Showing posts with label Tolerance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tolerance. Show all posts

February 4, 2021

Children (and Fruit) of G-d


Interesting quote I heard on diversity:

It might be apples and oranges, but it's all fruit!

The way towards mutual respect, teamwork, brotherhood, and peace:

- Recognize that our similarities are much greater than our differences. 

And ultimately, we are all children (and fruit) of G-d.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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October 6, 2018

The DIVIDED States of America

Our nation is increasingly polarized with little to no tolerance of others wants, thinking, or actions. 

- First under Obama.

- Then with the election between Hillary and Trump.

- And now over Judge Kavanaugh.

The result has been some of the worst behaviors seen since the Civil War--with not only disrespect, restrictions on freedom of expression, but even threats and actual violence!

This nation is no longer the UNITED States, but much more like the DIVIDED States. 

And that just plays into our enemies hands and could lead us to eventually lose our very democracy to totalitarianism, dictatorship, and tyranny.  

So now may be a good time to review for yourself how many biases are driving your thought processes and behaviors and creating dangerous fundamentalists and extremists all around us instead of thoughtful dialogue, negotiation, and compromise. 

Here are 20 biases that may be affecting you more than you realize:

- Do you overestimate the importance of the information you have or feel good about (Anchoring,  Availability, and Choice-Supportive Biases)?

- Do you seek out and perceive information that simply validates your preconceptions (Information,
Confirmation, and Selective Perception Bias)? 

- Do you overemphasize information that is more recent or recognizable (Recency and Salience Biases)?

- Are you ignoring information that doesn't "fit your script" (Ostrich Effect/Omission and Conservatism Bias)?

- Are you tied up in the groupthink of your peers (Bandwagon Effect)?

- Do you see patterns in random events or conspiracies that don't exist (Clustering Illusion)?

- Are you overconfident in your thought process and conclusions (Overconfidence Bias)?

- Do you tend to overvalue the usefulness or success of something, but not recognize its limitations or failures (Pro-Innovation and Survivorship Bias)?

- Do you fail to take risks because you prefer certainty (Zero-Risk Bias)? 

- Does your thinking something will happen actually cause it to happen (Placebo Effect)? 

- Do you use the ends to justify the means (Outcome Bias)?

- Do you judge people by their race, class, gender, religion, sexual preferences, or national origin (Stereotyping)?

- Do you fail to recognize your own biases (Blind-Spot Bias)?

Perhaps if more people would open their minds to information and engage in genuine thinking and critical thinking, rather than a lot of fake news and hype, we would be a far better and stronger nation. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Business Insider)
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August 17, 2017

Ok To Be Ourselves!

Someone shared this beautiful Jewish wedding gown on Facebook and I wanted to share it with you, because it represents life, love, and faith. 

While perhaps normally I wouldn't just post this to my blog...

I thought that in light of the report that came out of 917 hate groups operating right now in the United States, that I would take this as an opportunity to be me.

To hell with all the haters out there!

- The more they hate us, the more I will love my Jewishness. 

- The more they try to stamp out our religious freedom, the more I will relish in it. 

- The more they try to kill us, the more I will live as a Jew.

No more Holocausts...no more bigotry...no more hate--it is enough! ;-)
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November 19, 2016

The Softer Side of Trump

So Trump has gotten a lot of flack. 

Some of it is deserved for saying the wrong things or saying them too harshly. 

Some of it is because of the biased Media and the political machine that would seek to bury any opponent with truth or lies, it doesn't really matter when it comes to power!

But with Trump, one question that people are asking--which is a fair one--is why doesn't he soften it up now...especially since he has overcome all the odds, the media, the elite, and Hillary's potent political machine?

Peggy Noonan asks today, why doesn't Trump "go to a series of schools, bring the press, and speak to children, telling them that he has nothing in his heart but the desire to do good and help people"?

Others, like the editorial board of the New York Times have called for Trump to "denounce the hate...[and] unequivocally repudiate...racist, sexist, xenophobic, Anti-Semitic, and homophobic insults, threats, and attacks."

While in my mind, I do not believe that Trump is those things--I think he has been misunderstood, mischaracterized, taken out of context, and even demonized; yet, I ask myself why doesn't he come out and simply build on his 60-minutes interview where he told people, "Don't be afraid. We are going to bring America back. But certainly, don't be afraid."

It's a simple thing to go further from this and tell people that he is understanding and compassionate to everyone, that he harbors no ill will to anyone, and that he wants to advance the country for all our benefits.

So I am sure, the haters on the left are saying, that Trump doesn't do this because obviously he really is all those bad things, and means bad by all those people, and therefore, he doesn't say those coexistence and loving things, because that's not what's in his heart!

But I am not convinced.

I think Trump is hard, because he has learned to be hard. That's his idea of what it takes to win. He is a fighter. He believes in winning. He doesn't apologize or grovel. He represents as his slogan, "Peace through strength!"

In fighting, Trump will do what it takes to "Make America Great Again,"--he will take down his enemies and ours, wherever they come at us from, but I believe always with an eye on the benefits to this country and for us. 

