Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"You can't handle the truth"

Brain Games!
Who participates in Trivia Question of the Day (via email)?  I receive two questions a day and at times, am embarrassed by how I could miss something so easy; and at other times - amazed at my ability to recall.

Today's title comes from a screaming Jack Nicholson in an oldie but goodie "A Few Good Men".  I got this question right  - more because of Jack Nicholson than the movie (I am a fan)!

But then I started to ponder.

Who remembers growing up with the following instructions of things you never were to ask/talk about?  I clearly remember being told it was impolite to discuss religion, politics or money.  So we didn't.  Can you imagine?

The downfall of our society may have begun (in earnest) when social media was introduced. EVERYTHING posted is open and subject to interpretation and comment (whether it is "on topic" or not).  I believe the veil of anonymity is the emboldening factor.  Everyone thinks they know "the truth", and just like a car accident with three witnesses, the truth has many versions.

I remember when myself and three co-workers participated in a fundraiser for the United Way.  This was probably about 8-9 years ago but I remember it like yesterday.  We did a routine to music and all of us wore those rubber masks that cover your entire head.  We were all political figures (I was Hillary Clinton if you can believe that).  It was a lively parody involving interpretive dance moves. We were so much more animated as we hid behind the mask.  It was very empowering.  (video still available on You-Tube somewhere).

The mask of social media often unleashes venom and hate.   Most of the commentary I read involving anything that goes down the road of controversial, is filled with such opinions.  Yet, (thankfully) I rarely know anyone who is posting.  It's open season out there.

And I go back to things that used to be considered personal - finances, religion, politics.  You are not allowed an opinion - opinions are interpreted as "positions".  You are vulnerable to personal attack, bullying, in some cases, threats - if you "dare to be different" than the expectation.  It doesn't matter how you present your case, you have already lost.

I participate in social media but I still follow rules (manners) instilled in me since childhood.  And one I always follow; "if I wouldn't say it out loud to the individual posting, it doesn't need to be shared."

I don't know everything but what I do know is this.  The world would be a kinder place if we all followed those guidelines.

Until next time,

your pal,


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