What Is Wisdom?

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Some thoughts today on what is wisdom:


– Knowing you know nothing–and you can prove it (ah, humility)!


– Knowing when to ask–like the infamous directions when you’re lost or how to use the latest new technology.


– Learning from all others (everyone has something they can teach us).


– Wisdom = Knowledge + Experience (you’ve gotten an inkling about some truth out there, and you’ve had a chance to test it out). 


– Seeing that people’s outer bodies are just the superficial, material cover for their inner souls. 


– Realizing that doing for others is so much more rewarding than doing for ourselves. 


– Following the great truths of morality and responsibility.


– Keen awareness that we are not alone in the universe–G-d is everywhere.


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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Dirty Laundry Usually Doesn’t Get Aired

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The way to fix problems is to first identify and acknowledge them.


Only then can you focus on them, commit to them, really address them, and make things better.


The BIG problem though is fear. 


Usually dirty laundry doesn’t get so easily aired. 


Generally, people don’t want trouble. 

“The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.”

And who wants to be the one to get hammered flat and for of all things, doing the right thing?


We don’t encourage transparency.


And we certainly don’t reward transparency. 


As I once overheard:

“Uh, you better keep it in the family!”

So things get kept in the family, and the big burly husband is a drunkard bum and the wife is abused and the kids are abused, and the sh*t goes on. 


Shhh…


Open door policies, hotlines, and other mechanisms are helpful, but don’t go far enough. 


Bosses need to ask point blank and with full and honest assurance of confidentiality and non-attribution or retribution:

“Tell me what’s really going on here.”

When there is smoke, there is fire, and where there is skunk stink, there is skunk.


The only way to know the truth and make a difference is to get to the truth.


In life, is anyone willing to “do the dirty” and finally get to clean? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Any Objectivity Out There Please?

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Just want to pose a question to close out this week…


A recent Harvard study “confirms media bias” against Trump with negative media reports outpacing positive ones by 80:20.


Some outlets are posting at an incredible 13:1 rate for negative reporting!


Can CNN, the New York Times, and other mass media outlets get back to objective news reporting once again?


This doesn’t mean avoiding real investigative journalism and honest criticism where due.


But rather it should be fair, balanced, and work to get to truth.


We can hold dear the First Amendment and do it with genuine integrity too. 


This would be a great day for America! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

CNN News May (Sometimes) Be Fake, But The Flowers Aren’t

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As CNN (and other news outlets) continue to go after the President of the United States with a vehemence, and three of its journalists had to resign, I thought it was important to remember that while there may be much news these days that is ugly and fake, there are still many things in life that are still beautiful and real like these gorgeous flowers.


While we look to the media for honest and fair news reporting to educate and inform us all, it continues to be more than disappointing that they not only seem to take sides, but as one of their own producers admitted, they are looking out for their own ratings more than for the benefit of the American and global news consumer. 


Political biases, chasing after ratings, alternative facts, fake news…what are people across the political and viewpoint spectrum to do to get to the truth?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Meaning of Silence

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Is silence a good thing or a bad thing–what does it really mean?


On the plus or neutral side:


Silence can mean modesty and humility–you withhold speaking out of turn or having a big mouth; you recognize that you don’t know everything and what you do know is not intended to put down or shame others. 


Silence can means secrets and privacy–you don’t say everything; you treat information properly based on need to know and propriety of sharing. 


Silence can mean good situational judgement–that you know prudently when to let others have their say, or when your opinion isn’t really welcome, or when it’s best to just stay below the radar. 


Silence can mean you simply don’t know–and it’s something you need to listen and learn more about rather than speak; it’s why we’re told that we have two ears and one mouth.


Silence can mean that maybe you don’t care about something–why get fired up or “waste your breath” on it when it’s just not your thing.


When can it be a negative:


There was a sign in the local school window that silence means (wrongful) acceptance; that is also something I learned in in the Talmud in yeshiva; if you see something wrong and don’t say or do something, you are (partially) responsible.


Silence can mean fear–perhaps you don’t accept something, but you’re afraid to speak truth or morality to power; you sit silently cowering, when you should stand up tall and speak out. 


Silence may also mean shame–you’ve done something wrong or don’t want others to know something that could make you look bad or put you in jeopardy. 


Silence can mean you are hiding something–it can be that you don’t trust or aren’t trustful; silence at a time when you need to answer or respond can result in suspicion about why you are “holding back,” instead of being forthcoming and truthful.


When to talk and when to remain silent? 


Certainly, “you have the right to remain silent.”


We need to use words with care and intent–to always seek to help and not to hurt. 


Words are so potent–the mouth is perhaps the strongest part of the human body, just like the pen is mightier than the sword. 


That’s why I pray that G-d put the “right words” in my mouth–to be constructive, positive, effective and impactful–to do good as much as possible with words and with silence. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Nature of Good and Evil

Like in the Bible…


When our forefather Itzchak was about to bless his son Jacob and he said the words (are good) like Jacob, but the hands (deeds) feel like Esau.


Words are cheap, and actions speak volumes louder!


Good deeds mean something, but words are easily manipulated.


We can all spot good deeds, and that is what must guide our judgement of people and situations–that is where the truth rests.


Like my father and grandfather always taught me–some people are good and some are not so good.  😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

U.S. National Demise From Political and Media Extremism

When media becomes propaganda, this country is in serious trouble.


We are so busy telling each other what “the truth” is that nothing is getting done. 


While Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and radical Islamist terrorists increase in strength and bravado, we are fighting one another here at home.


As more people in the U.S. gravitate to the extremes–alt-left and alt-right–lines in sand are drawn between us, while the red lines defending our common interests are eviscerated. 


Self-destructing from within, while we outwardly spend $600 billion on defense–34% of that of the entire world!


No strategy or weapons can defend us, when fake news and alternate facts and hatred of one another is at our present-day core. 


Tearing us apart, the endless hateful calls of:


– “Not my President”


– “Resistance and persistence


– “Love Trumps Hate”


– “Deplorables, Nazis, Communists!”


The political extremists and their media henchmen are leading the charge to America’s downfall and possible doomsday. 


Unless we, the American people, can moderate and unify and love each other again.


We must before our enemies take advantage of our inner divisiveness and weakness.


If we don’t come to our common senses, then we may very well pay a most heavy price in our persons, property, and freedom that we all so cherish and value. 😉