To Think, or Not To Think . . .

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

My social media friend Carol Hopkins posted a quote from Rumi on FB today that reads:

“Raise your words, not your voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

Now Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, and apparently a pretty smart guy.  I imagine if they had televisions back then he would have cautioned us to turn them off.

In fact, I effectively turned mine off after the 2016 election.  I decided I would not be able to watch mainstream TV, especially the news, without losing many of my now diminishing years to aggravation and frustration, and I didn’t want to break my new TV in a fit of anger either.  I had, after all, just treated myself to a nice one in honor of having survived my second divorce.  I may have walked away with nothing, but now I had a nice TV.  Progress?  I’m not so sure. 😊

But back to Rumi – that saying is true wisdom.

Be thoughtful.  Choose your words carefully.  Use your intellect.  And employ the gentle art of persuasion.

Apparently, not enough people have heard or practice this wisdom.  In particular, it seems that news and commentary, and the unilog on social media, have all deteriorated into little more than a shouting match.

I use the word “unilog” because people seem to be talking only to hear themselves speak.  They are not listening to anyone else, or engaging in an actual two-way discussion.  Nor are they thoughtfully considering other viewpoints.  It’s more like they are trying to convince themselves.  And it seems that some feel that who ever screams the loudest is the winner.  And to scream on the net,


I remember someone who used to send every one of her emails at work like this.  But if everything is considered IMPORTANT then nothing really can be.

Anyway, Rumi’s quote made me think of an old expression I heard in law school as it pertains to arguing legal cases in court.  That saying goes kind of like this:

If the facts are on your side, you argue the facts.  If the law is on your side, you argue the law.  If neither is on your side, you pound on the podium and yell real loud.

Now that’s what I see on news shows, talk shows, AND SOCIAL MEDIA (!!!) – people have little to support their positions, they are just trying to out-yell one another.  If they think the loudest one wins, well, all I can say is it merely shows that they are all idiots.

Thoughts?  Civil thoughts, that is? 😊

In Metta


Another Fun Discussion:  If you want to jump into another fun discussion about social media pitfalls, my friend LA has one going on the topic of internet “influencers” that I think you’ll enjoy.

Photo:  The Great Horned Owl.  The Owl has long been a symbol of wisdom.  Some say higher wisdom.  Others, silent wisdom because of the Owl’s ability to fly without making any noise at all.  I picked this picture because there is a lot to say for being silent.  For pausing before entering a discussion.  For consulting wise sources before speaking.  And for speaking softly.

The pic is not perfect.  It has a bit of blur factor.  But that is because taking this image was tough.  I had to put my camera on a tripod to try to eliminate my own hand movement from blurring the subject.  I discovered that, once on the tripod, the simple action of me pressing the shutter moved the camera enough to blur the photo.  So I set it up with a ten second timer, so my movements had no effect on the camera.  Of course, I couldn’t control the wind, or the Owl.  And those movements were unpreventable.

GHOwl - 6 - 25th Nov + Crop

But I still think it’s beautiful.

Similar to discussions we may have involving opposing viewpoints, not all will be perfect.  There may be blurring of facts and positions.  It may be difficult to overcome preconceptions and prejudice. But there is no reason to become uncivil.  Anger and noise do not carry the day.


41 thoughts on “To Think, or Not To Think . . .”

      1. I know. What I love the most about blogging is having conversations about literally everything, every day I learn something new, discover a point of view I’d never considered. It’s invigorating!

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Not listening, really listening, and fist thumping, to opposing views seems to have taken us down the path of either being labelled racists, sexists, agists and haters when we do open our mouths. Considering thirty years ago there was a huge movement not to label people, labelling seems to be the big thing these days. Hang on to that TV – you can always turn it into a fishtank.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, don’t have a TV, no Facebook, no Twitter. Have Instagram, but mostly forget to check it out and don’t remember when I last posted anything there. Do I miss anything really important? Don’t think so. Quite peaceful not having to chew on all the bad stuff all the time.
    Can’t understand why people seem to have their noses stuck to their cell phones so much . It’s an addiction.
    They’re prisoners. That’s why it’s called a cell phone. 🤔🥴
    I consider myself being free.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I like that “cell phone.” You’re right, it’s an addiction. You haven’t missed anything by being more disconnected. I remember when I got my first “smart phone.” It came with a background pick and had the words “My Life Companion” in the background. I thought it was pretty gross and replaced that background, but I do think some folks consider their cell phones to be their spouse.


