :-)

  3. Chuck permalink
    28/03/2012 4:28 am

    It’s a crowded planet and just getting smaller. The sooner we learn to live together the sooner life will improve for us all. I know it will happen eventually, but I sometimes fear it will take some catastrophic event to make us realize that we can argue ourselves into oblivion if we allow it.

    • 28/03/2012 3:53 pm

      Great wisdom! I agree and, like you, I worry that many won’t come to their senses about this fact until some global catastrophe occurs.
      Thanks again for stopping by. I’m following your blog. :-)

      • Chuck permalink
        28/03/2012 7:49 pm

        Thanks. I am enjoying reading your site as well. Some very interesting reading. I will be spending some time there, I’m sure.

    • 28/03/2012 7:58 pm

      Merci! The sentiments are mutual. :-)

  4. 28/03/2012 6:42 am

    I went to see the Hunger Games yesterday with a friend and my son. It was a disturbing and thought provoking movie. I came away from it wondering why we have so many dystopic views of the future, and so few hopeful or utopic visions in our media and movies. My feeling is that there are conflicts between individual freedom and what is good for the collective of humanity and the earth. Finding a way forward where both individuals and groups of people matter will be respected is going to take new thinking and possibly new ways of talking to each other. I am an optimist and believe this new system is evolving now.

    • 28/03/2012 4:18 pm

      I agree with you Karen that we are evolving, in this age of Aquarius, in new directions that would possibly flush out the stagnant, hateful mental detritus out there, and force us all to see our collective humanity. It is my wish too. Personally, I have nothing against the movie at all. It is a creative venture and while the topic is disturbing, I see the artistic effort as valid. It is that other conversation that saddened me; especially as Suzanne Collins did include a range of characters in her book. TY for your feedback! :-)

  5. 28/03/2012 7:52 am

    Talking is a valuable form of communication or the damnation of mankind, depending on whose doing the talking, and what is being said. As far as stories in the media that keep the people buzzing, I have to be skeptical … the ‘major’ media outlets are the last source I’d use to get my ‘viable’ information from, where political affairs are involved, as it is owned by the same people that own so many of today’s politicians. I think people need to be talking to each other on the street, though, and they need to put the petty grievances that keep us apart aside. The media keeps the people divided by flaming the fires of racism and by keeping hate going, where religion, marriage, and other forms of personal choice are involved.

    • 28/03/2012 4:37 pm

      Sure, the media has its role and then we have ours… I hear you! Sadly, as much as the media fuels these fires, there is also human culpability which we can’t ignore. The topics I highlighted are hot topics discussed not just by the major outlets but by the mass media, bloggers, chat shows, social media sites, individuals in their homes and more. Regardless of the source, these topics continue to raise lots of questions that merit reflection, discussion and compassion.
      Yes, I agree with you that we need to talk more with each other and find ways to connect on a human level without acrimony. The media might do its bit but so do hateful people. Again, as I wrote in my post, I pray that we, as members of the human race, can find the compassion and humanity to respect each other’s right to exist on this planet.
      TY Orples for taking a moment to add your voice. I appreciate it. ;-)

  6. 28/03/2012 9:30 am

    Sometimes I feel as if I’ve crawled under a rock because I’ve missed so much of the wall-to-wall coverage of most of these hot button subjects you write about. I’m a bit more selective now about what I spend my time doing and since the clocks moved forward, I doubt I’ve caught one 6 p.m. news broadcast.
    I feel for Trayvon Martin’s parents. It’s a loss they’ll never ever be able to reconcile. Whatever George Zimmerman’s motivation, his life will never be the same.
    As for the Hunger Games, until I read your post, I had no idea what it was about the the promo that I’ve seen didn’t encourage me to want to see it.
    I still don’t understand how health insurance for all became Obamacare or why it had to go to the higher court.
    Seems to me that there needs to be a national conversation — whatever that means — on so many issues. So much still gets swept under the rug.

    • 28/03/2012 4:46 pm

      TY Marcia for your feedback! Yes, a lot has been going on in these United States, and my decision to write on three of them was as a way to remind us all to see the human face and reach for our compassionate side in all of these topics; outside of the partisan political jockeying to be right… I care about the person/people being addressed and sadly, bigotry remains part of our social landscape. It is not a subject I typically write on but these are matters that can/will ultimately affect us all if we don’t start making extra effort to treat each other with dignity and respect… :-(

  7. 28/03/2012 1:48 pm

    I share exactly this same prayer with you, especially with regard to the Trayvon Martin case and the Supreme Court hearings on “Obamacare” this week:
    “my prayer is that we rally together to find concrete solutions to the tensions, the hatred and the mistrust”

    Bless you for your spiritual and faithful perspective. Let us SHUT UP and “walk the walk.”

