Enlightenment

It’s been less than three days since the most deadly shooting in modern U.S. history. Immediately, the Internet, television news, and social spheres were abuzz with opinions. We’ve heard it all before:  “Gun control is the answer”; “No, gun control won’t stop mass murder”; “Trump did this”; “Trump didn’t do that”; “A white male murderer gets labeled a lone wolf, but after a Muslim or black murder, a whole religion or race is vilified”; “The guy’s a sociopath, don’t lump me in with him just because I own assault weapons”. And on and on it goes.

It’s not who’s right and who’s wrong that caught my attention today. It’s something else that hummed behind the usual roar of discordant voices …

The ink dried on a host of opinions before the victim count in Las Vegas was even finalized. We have become people of instant opinions

There’s something wrong with that.

The same people were saying the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. They’ve held those exact opinions for years. Nothing had changed in the slightest.

There’s something wrong with that, too.

It seems others’ worst tragedy is another person’s opportunity, their opening to set up soapboxes uninvited, from which to bellow personal, staunch beliefs.

There’s something very, very, very wrong with that.

Do people not need time to take in transpiring events and to wait for information before broadcasting their views on this, an unprecedented, bizarre, horrible, numbing, inexplicable event?

Obviously they don’t think so. Or maybe they just don’t think to think.

Watching all this, wide-eyed, baffled at all that is happening, this occurred to me today:

Instant opinions are a sign of closed minds. 

A closed mind can’t do new things, it can’t think outside of the box, it can’t realize it may not know everything, or consider it needs to stay open so it can correct itself when needed. A closed mind can’t listen to others or absorb novel information. A closed mind can’t invent, discover, or pioneer.

So, I wondered, what are the qualities of inventors, discoverers, leading-edge thinkers, or pioneers?

This word came to mind:

Enlightenment.

Enlightenment, by definition, is:

1. having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook.
the more enlightened employers offer better terms”
2. spiritually aware.
.
It’s synonyms are:  informed, well informed, aware, sophisticated, advanced, developed, open-minded, broad-minded, educated, knowledgeable, wise; civilized, refined, cultured, cultivated “enlightened people don’t punch out people who think differently”
.
Pioneers, inventors, avant-garde thinkers, discoverers and others who have something helpful to offer in changing times, are enlightened.
*
I suspect enlightened people are unlikely to form instant opinions.
.
There’s something right about that.
*
They are the people we need to hear from. They are the people who have earned a voice by virtue of their long-standing habits:  They are consistently slow to opine and quick to listen and learn. They are committed to credibility. They dig for answers, and don’t stop until an acceptable one is found. And then they make it prove itself over time — if it doesn’t hold up they go back to digging.
.
Hopefully, if we will give these people an opportunity, and as listeners adopt a semblance of their patience, they will willingly share some of that wisdom they’ve labored to acquire. Because …
.
We need them. 
*
In this climate of abrasive noise, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol unyielding and unhelpful opinions, and shouting, back-and-forth, closed-minded voices …
*
It is the enlightened voices we need to come from the background to be heard.  
.
When they do, there will be something very, very, very right about it.
Advertisements