Without Context, Life Can Be Drastic

5 Jun

Without Context, Life Can Be Drastic

By Kathy Custren

 

Without context, our world loses much of its meaning. There are shades of nuance that exist throughout the vibrational spectrum, that lend added definition, and some may say dignity, to life. In the absence of these sprinklings of understanding, we lose empathy; hardened to only to the extremes of what we see and hear.

 

Before we react to words, in anger, frustration, or even haste, let us stop to consider that there may be more to the picture. When something is bothering us and a caring person takes the time to stop to ask how we are, do we say how we really feel? “I’m fine,” is the standard response to an often-un-standard inquiry. Deep down, we know the other person must have noticed something to make them ask in the first place.

 

Take, for example, the recent exhibit of Kathy Griffin and the image of her holding a “piñata” shaped like the severed head of President Donald Trump. This firestorm of incendiary controversy fueled social media for days. It enraged folks that such a prominent comedienne would “do such a thing.” “What about the President’s son?”

 

Yet, we might quickly forget that these images do not come about of their own accord. We see a well-constructed, highly colorful image designed to inflame. We overlook seeing effigies of President Obama strung from a tree, as if lynched. Surely, the young Obama daughters saw those images more than once while growing up in the White House. If not, kudos to the parents for keeping them insulated; my family saw them.

 

It is not all that easy to stand in front of a crowd and tell a joke, let alone one that makes an impact. Today’s comedians work in a realm of multiple layers of subtleties. These nuances are sometimes lost in the muddled fields of politics, with distinct lines drawn or where ideologies shift periodically.

 

Would Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of President Trump be any less on-point if he played it before the election? Would it even be on our radar? What of those joking about President Clinton’s use of the word, “is?” At face value, does everything have a double entendre? The Taijitu says this is the case.

 

Knowing when to apply nuance, subtlety, or context can be important. Stringing along past experiences within the present moment, with an eye toward future influence, is part and parcel of human communications, rightly or wrongly. These aspects to life are often the difference in knowing what syllable to emphasize when saying, “I love you.” It is said that persons with autism often lack the ability to know when people are making jokes or when words operate as idioms, because they may not read the same social cues as many of us. Without context, we may take words at face value alone and fall into this category.

 

Likewise, the many news reports, memes, and other things we see in the media today. As people work hard to get our attention, we do need to be cognizant of the many layers of understanding and misunderstanding that can occur with communicative awareness. Can we convey context with text alone, or with one limited view? When it comes to freedom of expression, who is to say?

 

Those of us with a skill to fully explain the subtle differences can add shading where needed. However, it behooves us to do such applications wisely. Many colors of the experiential rainbow avoid our spectroscopy. It does not mean these shades do not exist; only that our ability to fully sense and comprehend them is limited. This is true where culture or politics draw such distinct lines, or where the fruition of mindful speech comes into play.

 

So, when it is reported, and even fact-checked with precision, that someone has said something controversial, we must take it with a grain of salt. It can be important to consider the many underlying meanings. Allowing for such context increases our measure of empathy and understanding. As part of The Conundrum, it is ironic that we lose context in using text.  In allowing for the rights and wrongs of our world, this becomes a very important touchstone for us all.

 

About the Author

Kathy Custren, OMTimes Magazine Senior Editor, is a mother who strives for balance with a deep respect for all. Interests include education, elements, nature, humanity’s cosmic origins, philosophy, spirituality, and wellness. Connect with “Consciousness Live” on WordPress and the community page “Consciousness Live” on Facebook. Read more at Mindblogger: http://kathyc-mindblogger.blogspot.com

Conscious Quickie: Spheres

9 Jan

Conscious Quickie for January 8, 2017 is Spheres.