    • 28/03/2012 4:51 pm

      TY for your feedback Granbee! There is so much hysteria out there that it is easy to forget that we need to stop and think about our collective humanity. These topics have been front and center in our space of late and I felt compelled to look at the need for community and consideration… Yeah, it’s not easy. Thanks again.

  8. 28/03/2012 2:25 pm

    Reminds me of that saying that it’s better to keep quiet and let people think you a fool than to speak and prove them right.

    Thought-provoking post. I enjoyed it.

    • 28/03/2012 4:54 pm

      Righto Tilly! Some of the stuff said out there on these hot topics is unbelievable. Even from an anecdotal view, the reactions, responses and vitriol is amazing… All I ask is can we get our compassion game on please? TY for your feedback! :-)

  9. 28/03/2012 2:28 pm

    It is disturbing to see all the turmoil in the news today.

    • 28/03/2012 5:01 pm

      Right? Great point! I typically read, reflect and discuss news events with my friends and family. Understandably, views differ on all subjects but the one common factor that I feel is important we remember is – our shared humanity. That was my motivation for this post.
      Frankly, I’m not interested in debating who’s right or wrong with people; others could go on till the cows come home and then agree to disagree. I’m interested in remembering to connect with our caring, humane side. TY for your feedback. ;-)

  10. thirdhandart permalink
    28/03/2012 3:42 pm

    I’ve seen the news reports on these subjects, and it can be disheartening. But, I agree with your “Positive Motivation Tip: It is not just talking but walking the talk and acting with compassion that will bring us closer together in this world.”

    • 28/03/2012 4:01 pm

      Sadly, there are many who don’t feel the same way… I remain hopeful that goodwill will prevail. Thank you for taking a moment to comment. ;-)

  11. 28/03/2012 5:29 pm

    I loved the Reagan quote you opened with Elizabeth. You’ve hit upon quite the topic, haven’t you! I have been trying to follow the bits and pieces of the Court proceedings that I’ve found on the radio, and this is going to be interesting. I don’t have a lot of courage these days to express myself. So often just having a conversation devolves into debate and that’s the last thing I want. I am part of a faith community that is very actively in support of social justice…my views aren’t always very popular with some of my friends and even family members. I’m always so disappointed that we can’t seem to talk about our views without someone getting hurt. Debra

    • 28/03/2012 5:40 pm

      I’m right there with you Debra!!!! I agonized over this post because, like you, I don’t want this to degenerate into a who is politically in the right or wrong discourse. I am in support of social justice and wish we, as a global community, would treat each other with dignity and save the histrionics for our shower songs. This post is about our humanity and that was my main focus. I hear you and thank you for taking the courageous step to add your voice… I totally get why others are reluctant to do so. :-(

  12. 28/03/2012 6:18 pm

    There is so much that is disturbing in our world…and there has always been. I remember in high school, I had to read “The Lottery”, a short story, written in 1948, about a town that chooses 1 person every year who is stoned to death by the townspeople.
    Each of us has a dark side…what we do with it is up to us. Life is about choice…all we can do is try to make the best choices.
    Movies (and books) like “Hunger Games” demand that we look inside ourselves…not a bad thing. But personally, I try to avoid this type of movie because I think surrounding yourself with too many depressing and traumatic impressions does have a negative effect on your attitude and outlook on life.
    This was a powerful post, Eliz…thank you so much. As usual, your writing is of the highest quality!

    • 28/03/2012 6:51 pm

      TY Vivian! Like you, I have a vivid imagination and prefer to avoid psychological thrillers, scary or horror movies too. :lol: I respect the right of the authors to do their stuff, I just don’t have to watch; definitely for choice. I remember “The Lottery” quite well and it haunted me for weeks after I read it… TY too! ;-)

  13. 28/03/2012 6:27 pm

    Eliz…It’s my fervent hope that we can reach social harmony, as well as global harmony. I am grieved to read the author’s quote in your post about people’s disappointment that there were people of color in HG? I’m so distressed over this.
    It saddens me, but I wonder if we can ever reach harmony because there are still some deep-seated feelings in certain people, and unfortunately they pass those ideas from generation to generation. My friend from GA said there still are a lot of “old roots”, deep traditional feelings there.
    Sometime, some generation in a long line of haters has to start thinking for themselves. I have hope.

    I have hope for our future generations having a better acceptance and open mind way of thinking.

    We do have many issues before us in our country today. I agree. And so many hurtful words flying back and forth over the sad event of the young man in FL. I even noticed those up for election are getting into the fray with slams against people. Of course, they take advantage of every event!!!

    And I love your quotes…so well-thought out, perfect for this post. I do favor
    Gibran’s. Thanks for another great…thought-provoking post.

