Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, current events, History, Justice, Patriotism, Politics, Taking Responsibility, Uncategorized, Working together

Forever chasing nothing

As a nation, we pride ourselves as being an advanced culture with highly intelligent people and as having the best of everything — pound for pound — the world has to offer. Sadly, I struggle to find anything we do as signficant to mankind.

Now this is not a bash America blog! I used to say I love America but like many I could not tell you why. It was my only frame of reference so I loved what I knew. I assumed that people in government were looking out for the little man — looking out as defined as making laws and provisions for the little man to grow and develop into something more, not throw him a bone and keep him dumb.

There was a study done in the 90s with 21k people across 7 nations to test there literacy. The study covered more than 30 tasks over a 45 minute span. The test takers were between the ages of 16 to 25 and the specific items on the test dealt with reading comprehension, following directions, reading maps, completing job applications etc. — things you would need to function and thrive in every day life. The results were astonishing (see table below). There were level grades from 1 to 5 where a 4 or 5 was pretty high functioning and of course a 1 was struggling. Sweden’s population of that age group were the brightest with more than 40 percent functioning at the highest levels. Only 18 percent of Americans at that age range preformed as well as the Swedes.

What does that mean you ask? Well other than the obvious, it seems that the study has also proven that higher functioning was related to higher wages. When France talks about job creation and the US talks about it, those are two totally different conversations. France is only talking about a living wage where you can take care of a family with a modest living. In the US, we say a job is a job — better than not having one.

Today we are in a literacy crisis. No one should be surprised about this but I don’t think we understand the effects.

 

  • More than 30 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or complete basic math above a third-grade level. —  Proliteracy
  • Children whose parents have low literacy levels have a 72 percent chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. These children are more likely to get poor grades, display behavioral problems, have high absentee rates, repeat school years, or drop out. — National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
  • 75 percent of state prison inmates did not complete high school or can be classified as low literate. — Rand Report: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education
  • Low literacy is said to be connected to over $230 billion a year in health care costs because almost half of Americans cannot read well enough to comprehend health information, incurring higher costs. — American Journal of Public Health

Our problem: Politics. We constantly elect people who can not relate to the problems of the average American and they could care less about those problems. It doesn’t even matter what political party you belong to — both parties have failed the little man.

It seems that we have disfellowshipped the word demand because we don’t demand anything — nothing of ourselves and nothing from those who rule the world. So we sit and take it — you live your life paycheck to paycheck and die in a sea of debt. In our country they tell you that you have the right to pursue happiness, they just forgot to tell you it was nearly impossible to catch.

Posted in Iraq War, Truth

Absolute Truth

I remember in the 70s and 80s watching the “In Search of …” series on TV.

I recall thinking to myself how these people had chosen an impossible task. They were looking for things like “Big Foot”, “The Loch Ness Monster” and “Noah’s Ark”.

It wasn’t going to happen.

They were not going to find those things – and I knew that at age 10.

And I wondered how long it would take them before they got tired of searching and began to manufacture truth to prove a point.

You know what I mean – coming up with evidence that may not point toward whatever they were looking for, but could be used for such.

They would use it to justify what they were doing and – as long as we watched – they could keep going with their creation of truth.

It seems today that too many people believe that truth is just that – manufactured.

I wonder how many of us, in whatever we are searching for, are really searching for absolute truth?

Not absolute truth according to me, TV or this scholar or that scholar – I mean good old-fashioned universal undisputed Truth with a capital ‘T’.

Today, Webster’s dictionary defines truth as: “a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true … actuality.”

About 50 years ago, Webster’s dictionary defined truth as “agreement with reality; external principle of right or law of order.”

It seems in these two changing definitions we have clearly lost some things over the last 50 years.

Two things in particular:
1. Truth now has to be accepted as such – whether it’s real truth or not. If enough people believe it, then it will be accepted as truth
2. Truth no longer has to agree with reality or what is – as the latter definition states. We have made reality relative to us. Is that legal?

Have you ever put your trust in something (or someone) only later to find out that it was all a lie? The truth you thought you had then was eventually trumped by reality.

It hurt like hell, didn’t it?

You are not alone.

There have been many who were presented with information that was bogus – from pyramid marketing scams to information about your partner – we somehow found out the real truth – and discovered we had been had!

To add insult to injury, some of us even try and keep the lie going once we discover the error for fear of looking like a fool – or because we’ve invested too much in the situation.

This happened to us with the war in Iraq.

Whether the Bush administration or Congress knew prior or not, we went to war because we were told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

That lie got us over there and then we needed another lie to keep us there.

Our government gave us three:
1. Saddam was a bad person and a threat to us.
2. The Iraqi people needed to be liberated.
3. Being in Iraq would make us safer because we would then be fighting the war on Terrorism on the terrorists’ turf.

But the question remains: What about the WMD?

The problem is that no one will discuss is how we were lied to and how our sacred trust in our government was violated.

Even with a new administration, we are still fighting under these same false pretenses. We don’t need to be saved from terrorists – we need to be saved from ourselves.

Absolute truth is just that.

It doesn’t need to be rationalized or require a lot of explanation.

It’s truth.

God created it that way so we wouldn’t struggle to find the source – which is God Himself.

This is why Proverbs 4:7 says: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

I encourage you in whatever the field of study, whatever the circumstance, keep searching for absolute truth.

It’s there. You have to first desire it.