A while back I decided it was time to ask myself questions in order to be better prepared for the upcoming election.
Since I started voting too many decades ago, I approached elections by finding out where candidates stand on issues. This year I feel compelled to do more. I decided to double-check my views and opinions, and if they have changed.
I have a good sense of what matters to me when it comes to governing, but it’s always good to reassess. This journey, which isn’t complete, has helped me re-focus on the things that I now – with the context of some life experience – find more relevant.
I also recognize that no one person will ever embody my ideal. We’re all flawed humans after all. But those flaws also are illuminating. My ability and willingness to compromise and acknowledge I’m not the center of the universe helps put things into a more realistic perspective.
How much does truth really matter? I’ve decided it matters more, not less. I recognize we all have skirted truth in our lives. We don’t tell our best friend she looks fat in that dress if we can possibly help it. But on a fundamental level, we all rely on truth to navigate.
Whether it is truth in advertising for what we spend our money on or truth in relationships so we can feel safe and valued, truth matters. Trust is either earned or destroyed based on the truth of our experiences with people. Once we get inured to lies, it’s more difficult to distinguish truth. Our ability to navigate is compromised, as are our self-confidence, our judgment and our ability to function.
When we can see with our eyes that chemical agents were used on our citizens for exercising their constitutional right, and then we’re told by “officials” it didn’t happen, we are being trained to accept lies. We’re seeing firsthand the meaning of the word “gaslighting.” If we accept lies and excuse them, we are complicit in perpetuating the lies. Once truth is lost, what do we really have left?
How much do intelligence and education matter? I wish everyone had the ability and means for as much formal education as they desire. I also recognize many have great intelligence who never experienced a formal education setting; conversely some who have had formal education don’t have much intelligence.
I do think intelligence – which partially means a realization and appreciation that history, science, art, social sciences and many other applied knowledge are critical if we are to empower people to act on our behalf – is important, especially if they are spending our hard-earned money and trying to keep our country safe.
It isn’t comforting to hear the most powerful individual on the planet say that if we didn’t test for the current COVID-19 virus we wouldn’t have any cases. I guess that means if I still have checks I must have money in my bank account, or if one doesn’t take a pregnancy test they aren’t pregnant.
Yes, an interest in and thirst for intelligence and knowledge matter.
More questions will emerge. If only the answers were at the ready.