Mindfulness, Influences on Our Thinking & Political Correctness: Definitions, Reactions & PC gone Mad

Notice at Dunster Castle
Notice at Dunster Castle | Source

Background to this Hub

Recently I highlighted (in a hub about someone falling into the canal) the importance of being ‘mindful’ of the world around us. Another hub by RTalloni (see link below) relates to the actions or reactions of those who don’t think, or don’t bother to inform themselves of facts, before reacting in a possibly inappropriate manner.

Being aware, mindfulness, self-informing, call it what you will; for the purpose of this discussion I’m calling it ‘mindfulness’ as I think the word best describes this skill.

It is indeed a skill to make oneself aware of what goes on around us, to then take all the information into our mind so that it becomes full of useful, accurate information, albeit still from our own perspective. If we have the facts, our perspective is then informed and we should be able to discuss it, and act on it, intelligently.


Definition of Mindfulness

‘Mindfulness, the principle of gaining a greater awareness of our own thoughts and feelings through meditation and concentration on the world around us, is attracting interest for its health benefits in a number of fields.’


What is Mindfulness?

On Tuesday 21 April 2015 the ‘i’ newspaper (an offshoot of The Independent, considered to be one of the least biased broad-sheets) ran an article by Health Correspondent Charlie Cooper, under the heading

Mindfulness ‘good as drugs’ to beat depression’

I’m not saying that all those who aren’t aware or who have a knee-jerk reaction to someone’s actions or to a particular event in society, are manic depressives. It’s the premise and the techniques described in this article that caught my attention and which are relevant to how we deal with social events.


'Mindful Matters'

proponents say mindfulness

  • is centred on awareness of our own thoughts, feelings, sensations and the world around us
  • can reduce stress levels
  • can improve mental wellbeing
  • has its roots in ancient Buddhist meditation practices
  • is being considered as a therapy to help people overcome the psychological impact of .... long-term medical conditions
  • has been trialled in schools to improve children’s attention spans and lower stress levels


Explanation

The article refers to a study published by The Lancet (a respected medical journal) which shows that ‘people with recurrent depression who were asked to take part in mindfulness-based group therapy sessions were just as likely to go two years without a relapse as those taking a course of antidepressant drugs’.

The lead author of the study, William Kuyken of Oxford University, explained that, “Recurrent depression is characterised by people who have very negative thoughts about themselves, other people and the world, and those negative thoughts can quickly go into a downward spiral of depressive relapse.”


Application

Having read that, I thought, ‘Well, couldn’t we all do with some ‘mindfulness’, especially if the techniques described work?” They are not rocket science. We can all practise them. They merely take us to a journey of awareness of our own perceptions of ourselves and our abilities, so that we can rationally analyse our perceptions of others and the world.

Meditation is one of the techniques; some people regularly practise that but I’m not saying everyone should take it up. I am saying that we could all adopt an ‘awareness of ourselves, others and the world around us’.


What are they thinking? What should I do?

Sculpture in Norwich Cathedral 'Shadows of the Wanderer'
Sculpture in Norwich Cathedral 'Shadows of the Wanderer' | Source

Public Reaction

RTalloni’s hub is about the Kim Davis case in the US. I’m not going into detail here but it deals with people’s reaction to a county employee who took a decision based on her faith. Some of you will know about it.

Knee-jerk reaction condemned her outright; people were vengeful and threatening. How many of those people were mindful of the whole situation, of the facts? How many looked at both sides of that argument? A knee-jerk reaction is emotional rather than analytical. It is the analysis that we need to be able to carry out before we make an informed decision; emotional suppositions and riding on the wave of ‘public’ opinion are not analytical.

Why do some of us ride on that wave? It's a need to have a voice, to be perceived to have an opinion, to be seen as ‘doing something about it’.

Why do we think we should be seen saying or doing something, even if it’s not right?

My opinion is that others are influencing us and we aren’t necessarily aware of that influence. Where does the influence come from? Do we inform ourselves accurately these days? How has the delivery of information changed over the last 50 years or so?


