Enlightenment

It’s been less than three days since the most deadly modern-day shooting in U.S. history. Predictably, the internet, television, and social spheres are abuzz with opinions.

The pro-Trump voices are on the hunt for Trump critics, quickly smothering them with insulting words that were stale before the campaign cycle was completed. The anti-gun people jumped on this tragedy with their well-rehearsed arguments before the site of the shooting was even cleared. Pro-immigration people instantly pointed out that American white males just got a pass that Muslims aren’t given when one among them commits a violent act. The list of opinions goes on, and on, and on.

It’s nothing new, and it’s not about whether the opinions are right or wrong. Something else is standing out from the norm, something else is giving me pause …

The ink was dried on the opinions before the victim count was finalized.

And this …

Each opinion holder is expressing the same opinions they’ve been expressing for months, even years.

The predictability of it all reeks of something wrong.

It’s the same ‘ol, same ‘ol’ness of it all …

It’s the “unchanging-ness” of it all …

It’s the sad reality that …

Instant opinions are the sign of closed minds.

Which makes me wonder …

Why is it so difficult for people to seek information before instantly sorting transpiring  events into already-existing “opinion slots”?

Who among us knows everything? Who among us is so brilliant or wise that we have nothing more to learn from others? Who among us is without error?

Why is it so difficult to stay open to new thoughts and new ideas? How do we think we’re going to be make it through life in the best possible way, if our minds are made up, and new information and others’ points of view are blocked from consideration?

Have we paused to study the characteristics of inventors, discoverers, pioneers … of anyone past or present who managed to envision and advance into “a new thing”?

Were they not open-minded, slow to assume, slow to opine, quick to listen, and patient in their formation of new ideas?

Were they not capable of being enlightened?

And finally …

Don’t WE want to have the capacity to be enlightened?

en·light·ened
inˈlītnd,enˈlītnd/
adjective
adjective: enlightened
  •  having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook.
    “the more enlightened employers offer better terms”
     spiritually aware.
  • Synonyms:informedwell informedawaresophisticatedadvanceddevelopedliberalopen-mindedbroad-mindededucatedknowledgeablewise;
    civilized, refinedculturedcultivated
    “enlightened people don’t punch out people who think differently”
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