If he goes after good people (and those here legally) that would certainly be the time to call him out, and to do it in no uncertain terms. 

Bias, bigotry, and hate have NO place in this country (or the world)!

The left needs to stop denouncing Trump and all his supporters as racist, deplorables, irredeemables, etc. It is simply not true; it is biased and hateful itself, and counterproductive to moving this country forward. 

Crying wolf only dilutes the message of denouncing extremism, bigoty, and hate from when it is genuinely founded, and moreover, as in labeling theory, hate only begets hate. 

I say give Trump a genuine chance, even though I doubt many of the extremists on the left will give him anything near as much as the endless slack it gave Obama who could essentially do no wrong, ever (and regardless of how many things were falling apart in this country and around the globe). 

Still I agree that Trump should soften up--even as a fighter--he needs to show Ying and Yang and that the fight is ultimately one founded in integrity and not just winning. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 21, 2016

Love Is Like Cows

So had three funny instances today of the tales of woe when it comes to love.

The first was when someone was telling me that they are trying to meet women through online dating. 

But he goes, "No one gives anyone a chance anymore."

It's like if there is one thing wrong, it's over.

He said, one lady wrote in her profile that if you are a fan of XYZ sports team, do not even bother contacting her.

Another was like if you're of ABC political affiliation, forget about it!

He said people just don't seem to want relationships anymore. 

Then I was talking coincidentally to someone else, who I knew was going out with someone already. 

I politely asked how things were going. 

He said, "Fine, but she is pressuring me to marry her."

I said, "So if you love her, what's wrong with that?"

And he responded, "Well then my whole life will change. I won't be able to go to parties or on vacations anymore."

Basically, he's just happy being with her but on casual terms.

Then I told him (considerably younger than myself) how years ago mothers would warn their daughters about men's thinking of "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free."

This guy was laughing like crazy when I said that. 

Finally, someone at the kiddush today told the joke about the Rabbi or Priest who lost his umbrella in the synagogue or church. 

His first thought was darn it, one of the congregants stole my umbrella. 

So he decided that for his sermon he would lecture the people about the Ten Commandments, one at a time from the beginning. 

But then when he got to the sin of adultery, he stops and says, "Oh forget it, I just remembered where I left my umbrella!"

Funny day for love and relationships--it's something in the air, maybe cow patties.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 11, 2014

Even Tolerance Has Limits

This torn down sign in Washington, D.C. caught my eye.

It's about ending bullying and teaching tolerance. 


This poster specifically has to do with LGBT, but the universal message of acceptance is more broad. 


While each of us has our own beliefs, we should allow others to have theirs as well. 


My father used to tell me basically (within G-d's law), "You can do whatever you want in life as long as you don't hurt yourself or anyone else."


However, I am reminded this week that not everyone lives by the same common sense and decency. 


I read in the Jerusalem Post about Palestinian Media Watch posting a Hamas video yesterday threatening "stabbing attacks [in Israel] everywhere...[and] suicide attacks on every bus, cafe, and street."


Moreover, Arutz Sheva tells how a female Egyptian lawyer "recommended that Arab men begin sexually harassing Jewish women" as a mean of fighting Israel. 


Then watching the news and seeing Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists from Gaza shooting missiles and intentionally aiming to try to hit major Israeli cities and population centers, airplanes, ports, and other critical infrastructure like the nuclear facility in Dimona that could potentially spread radiation and kill untold numbers of people--I am reminded morality is not universal. 


While Israel calls the residents in Gaza to vacate before an attack on then empty buildings--the terrorists that Israel is fighting try to kill as many civilians as possible--at which time, they would presumably sing, dance, and hand out candy to the kids to celebrate as is their custom.


Like the sign calling for tolerance that was essentially torn from the pole, we have to remember tolerance for others is one thing, but there are limits when they actively seek to harm (themselves or) others. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 21, 2012

War ---> Peace

I like this clever poster from the United Nations, published in March 2009 by their Department of Public Information, on "Translating War to Peace" with a dove carrying the letter "A" from the word war to the word peace.
If only peace was as simple as moving around a single letter.
Usually, it not the single letter that is painful, but when it becomes many letters and these letters form words of hate, bigotry, intolerance, and injustice that is indeed painful and where war does not translate to peace, but where war become unfortunately inevitable.
As individuals and a nation, I believe peace is what we all hope and pray for and that this comes from a spirit of brotherhood and unity around the world.
Although there are many prayers for peace, I am reminded of one specific beautiful prayer In Judaism, that we sing called "Oseh Shalem"
"May he who makes peace in high places, make peace for all of us and all Israel, and let us say Amen."
I love singing this and humming the tune for this prayer--it is like a deep calling that resonates.
I noticed online that the United Nations "cancelled as a sales item" this poster for peace (and it's also gone from Amazon), and it should make us all wonder where did that peace go and when will it return?
A genuine peace--more than a single letter and a secure and lasting peace of many letters.
(All Opinions my own)

