To Be or Not to Be Controversial?

There is nothing like a great walk in the woods to get your mind going in so many crazy directions that you ask yourself, “Am I really thinking this?” More on that in a moment; back to those walks in the woods. Since our move to Western Massachusetts, I have enjoyed finding trails, mountain tops, river bottoms, a twisted gnarled tree, or a majestic specimen reaching for the clouds. There have been sunrises and foggy mornings, followed by clear evenings and moon bright nights. Oh, the wonder of it all, especially when it inspires our minds to think . . . and think . . . and think!

The question that came to me recently is, “I wonder how many questions I could come up with that would border on controversial without causing a controversy?” You know, questions that would make me go, “hmmmmm . . .” and cause you to go, “hmmmmm?” and cause us all to give a great big collective, “hmmmmm!” to discover an answer or at least another question during our next walk in the woods, or standing in the shower, or wherever a challenging thought might find us.  I guess the only way to find an answer to this question is to get started making a list.

  • Who have you talked about today that you would have accomplished much more if you would have talked to them?
  • Does it seem easier today to tell a lie in the age of alternative truth?
  • Is it human nature to pull my stomach in every time I step in front of the mirror?
  • How could it be fake news if I heard you say it with my own eyes?
  • Have you spent most of your week thinking about what is happening to you or what is happening through you?
  • Could Dale Carnegie have been just as famous if he would have titled his book How to Lose Friends and Influence People?
  • Should we help some of the old war horse congress men and women retire?
  • Why do you seem to be the only person in the room that thinks you are prepared for this meeting?
  • I wonder how Oxy’s mom feels about the word oxymoron?
  • Do we have a two-party political system or a two network system?
  • If you did not speak up, do you have the privilege to complain?
  • Would your opinion on guns change if it was your child lying at the morgue?
  • When was the last time you smiled at an old person who was not smiling at you?
  • Is adopting the role of playing the victim a sign of high self-esteem or low self-esteem?
  • How can that person be so convincing especially to themselves?
  • How will you hit your sales goal if you don’t sell anything?
  • What if mental illness first started from a habit?
  • Stop right there. Do I really look so naive and insignificant that you think I would believe what you just said?
  • Is it possible the person you or I fooled the most in our lifetime was ourselves?
  • Are there any statistics on how long an ignorant statement made at a school board meeting is remembered?
  • Why is it called reality TV when it isn’t?
  • How can a cosmetically manipulated talking head tell us what we should believe and then we believe it?
  • If global warming was, in fact, not true, wouldn’t the majority of the world’s population still benefit from taking actions as if it were?
  • Where would we be if both sides of the aisle applauded the successes of the other side of the aisle?

WHEW! I am not sure what just happened there, but it was an exhausting exercise digging up those questions and I’m still not sure if I landed where I wanted to. All of those questions did open up the opportunity to close with a few statements so stick with me for just a few minutes more.

  • December 31st will be our last PEOPLE SOLUTION NEWSLETTER . . . but we will enjoy writing several more between now and then.
  • I plan to also step away from the work I have loved so much over that past 33 years to find something I could love just as much. I will write more about this between now and the end of the year.
  • I do love to write, so I plan to continue writing in a different format to address questions and topics like I have listed above and continue to find solutions through an ongoing dialogue with people that care to go beyond spouting regurgitated rhetoric on Facebook, but who really want to discuss the revelations that came to them while they were listening to nothing more than the wind blowing on the last of the oak leaves still hanging on as winter arrives.
  • It might be a blog, or it might be a podcast, or maybe just a good old-fashioned phone call, but I believe dialogues focused on finding solutions for everyone are out there, and we just need to find them for the purpose of good.
  • I think I would like to call the blog something uncontroversially controversial! Something that may make Oxy’s mom tap her toe and cross her arms . . . maybe something like, “The Depressed Motivational Speaker” . . . hmmmmm?

But for now, let’s you and I grab our walking sticks and head for the woods.

Picture of Sunrise
Bear walking through the yard
Sunlight glowing on trees
Painting in the Woods
Lake front

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