Please Save Me From Small Minded Thinking

People with ongoing limited thinking are really painful for me to listen too. I find it hard to imagine there is still so much backwards thinking going on. This one really pushed some buttons for me. In a conversation I was part of, there was discussion about obituaries’ in small town newspaper.

The talk turned then turned to marriages in the paper. Here we go…. A comment was made about now that gay people are allowed to be legally married, a large number of Texas license plates are being seen in two small border towns towns since legislation was recently passed in the state allowing gay marriages.

One person stated they are surprised by the number of him/him and her/her marriages that are showing up in the paper.

This was followed by a comment with agreement on how wrong it is for those people to be allowed to be legally married. Of course I had to ask why it is wrong to allow two people that love each other and want to be a married couple to be legally married?

Why of course, I was told, the bible says it is wrong was the reply. It’s right there in Leviticus. This was followed by agreement of most present with a fairly close quote of the actual verse.

Wow, one line in the whole of the bible that doesn’t need apply any more as it is a part of the old testament and the old covenant? Not to mention of asked to quote to or three other verses from other parts of the bible, they would struggle. But they know this one well.

Well, I was told, two county clerks quit their jobs over this. It conflicts with their religion, was said in a tone that it was a horrible thing they had to quit their jobs because of gay people wanting to be legally married. Following was a quiet murmuring of agreement. After all it conflicted with their religion(?).

The book of Leviticus has over two-hundred laws in it, some of which we all break weekly without even thinking about it. We violate or break several of the laws in Leviticus every day, by eating pork, catfish, lobster, shrimp, clams, and oysters. Drinking strong alcohol by young people also is a no no. Not sacrificing the proper animals in response to named events are deal breakers in Leviticus.

Besides the fact that these laws were created and followed by a wandering desert people whose lives have little in common with todays’ world, some of these laws are founded on fact. Eating infected under cooked pork, and eating seafood without scales can kill you. Alcohol destroys more than brain cells so it is not good for younger people. On the other hand no one sacrifices animals any more, along with many other of the two-hundred plus laws we choose not to follow in Leviticus.

These prohibitions are what comes to mind immediately. Obviously, for some people, these laws are ignored, except for the one line law about men/men and woman/woman relationships. Unless the law fits their lifestyle, that is different.

These laws seem to be in fact, not important when in held in comparison to wanting to publicly acknowledge ones status as a married person. Everything written in Leviticus apparently else pales in comparison to gay marriage.

Why do we continue to be asleep. Are we happy being short sighted creatures?  Why do we not judge ourselves as quickly as we judge others? In these situations selective ignorance applies. These people have brain viruses and are a danger to a healthy, rational society.

Less than 100 years ago, women and children had no real rights, and were mostly confined to kitchen and bedrooms. Children were little more than animals, and held less rights than their mothers did. A woman’s opinion mattered little. A child better not be heard having an opinion.

Inter-racial marriage was banned. Being in an inter-racial marriage may have gotten you killed. Alcohol was illegal for a time. Cocaine, opium, and heroin were not illegal, and sold over the counter. Smoking was thought to be healthy. Drinking or otherwise ingesting radioactive substances was seen as a healthy life choice.

Theatres had balconies, and only white people were allowed downstairs. Cafes were white only in the main parts of any city. Water Fountains and Bathrooms were segregated by color. The government knew what was best. People of color rode in the back of the bus.

One of the small towns being discussed where the county clerks quit, less than fifty years ago proudly displayed a sign at each end of its city limits, “If you are Black, don’t let the sun set on you in this town”.

The above paragraphs are but a few examples of where we were one-hundred years ago. Today no-one would question the insanity of what was the law of the land. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.

The thing is, the minds of these people and those that think like them will never be changed, short of some life altering experience. All that can be done is wait for them to die off and hope the next generation will be less archaic in their thinking. In the meantime, let me help you with that log in your eye.

Your Friends Tell the World about You

Professor Jennifer Golbeck has a Talk on TED.com you should listen to if you are a user of social media or not. The subject of Professor Goldbrick’s talk is the act of a ‘like’ for a picture of curly fries. How that innocent like categorizes you into a special group. Generally liking curly fries, and other innocent ‘likes’ tells those who are interested, a lot more about you than your taste in food.

Social media is social, no surprise there. You generally are careful about what you say or write about in your own life, or what you comment on in other peoples live’s. It all appears harmless enough on the surface, but the amount of seriously personal information you are giving away is scary, both its width and breadth.

Pre-computer age, if a company wanted to learn if you were a good fit for the company, they would ask you if you would mind a taking a test, or four in my case. The company was upfront about it. These were personality tests designed to unravel who I was, what I thought, and where I drew my boundaries.

If you were asked to take tests such as these as a condition of employment what would you do? In my case I said, sure I would take the tests. How bad could it be? After all, if there were questions about subject I chose not to share, I would answer differently than I really thought.

After the eight or ninth question it hit me. If I am choosing to not answer honestly about a question, and answer differently, how does that reflect on me? Is everyone like me, and are they answering in the exact different way? Or am I answering the way a pathological criminal would answer?

This series of tests was quite a little mind game for me. After the fourth test, the company for whatever reason gave up on me. Somewhere in my answers, it became apparent that I was not the right person for the job. It may have differences to my answers of the same type of questions, or it may have been my answers led them to believe something else about me. It may have been there was no company hiring, and I was being lied too. I never heard from the company after the fourth test.

So what has that srtory to do with social media? A lot more than you think. You are I am sure very careful about what you say, and pictures you post in social media sites. Seems like a safe approach in itself. After all what information are you really giving away?

You are giving a lot more persoanl and private information away than you think when using social media. Starting with your on-line friends. Do you really know all your friends in person, or do you only know the persona they pretend to be? Do you know their friends, or just the friends they mention?

What are your friends generally posting about? If you are in college, and you never mention drinking, drugs, cheating, when writing about college, it does not matter. If your friends are doing something, odds are you are too. That’s the way life works.

From Tribal or villiage life of old to facebook of present, we haven’t changed. We are who we hang around with. There is an old saying I was told as a Teen that applies more now than ever. “You are your friends.” It may be a good idea to commit that line to memory. What your friends are so are you.

What this means, is if you socialize, or are linked up with certain groups of people who like or enjoy certain things, chances are you do those things too, even though you may not mention them yourself. What your friends, online or off talk about, is what you are probably doing too.

After all what is the point of having friends if you do not share interests? If your friends are talking about spending the fourth of July in a drunken stupor at some beach, it does not matter if you post about it or not. If you have no comments during the time they will be partying, it is pretty likely you were right there with them.

If some of your friends mention being in favor of one or more frowned upon behaviors, and you do not mention it anywhere in your posts or messages, guess what? You are connected to those behaviors by association, because of your friends. Even if your friends have little in common in your real life, inferences are being made about your life, every bit of it.

Social media is fun, Social media helps you feel connected, Social media is also stealing your life and selling it for profit. Social media is forming your world. Think about the amount of freely given information available to someone if you are a long time user of social media. Chances are good that you have already been categorized, binned, and classified in a hundred different ways, waiting for the buyer of your personal information.