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Chatterbox: What we drink in


Many of us, these days, are feeling a comradeship with the dinosaurs after the meteor hit … like, it’s just a matter of time. Of course, we who do hope we’re wrong. Somehow, I’m sure the dinosaurs hoped the same thing.

What we believe is going on in America and, more importantly, on this planet, is pretty much dependent upon what information we listen to and, then, what we’re willing to believe of it. We’ve said often here at Chatterbox that many people believe, unfortunately, that what works best for them is just what works best. Fortunately, others among us still fight for what’s best for the majority and that the big picture is most important.

To help all of us understand that the opinions formulated, expressed, or promulgated by those we know, thought we knew, and/or those we love – and why they are so adamant about what they actually believe without questioning – here’s a quick visual: If we take three white carnations, place one in a glass of water with red food coloring, one with blue food coloring, and one with green food coloring and let them drink for a few days, we will, indeed, have one red carnation, one blue carnation and one green carnation. The results are self-explanatory. It’s sort of like “we are what we eat.”

We formulate our opinions (or worse, iterate those of others) based on where we source our information, on what and whom we choose to watch, listen to, get our information from, and believe. However, the best way to formulate opinions is to gather our own information from numerous resources, then, research and examine that information.

When people say things about our most recent heat wave and blame global warming, we should believe or disavow it based on our own research and information. When I was a kid, we had many summer streaks of consecutive days over 100 degrees. That’s not unprecedented, but when we look at satellite photos of the polar ice caps and research photographic proof of the melting cycles over time, when we see they display unprecedented melting, well, that tells us a different story.

The same can be said for any information we’re fed that may be misleading or untrue altogether. When we hear a news delivery personality talk, it’s imperative that we understand his/ her network’s stand and which color they are trying to turn their carnations. The responsibility to research is ours.

First, let’s all acknowledge the power we have and give ourselves the credit we deserve as independent thinkers. We must give ourselves permission to disagree with what we are told to believe and what we hear from anyone, regardless of his/her position, supposed power, or even any presumed intellect. Second, it’s imperative that we understand the difference between a news “show” and news dispersal. What many current news outlets and celebrities do today is deliver propaganda and scripted opinion based on, and under the guise of news. Other programs deliver the facts. The carnations can’t decide which glass of water they bathe in, but we can decide what we will absorb.

For example, many news stations have been repeatedly trying to sell the theory that America is based on a Judeo-Christian system, and the framers of the Constitution intended it to be so. The Declaration of Independence did not state that; neither did the Constitution, or any amendment. That’s not freedom of religion. When we hear any news star say those words, we can change the channel permanently if news is what we seek and not propaganda.

We’ve also heard new negative connotations being used to cast an unattractive aura to things that are actually very positive, like altruism, fair judgment, equality, and freedom and to the people who practice or believe in them. These goals and qualities are things that other nations envied about America, exalted America for, and have long been part of what they sought in America. Yet, many news outlets try to attach them to weakness, trying to represent good motives as bad ideas.

We see crime legitimized, our democracy absconded with, and justice becoming a perk for the few. If we subscribe to the channels that are misleading Americans with tilted information and tinted truths, the hammering will eventually create a dent. As we consistently absorb these misrepresentations of America and what is happening in it, we will become, by absorption, part of the camp we have chosen … yes, chosen.

Fortunately, unlike the carnations, we can choose what we bathe ourselves in.