One Influence

Here’s a quote, also from the ‘i’, from one of their journalists, Grace Dent, in her column ‘My View’

“... internet tittle-tattle increasingly governs our worldview.”

The following gives you a specific example, from: theweek.com/articles, with reference to the Boston Marathon Bombers. A comment on this particular article states that often it’s just a matter of ‘....marked photos and amateur conjecture,’ but ‘the problem starts when theories go viral or are adopted by the media.’

It is referring to a photo of a ‘suspect’ standing next to another man implicated for not doing much more than wearing a backpack. TheNew York Post’ splurged the same image on its front page the next day with the cover line "BAG MEN."

The young man in the spotlight turned out to be a high school track star who moved to the US from Morocco. His dream was to one day run in the Olympics.

"I'm not a terrorist… I was just watching the marathon," he told the ‘Daily Mail’ (a British paper). "I was terrified. I have never been in trouble, and I feared for my security."

People were happy to believe he was a terrorist because they wanted answers, they wanted somebody to blame. Of course they did; so would anyone if s/he were caught up in such a terrifying situation; but the reaction is not a rational one. When the dust dies down, we all have to take a deep breath and look at the facts.


So there's my number one influence; the internet and social media

By many, it is presumed that what one reads on the internet is the truth, is fact. It has to be because politicians are saying these things, other public figures are saying these things, celebrities are saying these things.

Just look at the page around this article. How many adverts are there? What are they trying to persuade you to do?

We have to look more deeply into the so-called facts, read experts’ opinions, search out the real background to any given situation. If we don’t, we’re going to act on a false premise and create the potential to cause great harm.


Rupert Murdoch's Politics

Heading referring to 'The Sun' newspaper
Heading referring to 'The Sun' newspaper | Source

Another Influence

Already implicated above as going hand-in-hand with the internet, where else do we search for information about what’s going on in the world, what our leaders are going to do for us, what policies are right or wrong?

Look at the heading above (again from the ‘i’).

Rupert Murdoch owns ‘The Sun’ newspaper, amongst others, and is anti-Labour. He was attempting to influence the outcome of the May 2015 General Election.

What happened to the time when a paper’s editor would have his own column in which to air his personal views and the rest of the reading was factual and true reporting? Murdoch is not the editor but has told his journalists what to say and how to say it, or else. Is that good reporting? Is that good management? Is that a moral, ethical approach? I don’t think so.

Further Examples

Other examples of those who have fallen foul of such treatment are individuals accused of murder, teachers accused of mal-practice, hospitals having higher death statistics or instances of operations going wrong and the decline of standards in the NHS (National Health Service).

Some papers take one statistic and blast it across the headlines as fact. Someone is accused of a crime, his or her name is broadcast for all to see and hear even though they haven’t yet been proven guilty. They are hounded for photos and comments. Is that right?


How Quickly can a Crowd Turn?

The Mob?
The Mob? | Source

Two Men Wrongfully Accused

In 2010 a landlord in Bristol was wrongly arrested for the murder of a girl in his block of flats where he also lived. His detention sparked huge press attention and they gave him a hard time. Later, after he’d been questioned and released, a TV documentary was made about it, highlighting, said the man in question, ‘how dangerous the UK press can be’. He successfully sued several newspapers for libel. A Dutch man was later convicted of the murder.

It seems that just because he shunned questions, had long, untidy, grey hair, tended to wear lose-fitting coats and wasn’t too worried what he looked like, then he was presumed to be untrustworthy and suspicious. Talk about judging a book by its cover! Whatever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’?

In 2013 a man was beaten and burned to death after wrongly being accused of being a pedophile. A mob acted as vigilantes. It was too late to remedy that one.


My Second Influence: the Press

The press extends to the internet of course. I admit it is more often the tabloid press who are guilty of such behaviour but the broadsheets are not exempt from such things.


Suppport Us or Look Down on Us?