What comes to mind when you think of spheres? Maybe the globe of our world is a good example? There is often more to the word than meets the eye, however. Consider spheres of knowledge or influence, and how these may affect our lives. This would include the family and friends we see daily or on a regular basis who help shape our life experience. Do you find you have grown together with others or apart from them? In what spheres might you be an anchor for others? Spheres of community in which we participate make up part of the overall tapestry of our lives, all part of the web of connection. What we do in life changes along with us, as part of the acquisition of understanding that is fostered along our journey. ~ Blessings!

Conscious Quickie: Inactivity

9 Jan

Conscious Quickie for January 7, 2017 is Inactivity.

Do you see what I did here? As an example of inactivity, the conscious quickie for the day was left undone and published a day later. This inactivity freed up very little of my day, in fact. It made me think of other ways inactivity might leave voids in our lives. Did something else come along to fill up the time? Sure, it did; but it was not part of this daily minder to become more conscious, though. Thus, it felt more like a gaping hole than the simple act of being consciously inactive. Might there be times when inactivity is useful? One of the best reasons for being inactive or “not doing” something would be if the action hurt others. Going one day without thinking of consciousness…was that harmful, or could it be? This is something we can only answer for ourselves. ~ Blessings!

 

The Pretender

6 Jan

Completely agree – and the penultimate comment about people reinforcing existing beliefs and refusing to be educated may just be the biggest hurdle. Thanks for saying it, Melanie ~ Blessings!

Hey Man, It Was A Piece of the Salmon

You know how I like to use a song title or whatever for my titles, and I could use this one for so many things, but I think I’ll let politics win this one. Or politicians, anyway.

Let me begin by making my usual remark that I hate politics. But I don’t really mean that, because you can’t. What politics actually means is “the methods by which we run society” and you can’t really hate that. You can disagree with versions of it, but unless you are completely apathetic over how it’s done you can’t exactly hate that there is a choice here.

Unfortunately all too often these days when people talk about politics what they mean is a very silly running argument about which party is best. It is party politics I can’t stand. This whole “there are only two ways to do anything, and my party has chosen…

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Conscious Quickie: Change

6 Jan

Conscious Quickie for January 6, 2017 is Change.

Here we are, almost a week into the new year, and it is a good time to be conscious of change. Many of us resolve to make various changes, so how is it going? Are we remaining conscious of the many ways change can affect us, or that we can effect change? Is there one main thing you seek to change this year? It is never too late to change, even though some people believe ‘you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.’ Change is a constant thing, as nature shows us. We can change with each breath we take, since the one we take now is different than the last. Our conscious awareness is the same way; what is true now often changes with greater understanding. Do not sweat the details, but remain aware and conscious of the little steps we can take to change every day ~ Blessings!

Conscious Quickie: Heritage

5 Jan

Conscious Quickie for January 5, 2017 is Heritage.

“In everything you say and do, you bring your heritage along with you.” This little rhyme suggests that we are the sum of our parts…our heritage. There is another saying that tells us we are the result of generations of love. Our being here is the evidence that we have a history to honor, and a deep background that goes farther back than many of our working memory banks will recall. Some of us attuned to energy and consciousness may be able to recall some bit of our heritage, whether it is personal or cultural. In expanding our consciousness to consider heritage, rather than keeping our heritage strictly in the past, let us consider that we breathe some renewed life into it on our leg of the journey. Are we the best we can be, and do we honor our heritage in all that we say and do? ~ Blessings!

Conscious Quickie: Service

4 Jan

Conscious Quickie for January 4, 2017 is Service.

Service is a heart-generated action, generally attributed toward a greater good. We may take on the action of service for one person or many. Despite the often-prevailing idea that services should be paid for, there are many benefits to non-profit-related service. Gifting service, or being of-service without the idea of getting something back immediately, reinforces the ‘good that comes back to us’ in a roundabout way. We may offer a service directly, yet reap larger dividends when we least expect it. Many people put their lives at risk in the performance of service, which makes it a critical topic to consider. Today, we contemplate the many ways we may be of service and extend these heart-based loving actions to others. ~ Blessings!