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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Learning & Knowing: The Difference

Knowing seeks to acquire information.
Learning seeks understanding from information.

Knowing is an accumulating-type existence.
Learning is about growing and expanding.

Knowledge informs.
Learning transforms.

Knowing and knowledge signify.
Learning and lessons edify.

Knowledge stops with itself, is its own end.
Learning continues by itself until the end.

Knowledge is not power
because power is constantly being redefined by learning.

It's not who you know or who knows you,
but what you learn about yourself.

Many of the things we know about ourselves, holds us there with them.
When we learn things about ourselves, nothing can hold us. We have the choice to let them go and move on.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thinking, Becoming, Connecting

I am not a performer of poetry. Heck! I'm not even a writer or a poet. Many times, saying so, seems self-indulgent. I am someone who uses writing, poetry and short stories hoping to encourage thinking, becoming, connecting.

As I sat on my couch, I had a long conversation with the Spirit. I said, “I've been waiting all week on you to tell me what you want me to say. I've already said it with this book, website, blog, journal, articles, conversations and examples.

And the Spirit was like, You finished? Say it again. Would you go to your fields in Spring and say bring forth yams and corn because you have planted and harvested before and past seasons live in your memory? Say it again. This time I will open the way just as I have caused words to sprout and provided fields for planting.

If that feels familiar, we are in the right place.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Poetry in the News

Poetry and fiction writers must choose words wisely when attempting to convey meaning and support truth within context. News writers should but often don't. This has created societies where it's easier for readers to see the truth in fiction than it is for readers to see faulty dangerous logic in news reports.

She's married, has two kids and never been in trouble before, therefore many are shocked she's been accused of a crime. When marital, parental and criminal background status along with gender, race and other casual facts cause us to believe someone is more or less likely to do something, here we go again with our tendency to accept information without applying reason and logic to determine if a true cause and effect relationship exists.

“They've never been in trouble before, have no record and no prior background," are poor word choices when there is so much more to "trouble," "records" and "backgrounds" beyond the published criminal background.

The reason truth is stranger than fiction is that truth is lesser known than fiction. This occurs when we lose touch or hide the truth long enough that when forced to face the truth we've forgotten what it looks like; therefore, it seems like a stranger. Wouldn't we be better off if writers of poetry and fiction reported the news? At least we'd be more likely to gain insight and be on the alert to think about how much is truth.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Experience Cutting The Bungee Cord

Personal experience is one of our teachers. We should learn from the experience but not allow ourselves to be mastered by it. The greatest benefit of experience is not the event, occurrence or circumstance but what we understand about ourselves, others and life. Experience allows us to connect thought and feeling to something tangible and then use this understanding to make ourselves and the world better.

Some will say, I'll try anything once, well almost anything. Why? Why bungee jump? For the sake of saying you did it or for the trendiness or for the thrill or for facing fear?

Doing something solely because you've never done it lays the foundation for a lot of unfulfilling, empty, bad and dangerous experiences. Doing something simply for trendiness or thrill carries the same potential outcomes.

Facing fear seems like a valid reason to bungee jump but not really unless your fear is a fear of falling off a bridge or falling while on the ledge of a tall building or while hopping across construction cranes. Do those who bungee jump, jump out of planes next or vice versa? Is bungee jumping a transferable skill that allows you to face the fear of public speaking? Are bungee jumpers able to face the fear of people they fear?

There are lots of things that should never be tried, not even once. Why? Because we must also learn from the experiences of others. There is much to be said about experience but when it comes to experience for experience sake it's time to cut the bungee cord.

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