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September 23, 2011

A Single Candle

!
This video is an excerpt from the speech today by Israeli PM Netanyahu at the U.N. General Assembly.
Some highlights from this:
While Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle-East, it has been singled out for condemnation by the U.N. (in 21 out of 27 U.N. resolutions) more all than all other nations of the world combined.
And while "it doesn't only cast Israel as the villain, it casts real villains in leading roles:"
- Khadafi-led Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
- Saddam's Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.
- Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council.
Netanyahu recalls in his speech--that despite all the many capable and decent people at the U.N., when in 1984 he was appointed Israel's Ambassador to the U.N., that the Lubavitcher Rebbe foretold to him that he would be serving in a "house of many lies," but that even in the darkest place, a single candle can be seen far and wide.
I was proud to see the candle alight and hopeful that from it, intolerance, extremism, terror, and anarchy will be defeated.
All people have a right to dignity and respect--may G-d grant us a path forward to find a genuine peace--one where we not only learn to live with each other, but perhaps where one day, we can learn to love each other, as we are all children of the one G-d in heaven--Oh, what a peace that would be!

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June 11, 2011

The Internet: A Right and a Responsibility

Poverty_computer

Good Online is reporting (10 June 2011) that the “U.N. Declares Internet Access a Human Right.”

According to the U.N. report, “The Internet has become a key means by which individuals exercise their right to freedom of expression.”

But as Good points out, this is not just a “third-world concern,” since even in America those without high-speed access cannot adequately perform certain functions “and that surely this affects their ability to get informed, educated, and employed.”

The U.N. is pushing for more protections for people to “assert themselves freely online,” but Good proposes that Internet access means more than just freedom of expression, but also the right to more public Wi-Fi access, better access to technology in libraries and I would assume in schools as well.

Interestingly enough, just on Thursday, Mayor Bloomberg of NYC and AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson announced that as part of NYC’s “Road Map for the Digital City,” they were launching a five-year initiative for free Wi-Fi service at 20 NYC parks—this is seen as a “critical developmental tool” for children, families, and communities.

The Internet stands alone as a technology that is now a “human right.” Radios, televisions, and telephones—none of these have that status. Yes, we have freedom of speech, but the technologies that enable them are not seen as a human right.

Similarly, access to the printing press (i.e. the technology for printing) itself is not a human right—rather, freedom of press (i.e. expression through print) is.

Do we not communicate and express ourselves over radio, TV, telephone, and other technologies as we do over the Internet? Do we not get information from them and through them? Do we not reach out with them to others both nationally and globally as we do over Net?

The answer to all of these is of course, we do.

So what is distinct about the Internet that the mere access to it is declared a human right?

I believe it is the fact that the Internet is the first technology whose very access enables the protection of all the other human rights, since it empowers EVERYONE to hear and speak from and to the masses about what is going in—whether in the tumultuous streets of the Arab Spring to the darkest prisons silencing political dissent.

While radio and television, in their time, were important in getting information and entertainment, but they were essentially unidirectional modes of communication and these can be manipulated by the powers that be. Similarly, the telephone while important to bridging communications over vast distances was for the most part constrained between two or at most a few individuals conversing. And publishing was limited to the realm of the professionals with printing presses.

In contrast, the Internet enables each person to become their own TV producer (think YouTube), radio announcer (think iTunes), telephone operator (think Skype) or publisher (think websites, blogs, wikis, etc.).

The Internet has put tremendous power into the hands of every individual. This is now a declared right. With that right, there is a tremendous responsibility to share information and collaborate with others for the benefit of all.

Of course, as a powerful tool of expression, the Internet can also be used malevolently to express hatred, racism, bigotry, etc. and to malign other people, their thoughts or opinions. Of course, it can also be used to steal, spy, hack, and otherwise disrupt normal civilization.

So we also all have the responsibility to behave appropriately, fairly, and with dignity to each other on the Internet.

While I applaud the U.N. for declaring the Internet a human right, I would like to see this expanded to include both a right and responsibility—this to me would be more balanced and beneficial to building not only access, but also giving and tolerance.

(Photo Source: WorldVisionReport.org)


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March 6, 2011

A Time To Remember

Someone sent me this cartoon today and I was moved by it.
As much as we want to look to the future, it is important to remember the past and the many millions who perished in the most horrible and cruel way.

And as we continue to live in times of upheaval and extremism, the lessons of just 60+ years ago, of the Holocaust, are as relevant today as ever.

As someone who is always looking at technology as the answer to everything (understanding of course, that all true answers come from above), this is a pause for me to question what if any are the limits to change and innovation?

My hope, of course, is that we can rid ourselves of hatred, bigotry, intolerance, and extremism and instead work together for the betterment of all humankind.

As long as our minds are blocked by hatred, we (in the collective) will never be able to realize our ultimate potential.

I believe in a future where we will ALL together achieve technological breakthroughs that will surpass anything that we can imagine today; where we will indeed travel--perhaps to the stars--together as one, not divided by race or religion any longer, but united in our commonality and strength and desire to achieve a future of hope, health, peace, and success for all.

(Source cartoon: Wiley)

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