    • 28/03/2012 6:55 pm

      TY Judy for your insights and I agree with you on all the points you raise. Thank you for articulating my sentiments in words we can all embrace and like you, I have hope for our future generations too… Acceptance and compassion for all. :-)

  14. Writerlious permalink
    28/03/2012 8:14 pm

    Thankies for the pingback Eliz! This is a very thought-provoking post. “What are we talking about?” –this is a question that we don’t ask enough. People are quick to judge and point fingers in our society. It seems so many discussions could be made much more fruitful if people stopped to ask themselves this question first. Reflection before opening our mouths doesn’t seem to be the American strong-suit.

    • 28/03/2012 10:49 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and I agree with your observation that reflection is important. TY too for the muse juice. Your post inspired me to tackle some of the hot button topics of this month. :-)

  15. 29/03/2012 7:14 am

    Viewers who are obsessing over such trivial issues like whether the character or Rue should be African-American or not are very misguided and shallow. They have failed to see the point the author is making. It’s a post-apocalyptic world. Are whites the only ones that are supposed to survive a holocaust of sorts? I did not even notice the ethnic diversity of the cast until it was mentioned. To me, it looked like the society we are living in.

    As for the debate over the Health Care Mandate and all, for crying out loud! When will Americans see beyond their noses and do something for the common good for a change and stop thinking that every single universal mandate is about them? Or that someone is “dictating” their lives. Geez! We are provably the only 1st world country with such a pathetic health care. It shows our lack of regard for one another’s well-being. Health care is a human right. It goes beyond whether we are Christians, Muslims, Jews, white, Asian, Latino, or African-American, or even whether we are men, wome, or LGBT. I am so disgusted with the “coercion” argument. Grow up!

  16. 29/03/2012 1:00 pm

    Lots of good points made today. Some politicians should read your blog for some very good advice.

  17. 29/03/2012 2:03 pm

    Very thought-provoking. The frenzy of poison that is spewed due to prejudice just boggles the mind – I see it here in Australia directed at our PM purely because she is a woman – I don’t support her politics by-and-large, but see her being attacked frequently in the media by journalists and the public, alike, not for her politics, but for her hair (referred to as a “‘ranga” because it’s red), her bodily features, such as her nose and bottom, the way she dresses, the way she speaks, and so it goes, ad nauseam – the meanness and pettiness is unbelievable, and it just fuels itself. What most of these moronic commenters don’t seem to realize is that what they say is not an indictment of their target, but and indictment of themselves.

  18. 29/03/2012 3:07 pm

    Eliz–so much to digest here. Social harmony? I’m a person of color myself, nearing 60 years of age, and I’m just not feeling it. There was a time in the 70s when I thought it was possible/working. Getting along . . . such a simple endeavor . . . why do people have to make it so complicated?

  19. Bree permalink
    30/03/2012 9:21 am

    So much to digest, so much to learn. It pains me that some of the younger generation have adopted the hate mentality of their parents. It pains me that some of us would rather hide than stand on the side of equity and humanity. I am hopeful that we are in the throes of enormous change on our planet and that there is a subtle shift pulling out the mental garbage and replacing it with good. Amen!
    B

  20. 30/03/2012 4:07 pm

    Very topical article, Elizabeth. I am busy drating an article about ignoring differences, to our peril, in the search for equality. I keep redrafting it. One day I’ll get to publish it.

  21. 30/03/2012 4:30 pm

    You certainly stepped out of YOUR comfort zone for this post, Eliz! Bravo!
    I have not read The Hunger Games, nor seen the movie. But I have two nieces who love the books and loved the movie. They are 11 and 13 and honestly, their opinion matters to me! They are adorable, outgoing, and great students. After talking with them I want to read the books.
    The Trayvon Martin situation is a tragedy all over. I’m proceeding with caution on this one and forming no opinion until the State of Florida releases all of the facts in the case. I am against the personal mandate in Obamacare. With a deficit of $15 trillion and climbing, Social Security and Medicare nearing a crisis, the last thing this country needs is another entitlement program that we cannot hope to pay for. It was a bad answer to a problem that needs to be addressed. I hope the Supreme Court strikes it down in its entirety and a new congress addresses healthcare and insurance in an intelligent fashion.

  22. 03/04/2012 9:56 am

    I like the first quote you listed from Reagan.

  23. 08/04/2012 3:26 pm

    I hope you get national healthcare. We have it here and it is a very good safety net. It’s not perfect but it is reassuring.

  24. 09/04/2012 1:56 am

    Elizabeth~I completely agree with you about the need to remove the vitriol from the discussions/conversations/social media/Congressional discussions and our daily lives. If we could all do that, perhaps compassionate solutions to the problems could be discovered. If all that folks do is sling mud, cast aspersions, and leave no room for saving face and building people up, we are all sunk. Great post.

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