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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The BIG Picture: Thoughts on the "Issues"


NOTE: This is an update of a piece that I first published prior to the 2012 general election.

About Me

My passion is empowering people via methods that balance skill and will, analysis and synthesis, and ideas and execution.

One of my current projects monitors the academic, enrollment, financial, and governance status of all 2200+ Georgia public schools.

This project helps to identify and to engage the stewards of public education's status quo in civil discourse.

Another current project uses "geomapping" to study local anthropology.

This project helps to identify and to engage the stewards of a community's status quo in civil discourse.

I am an agent of accountability, much like a "big brother" - but not like a "Big Brother".

I am a registered Georgia mediator.

We are called "neutrals" - which may be misleading.

Rather than "keeping the peace", my mediation approach is to use self-control and civil discourse to make peace by neutralizing the forces that oppose it.

I am an "equalizer" - not a "neutral".

While I do not take sides, I do inform perceptions, question assumptions, and create a balance of power via resources, interests, communication, and expertise.

I am a mentor to several students - who teach me as much as I teach them.

In this nurturing role, I do not make decisions or give directives.

I help to identify options, and help to evaluate the consequences of choices.

I let mentees (and clients) make their own choices.

I value divergent thinking (seeing multiple solutions to a problem), because it inspires creativity (the process of having original ideas) - which adds value to society.

My education began when I finished school, and embarked on my current journey of unlearning and relearning.

I do not think with my eyes, and do not mistake activity for achievement.

I succeed because I embrace and understand my failures.

I know that I do not know.

This is the greatest lesson I will ever learn.

I relearn it daily.

About "The Issues"

We are a nation at the crossroads - one that could be compromised by weapons of mass distraction.

Our challenge is to not choke from all this smoke - and to stop falling for the good old okey-doke.

For all who have chosen their "side", I offer a message of hope and accountability to both factions …

1.    Understand the flaws of your position.

We have all believed in something – only to later find out that it was not quite what we thought it was …

(The) Boogeyman
Ex-Boyfriends & Girlfriends
East Coast vs. West Coast Rap Feud
Game Shows
Professional Wrestling (Wrasslin')
Santa Claus
(The) Tooth Fairy
Web Van

Be forthcoming about your side’s shortcomings – including future unintended consequences, and other elements of the issue that you do not understand.

Inform your perceptions, challenge your assumptions, and influence your circle to engage in civil discourse - especially with dissenters.

2.    Sometimes "let go"; sometimes "let know".

The Bible contains a passage that almost seems to contradict itself – until closer examination …

Proverbs 26:4-5
New International Version (NIV)

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you yourself will be just like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Pick your battles, and make sure you fight the right fight.

3.    Sometimes the cause masks the agenda.

Slavery was once a policy that opposing factions argued for and against with great passion.

Ditto for Prohibition, and denying the right to vote to people because of their skin color or gender.

Policies are created, challenged, and changed by self-interested humans - who may be guided by ambition and myopia as much as they are by principles and convictions.

4.    Sometimes our cause masks our issues.

Media is littered with assumptions, perceptions, intentional manipulations, meaningless data, half-truths (also referred to as “true lies”), innuendo, and vitriol.

Weapons of mass distraction are produced and consumed daily by folks who love to argue.

They justify both their passions (and vices) by stating noble, well-meaning intentions - and by using famous quotes as subtle, self-congratulating endorsements.

Folks who love to argue may not always do so because of their passion – they may just love to argue.



Copyright © 2016 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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