      1. It’s crazy! “My Life Companion”! LOL
        But I agree with you, there are too many that seem to consider the phone as their spouse or best friend.
        The phone is a door to the outer world, no doubt about that, though I’m not a “talking in the phone”-person. Without one, I would probably miss the clock, the camera, iBooks and Youtube (though I have both MacPro and an iPad).
        But I don’t listen much to music, not on the phone. I use it mostly for videos like guided meditations and such, and a lot of Kryon. Are you familiar with Kryon? The entity channeled by Lee Carroll?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have found the phone to be an essential tool when I’m traveling – google maps, finding places of interest to visit, and communication – so my Kiddo knows I wasn’t eaten by a bear or killed by bandits 🙂 And I heavily use the camera. I recently added music because I can pipe it through the car speakers. So I’m using the phone more than I’d like, but when I’m with others, I shut it off or leave it in the car. I’ve listened to guided meditations with Joe T hypnotics, but not Kryon – I will check it out!


      3. I have always the phone with me, but often without the sound on. Feel kind of empty going somewhere without it. Stupid, really…
        I’ve also found Joe T, and several others, really good ones.
        Kryon is more of a teacher. The best I have listened to.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I will definitely check Kryon out. I don’t think it’s stupid to feel off if we don’t have our phones, they are a protective device too because we can call for help – important as crazy people are today. When I’m hiking in areas without cell reception I’m a bit more vulnerable for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s true. For protection, to reach the kids and so on.
        Technical items are tools, and we (meaning I) should not feel bad for carrying the phone around. I don’t feel bad for using my Mac, nor the iPad. Not even when I am doing a puzzle. (doing, or playing with??)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. No one “debates” or discusses. They attack. Climate change? Attack and insult the sources. Don’t look at the data. Don’t like your political opponent? Attack and insult their character, not their ideas. It’s childish, and it’s also the “new norm.” My t.v. is off as well, but I have to get news from somewhere. Where do you get yours?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Blog request: I’d like you to write a post sharing your thoughts on marriage, and advice you’d give to young males on the subject…as if you had a marriage age son. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you take requests?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, you are the PERFECT person to dispense said advice. There are NO BOOKS to reflect your experience…and there should be. Believe me, there should be. Hit us with THE TRUTH earthwalking. The TRUTH! (I’ll have a new post up in 30 minutes btw. Drop in, and hear THE TRUTH! LOL!)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful photo! I really like that it’s not completely in focus, it adds a certain magical element to it. A very thought provoking post. We can all use less screen time and more time practicing the fine art of communication 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hear you. I like both the law school saying and the Rumi quote. (He, like Churchill, is alleged to have said so much that I wonder now if he really said all those things.) I am a failure at Twitter because I tend to want to consider things, and not take dramatic points of view.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely beautiful photo. Even if blurred.

    Yes, I totally agree that it seems to be a screaming match not an argument anymore. It’s saddening that those that scream the loudest are listened to more.

    Someone at work used to send all their email with the red (important) exclamation mark. I wonder if they ever noticed it had the opposite effect than they intended. Or maybe it worked on everyone but me. Naturally, I’m rather prompt with email responses at work. Exclamation points, all caps, or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Harold, I needed some Sunday wisdom. Interestingly you chose this owl. I love them.
    All caps in emails is considered shouting. 😃 my 2 cents.
    I don’t watch mainstream media either. I refuse to allow the droning voice into my mind. Like Charlie Brown’s teacher, in stereo.
    I hope your Sunday is going well. 🦉 ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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