If a tree fell in the woods, would we tell it to shut up?

Could it be Truthful Tuesday? Have no fear, imaginary friends! Truthful Tuesday will not be a regular feature. I can’t commit.

Once in a while, our collective wisdom exhausts me. I was going to post about how the Internet solves the age old question about the tree falling in the woods when nobody is around….. Of course every cool picture of a fallen tree had a blog attached to it. Those pictures were illustrating the same idea I had or to teach something about marketing. See? We’re all so wise. We seem to be repeating ourselves. (Tangent: How many blogs and podcasts are out there simply re-purposing what other blogs and podcasts have said?! I’m all for a summary but that feels a bit like cheating.)

living tree trunk carved like a stick figure

Here’s a tree that hasn’t fallen down. Check out some interesting art at pooktre.com.

The short version of what I wanted to say is this: The Internet gives that tree a megaphone with a recorder and a pause feature. When someone comes within range of it, possibly years after it fell, the sound can play and it will be heard. That can be great news to many people who live just to be heard. They shout at the infinite abyss, “I’m here!!!! I’m worthy. Listen to me!” while stamping their foot for good measure. It can also be the worst news for people who are growing because today’s wisdom can easily be tomorrow’s folly and there’s a worldwide record of it.

So here’s my disclaimer for the site, once again… in big, bold letters… (help me out WordPress): Everything Expressed Here Is Subject To Change With Additional Life Experience…Maybe Even With Mood.

I play that “Camera 1 or Camera 2” game with my life. I shut 1 eye and it looks a certain way. I switch to the other eye and it all appears to jump a bit. In a moment, every emotion affects my perception of my world and the people in it. Give me a second and I can see 25 different ways a person might interpret the same view. I can have 8 empathetic lenses working simultaneoulsy.  Sometimes I hover above the issue in a most remote and peculiar way. That view usually offers me some clarity. (Score one point for the Peculiar mind!)

For most people that sounds tiring, but that’s not the full picture. Everyone shouts, re-posts and “likes” to virtually co-sign thoughts that gel with their beliefs at that moment. They bluster about how dumb some people are to not accept some widely accepted scientific “fact”  while willfully turning a blind eye to the historical accounts of the many times the scientific community has been incorrect. They hear someone in a suit and tie say something on The NEWS (as if that’s some kind of holy ground for truth) and believe it without a second thought. Moreover, they’ll re-broadcast that information with fervent reverence. They will belittle others who do not quickly agree. They write and re-post articles about ______ is an offensive, antiquated ideology that no longer serves us in the modern age. They tell each other what to think, say, and do about Anything and Everything. We are lectured in every way except how to enjoy people even if they’re very different from ourselves. As one who feels fairly different from the pack on most days, I find this discouraging.

If an alien observed our communication online, aside from hostility, it would appear we all seem to know Everything about Everything. We are all super intelligent and advanced. If that were the truth, our world wouldn’t be in such chaos. We’d be smart enough to fix things. Hear me out: Most will have a knee-jerk reaction to this and think, “If they did things my way, this world would be better. My ideas are correct and would solve everything.” Take your emotional pulse at this moment. Part of you is experiencing a lot of additional tension. Your brow may be furrowed and your fists may be clenched as your finger turns purple while you scroll down the screen. Or maybe you’re furiously pounding your keyboard typing in your rebuttal right now. Your mind is angry with thoughts rooted in the general idea that, “People are so dumb and frustrating. It could be so simple if they would just follow my will.” There’s the lack of wisdom right there. You feel that internal strain? That push and pull toward and against everything. “I hate the way you think; Come closer and follow me.” There’s a mixed feeling that stresses us out to the max. Wisdom has never brought me joy. I sought it. I thought knowing things and having a keen understanding of all would be so useful. I could help. I….I….I….. It very well could be all about ego.

No. I don’t know anything, dear imaginary friend. For me, great peace can be found in realizing that nobody else does either…and…most importantly….that it’s OK. It really is just fine. There are awful problems in the world. But it isn’t on me alone to solve them. I don’t have to be Extra Special Whizz Bang Fantastic or hand-polish an imperfect world. I don’t have to be offended or tie myself up in knots trying not to offend someone else. I don’t have to know everything. Everyone doesn’t have to come my way. I don’t need to expect someone else to know everything and solve all of the world’s issues either. In fact, with all of the information floating around, truth is more scarce than ever. Simply Google 1 thing. See how many very credible looking/sounding web sites tell you the exact opposite information. Track and trace the “facts” used in each and you’ll find well-constructed web of information that seems to support each point for Both sides. In America, we like to pretend we understand what propaganda is because it happens in other lands. Guys and gals…. Really? Seriously? Think about it. Or don’t. It’s fine. It’s all just fine. See there? I started to want you to think a little bit the way I do and it was creating an unpleasant feeling within me. Sometimes people tell me, I’d love to live in your head for a little while. My brain is a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here. The taxes are high, parking stinks and don’t even get me started on the traffic!

Send your truth to admin@finepointpen.com

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