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben | Source

Politics

Lets have a look at our politicians, our governments. Are they squeaky clean? Are they reliable? Are they honest? Are they working for our best interests? I’m hard-pushed to say yes to any of those questions. Whilst realising that there exist politicians who do care, who are honest, who have the best intentions, somehow many of them get caught up in the crowd too and lose all vestige of common sense and mindfulness.

They become seekers of power, seekers of fame, seekers of fortune and world renown. They become greedy and they forget what they started out to do with all their best intentions, when their ideals sowed the seed of their wish to serve the electorate. They are not always mindful of what they are doing or of how their electorate might benefit.


Reporting

Whose fault is that? Some personal fault, of course, but the newspapers headline their every move, give them disproportionate and unmerited cover. The television correspondents give their own opinions and throw in a few facts along the way.

TV reality shows (cheap voyeuristic television to my mind) demand celebrities do outrageous things. Anyone who is in the limelight is approached to take part: entertainers, politicians, presenters on tv and radio, any well-known figures. They want to make their mark, they want a higher profile, they want to show they can have fun, be human. Is that the way to do it? Television even tried to dictate which politicians and how many should take part in a broadcast live debate before the election.

We watch and we take it all in. Do we question? We don’t, at least not often enough.


You have my Third Influence: Television News Reporting, Political Programmes & Reality TV

I have thought about radio, as reporting on those waves can also be biased. I think the fact that it’s not a visual medium distances it from those who prefer to be ‘visually’ informed, those who perhaps don’t pick up a message delivered purely in words. In its current affairs programmes, I think it is generally more measured and more traditional and it can’t feed visual gratification.


Unbiased Media?

Do we have unbiased media? Do television and press reporters stick to the facts and do their research well in order to explain the background to events? Do they stick out their necks to seek or demand the truth? Are reporters competitive, either because they want to be or because they have to be? Do they wish to be regarded as celebrities?

There are good ones and bad ones but what I see daily is a tendency for the sensational, for showmanship, for the chattiness of a group of friends. The professionalism has slipped, the standards have declined. I see bias and I see competition.

Is it partly to do with having so much thrown at us that we become immune, that we only listen to something because it’s louder, flashier, ‘in ya’ face’? We have a multitude of information thrown at us. Familiarity breeds contempt, or familiarity breeds apathy? Therefore, the style has to change and become more dramatic to feed our lagging imaginations. I don’t know; what do you think?


Human Rights and Political Correctness

These are shouted at us from the roof-tops. Everyone demands their human rights, and certainly these should exist, but do they also recognise their responsibilities? It seems to me that it’s often someone else’s fault or someone else’s problem. Others should provide and expect nothing in return. ‘I have a right to live here and claim benefits.’ You have a right to be welcomed here, to work for your living and to contribute to the common good but not to sit on your back-side and wait for it all to come to you. Asylum seekers have a right to ask for shelter but the preferred country also has the right to consider its own and the effect a large number of immigrants might have on conditions in that country; there has to be a balance.

We are allowed freedom of speech. We can all have our opinions as long as we abide by the law and don’t use those opinions to incite prejudice and hatred.

Kim Davis was accused of breaching Political Correctness.

So let’s look at the words in that phrase, as they appear, according to the Oxford Dictionary: Oxford Dictionaries, Language matters (OUP - Oxford University Press)


'Correctness'

Definition of correctness in English (British): (noun)

The quality or state of being free from error; accuracy

The quality of being right in an opinion or judgement

Conformity to accepted social standards


'Political'

Definition of political in English (British): (adjective)

Of or relating to the government or public affairs of a country

Relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics

So we have:

  • ‘relating to government or public affairs of a country’
  • ‘relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics’
  • ‘the quality or state of being free from error; accuracy’
  • ‘the quality of being right in an opinion or judgement’
  • ‘conformity to accepted social standards’

Now the two together: 'political correctness'

Definition of political correctness in English (British): (noun)

The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

This definition doesn’t mention government, public affairs, ideas or strategies of a party or group in politics. Also, does this definition ignore being free from error or accuracy, does it ignore being right in an opinion or judgement?

