Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Distracted

 This thought came to me yesterday while responding to someone on my blog posting. I began to think that perhaps part of the problem we have today is that we are too distracted. Was a time when you had a book,  you studied that book, you didn't just read it. That was true when books were a bit of a scarcity. Books were highly valued and treated with respect. The Bible was the most studied book of all ! Following the Bible there were books about law, philosophy and science. Yes, there were novels written for entertainment as well. The thing was, most folks could only afford a few books and so had to be selective. But, what I'm thinking about is how folks back then really studied those books. There wasn't the distraction of radio, television, internet and all that stuff. I mean, what else was there to do ? It occurs to me that may be the problem we are having now. Too many folks reading books, listening to the news pundits, and watching videos but never really forming an opinion of their own. They are so distracted by it all they don't think about it at all ! It really is the forest for the trees syndrome.
 We are getting a population that just wants to be entertained all the time. Kids have always said, I'm bored, there is nothing to do. I said it, my kids said it, and it is being said somewhere today. In my youth I had books, radio and television. Video games weren't available to me until 1972. I played board games a lot and yes, read books. Those were really my entertainment choices. Outside of school there were few programs for children to participate in. The church had a basketball team. I can honestly say I don't remember anything else. Well, the red cross gave swimming lessons. Some kids went to camp but they were the exception. It certainly wasn't thought of as the normal thing to do. At least not in my world it wasn't. I lived outside of town with few neighbors. I did learn to entertain myself, sometimes by reading books !
 Now that isn't meant to sound like I'm any smarter than anyone else. I had plenty of other things to entertain me. I went fishing, clamming and played in the woods. I was definitely distracted from studying. There were rainy days when I stayed indoors and I would read. We had a whole set of classic books that came with the encyclopedia set. I read all of those. Those encyclopedias also came with the home medical companion and a book on science. They could be entertaining as well, especially the medical one. There were also days when it was nice outside but there was no one around and so I was bored, there was nothing to do. What I wound up doing was thinking about stuff. I began to form my own opinions and ideas about life. Maybe that is why I seldom jump on the bandwagon. I much prefer my own parade. As I mentioned in yesterdays post, the really smart people I have read, and the ones I have listened to seldom quote other folks to justify their thoughts. It does appear to me that is a popular method to employ today. I justify my statements by quoting someone else's ! To me that holds about as much weight as quoting the Bible to an atheist ! Unless the other person holds the person being quoted in equal regard, it doesn't mean much at all. That in itself is a distraction from having to think for yourself. I certainly hold independent thought in greater regard than someone just quoting others. You know I've read about some of those supposed " scholars " and don't agree with them at all. At least not everything they said, just like real people. Amazing isn't it ? Just because Jefferson or Monroe said it doesn't mean I have to agree.
 What I'm trying to say here is I hear a lot of parrots these days. They are certainly good at repeating whatever they have heard. Then they use those statements to justify their own actions, or lack of them. This is especially true when that something benefits them on a personal level. The government should provide free everything, the government should take care of me and all that nonsense. Now it's a crime to hate somebody ! Isn't that what they call it, a hate crime ? Really, have you given that any thought at all ? People don't commit crimes against you because they love you and we need a law to explain that. Maybe we should give that concept a little more thought, like letting boys in the girls room ! Have we become so distracted that we can't recognize reality anymore ? I find that troubling. We have a steady stream of information rushing at us, so much so we can't process it. We are just too busy being entertained by it all. We have begun to operate on emotion rather than reason Emotion can rally the troops, but emotions make poor generals !
 You know just repeating whatever it is that you have read or heard is not understanding it. You really do have to think about it. Call me a cynic if you will, but folks are motivated by financial gain and social status more than anything else. I have seen this time and again. I would love to believe otherwise, but there are so few examples. And what is the big cause today ? We all want a bigger piece of the pie don't we ? We want everything to be fair. The pundits attach politically correct sounding names to the various pieces of legislation. The purpose is to arouse emotions ! Stir the sheep to action. Sadly, it is working all too well. The Indians drove buffalo over the cliff in much the same fashion. The result will be the same. I say it is time to just calm down, think about it for a while. Concentrate. Don't be distracted so easily.