Weird times going on in the world today! We have an abundance of uncertainty, and with it comes the potential for fear, anxiety, and worry. It’s important to realize this, because left unchecked, these feelings can cause us to behave in ways that we might otherwise not.
We choose how we behave. Circumstances don’t make us act poorly; we choose to act poorly. Situations don’ cause to treat others badly. We choose to do that too.
The good news is that in spite of situations or circumstances, we can also choose to treat others well. We can choose to treat others with compassion and dignity. That choice is completely up to us.
So, let’s pay attention to how we’re choosing to treat one another. Let’s choose to treat each other well; not just during these crazy times, but from this moment forward.
That sounds pretty good to me!
I love living in the Information Age! Just before writing this blog, I dropped my fountain pen on the floor, leaving 2 black spots of India ink on the carpet. Not good! My wife looked online and told me I needed to blot the spots with rubbing alcohol. Five minutes later, the spots were gone!
How great is that!! I needed a specific piece of information and within seconds, I not only had the info, but was applying it to solve my problem. Amazing!
The downside of the Information Age is that there is SO much information out there, from so many different sources, it can become overwhelming to know which sources to trust. This is especially true when we’re seeking more important information than how to get ink stains out of your carpet. When searching for information we need to make important life decisions, we should employ some critical thinking to help us vet which sources we will rely on.
For example, we should determine the reason the source is providing this information. Is it to:
- Generate a sale
- Influence my opinion
- Move me to action to support a cause, belief, or ideal
Some other things we should think critically about regarding our information sources are:
- What tactics they are using
- Emotional hooks
- Is the information based on facts or opinions
- Is the source considered an expert or authority in the field
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but rather serves as a reminder that we should question our sources to determine whether we can trust the information they provide.
Ultimately, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones to be discerning of the information sources clamoring for our attention. Because our thinking shouldn’t cease when Google returns our search results.
“The test of a person’s education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind.”
~ Jacques Barzun
There are so many voices today, clamoring to fill our minds with their thoughts, ideas, or opinions and repeat them as our own. Since each one of us is blessed to have total ownership of our mind, we should be aware of what we’re letting into them.
We should actually use our minds and think critically regarding the formation of our ideas and opinions. Our minds are like a garden that we should tend to with care. We need to give attention to what we allow to take root, and root out anything that doesn’t help to produce the positive mind we’d like to cultivate. Our minds are too valuable, too precious, to be treated as empty vessels just waiting to be filled with someone else thoughts. Filling our minds is OUR job.
There’s a lot going on in the world today and a lot people eager to do our thinking for us, with regard to how you’re to respond, act, and think. Let’s make sure that the opinions we have and the actions we take are the result of exercising the super computer between our ears, rather than sopping up what someone else pours inside.
How do you go about learning a new skill? Usually, your training will involve many correct repetitions of the skill you’re attempting to master. Through repetition, you can train yourself to become competent, if not excellent, in any skill you choose. Repetition is a remarkably powerful training tool.
One thing we may not realize, is that we can also training others (often unintentionally) by what we repeatedly expose them to. If we’re continuously on our phone, or have our face in front of a screen, whenever we’re with those close to us, what kind of message are we repeatedly sending them? What are we “training” them to understand?
If we’re always checking our phone or interrupting those who are trying to have a conversation with us, make no mistake, we’re training them that they are not important enough to warrant our full attention. We are training them to know that we will tap out of our interaction with them the moment something more exciting comes along. We are training them that they really don’t matter much to us. Regardless of what we may tell them, or actions are what will train them.
While it’s easy to get sloppy with regard to how we’re training others, it’s also easy to start changing our actions and behaviors to train those around us that they are indeed important and that they matter. We can decide to train them to know that we care about them.
Consider you’re recent interactions with those close to you. Through those actions, what have you been training other to understand? If you don’t like the training you’ve been presenting, then intentionally change your behaviors to align with the training you’d like them to receive.