Winning Words 7/13/11
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” (John Lubbock) I was interested to read that Lubbock was a young friend of Charles Darwin. I may be reading into it, but his quote seems to have a relationship to the theory of evolution. But I want to go in a different direction. The word, prejudice, (social, political, religious) describes us as we “see” what we want to see. Be sure to look for the facts.. ;-) Jack
FROM MS IN MICHIGAN: I see you slept in this morning (smile)////FROM JACK: What's a half-hour? There's no privacy anymore with the internet
FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Good one, Jack. We all have our good and bad prejudices - like Whitey's ice cream is the best! I've observed that dogs see with their noses maybe better than with their eyes////FROM JACK: I guess I'd rather look at people face to face. I tend to agree when it comes to Whitey's. I remember seeing the original Whitey when he was making ice cream in the old store.////MORE FROM GEORGE: We have 17,000 nonverbal means of communication, so i to i is best.
FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: Looking intentionally for Jesus in each stranger pops into my mind. My sympathy is for people who have been abused, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and have a tough time expecting to see people who won't abuse them.////FROM JACK: I like your suggestion...to look at people and try to see in them the face of Jesus. I'm going to experiment with that today.
FROM HS IN MICHIGAN: Interesting. I went on a blind date last night - first time in my life - and had an absolutely amazing time. I always say that there are no cute, smart, caring Jewish girls around. I guess I just wasn't looking, eh John Lubbock? On a separate note, please pray for your colleague Rabbi Irwin Groner (Shaarey Zedek) who is ill. ////FROM JACK: Rabbi Groner has had an amazing influence on many people through his ministry. I wish him well. I wish you well, too, as you explore the "blind dating" world. There's somebody out there for everyone.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Like my friend the sheriff says, "No two eye-witnesses ever see the same thing", when investigating an accident or crime! Amazing. As Abraham Lincoln observed, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be..." Lord, help us to see the UP side of life, the beauty, the meaningful, and be a positive influence!!////FROM JACK: Since you and your sister were twins, were boyfriends able to see differences between the two of you?////MORE FROM BO: Yes, they easily told us apart! I think part of the confusion if they didn't know us well, was which name belonged to which twin...
FROM JACK: Be sure to take time to read the following....////FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: One of the deadliest problems historically has been that we look for what we are told to look for. In recent years, I have been interested to read books about several people through history who saw what was actually before them and, with some difficulty, informed the world around them of some important truths that contradicted existing paradigms. This included TUXEDO PARK, about the amateur scientist Loomis, A MUSLIM TRICKSTER…about Leo Africanus (as we know him in the West—I had read bits of his writing while studying Arabic in college), and A PIRATE OF EXQUISITE MIND, about Dampier (Coleridge gave Dampier the moniker). I think you might enjoy any of these books. Each of these three people also became involved in an astonishing variety of subjects and endeavors.
Loomis, Yale-educated as a lawyer, foresaw and made a bundle of money on the ’29 crash, got lots of patents on scientific developments, was called in by the US Government as an unpaid volunteer to oversee the large-scale rapid development of radar to support the Battle of Britain (and disagreed with the current “impossibility” that aerial radar could be used to detect German submarines, and was a child prodigy in chess. He made important observations in precise time and for a while had the only multiple set of the world’s most accurate clocks—in his private laboratory in Tuxedo Park. He was also an inveterate and brilliant prankster; his sister said when he was around the family never knew whether they were standing on the floor or the ceiling.
Leo Africanus was born in Muslim Spain just in time for his family to be exiled by Queen Isabella around 1492. He grew up in North Africa and became a linguist and diplomat. His life changed enormously when he was captured and enslaved by a Christian captain; his brilliance became known in Rome and he was supported by and listened to by the Pope (still more or less as a slave). He had traveled widely in areas little known by Europeans at the time, and publicly contradicted widespread “knowledge” about the peoples of those areas. Together with a Hebrew scholar (who, if I correctly recall, was also expelled by Isabella) he created the first Arabic-Hebrew-Latin (I think it was Latin—could have been Italian) dictionary. Late in his life, he escaped back to the Muslim world.
Dampier was a pirate who was the first person to circumnavigate the globe three times. He was a keen observer and independent thinker and became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Science; somebody at the time said something like it was either celebrate him as a scientist or hang him as a pirate; apparently England decided the former was more advantageous in the longer run. From his observations at anchor, he correctly saw there must be consistent patterns of ocean currents; this contradicted “explanations” of local currents from the ancient Greeks (remind you of Copernicus and Galileo?). He also described people and cultures around the world objectively (pretty much) and brought back over 1,000 words into the English language (including barbecue, a word from his Caribbean days meaning a cross-hatch or grill—used by the buccaneers to support the structure supporting their beds on mosquito-rich lands).
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It's a lot harder to find the "real facts". People look for facts which prove their point of view. I remember one of your old Winning Words about facts. But these Winning Words are right on. Just look at religions around the world. Many of them read the same Bible but each one "sees" something different. Is it revealed to them or is it them reading what they want to read?////FROM JACK: I don't know if there's any such thing as unbiased information. That's why it's important to gather as much information as possible and, then, to make your own judgment...realizing that your judgment could be flawed. Such is life; but it's the way life has been created.
FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: I've made up my mind. Don't confuse me with facts.////FROM JACK: That's the way it is with some folks, even the plain kind.