It should imply conformity to accepted social standards. Whose acceptance? Whose social standards? Do we have a definitive set of social standards?

‘Perceived to exclude.....’ perceived by anyone at all? perceived by government?


Definitions of 'politic'

(google):

  • adjective: (of an action) seeming sensible and judicious in the circumstances.
  • verb: engage in political activity.

(merriam-webster):

  • showing good judgment especially in dealing with other people
  • political
  • characterized by shrewdness in managing, contriving, or dealing
  • sagacious in promoting a policy
  • shrewdly tactful

(Collins)

  • artful or shrewd; ingenious
  • crafty or unscrupulous; cunning;
  • sagacious, wise, or prudent, esp in statesmanship
  • an archaic word for political


Politic

Politic is often regarded as the derivative of the first word in the term ‘Political Correctness’, as the root word of ‘political’.

Let’s look at various dictionary definitions of ‘politic’. We generally use the word to mean ‘shrewd’ or ‘tactful’.

I found various definitions (sources below) which you can see to the right.

What does that tell us?

We have a mixture of the sensible and wise, shrewd and ingenious, contriving and unscrupulous. Which is it? We can choose. So can the politicians and other groups who use the phrase, seemingly to their own advantage or just to hurl accusation.


Who coined the phrase 'political correctness'?

Again, sources vary: some mention Mao Zedong, one says Leon Trotsky (one had to agree with him or else!) and Stalin also used the phrase to refer to those who towed the party line.

Various political groups have used it since. All sources agree that it is a pejorative term used by one ‘political’ group against their opponents.

So what purpose does it serve? There is no clear meaning, it is always a political mud-slinger and that gets us nowhere.


Clarity?

It’s all very wobbly. Yes, I accept that we should not discriminate against or disadvantage people on the grounds of race, creed, disability and so on. We have laws to deal with that already, as well as those who murder us, assault us, libel us, slander us, defame our characters, commit fraud, abuse children... the list goes on. Why do we need ‘political correctness’ to throw in people's faces when we have laws which deal already with unacceptable behaviour.

If we offend people, is it really always our fault? Is it possible that people are over-sensitive, are disposed to challenge another because they are vindictive or think they can benefit from it, or are just downright aggressive and enjoy stirring up trouble. Can we not tell a joke, even if that joke is against ourselves, if it is a religious one, or refers to the colour of our skin? If we don’t tell it with malice or use defamatory words, what is wrong with it?


If we remove everything which offends someone, we will have nothing left to say.

Taken to Extremes

Interestingly, the US English definition of political correctness has an extra clause:

'The avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.'

It certainly is often taken to extremes. Here are some examples of human rights and political correctness gone mad.


Teachers are Wary

Students in Assembly
Students in Assembly | Source

In Schools

A report from The Guardian, reporting the facts, tells us of a classroom assistant who was cleared of assaulting a pupil after a nine-month ordeal. He was fingerprinted, held in a cell and banned from living with his own children. He said that he had been "hung out to dry" by the authorities and that teachers ‘were working in a climate of fear’.

He was told by the chairman of the local magistrates to "restart your life" and "forget [your] nightmare". The man helped deal with children who had been removed from class because of bad behaviour and had asked a 15-year-old boy to take off his jacket and put away his mobile phone. The pupil responded by threatening to stab him. "I will have you killed," he was told.

A former kick-boxing champion, the assistant removed the child from the classroom. When the boy kicked him in the shin he ‘gently’ swept the boy to the floor without injuring him. Within weeks he had been charged with common assault and social services had removed him from his home, which he shared with his wife and two teenage daughters. He had to sleep on a gym floor for two weeks before he was allowed to return home.


Consequences

It is not just the personal angst caused by made-up accusations that is troubling teachers. The whole teacher-pupil relationship can be affected; there is a risk that the proper authority teachers should have, to discipline children and to create a calm and orderly atmosphere for teaching, might go.

This man was cleared of the accusations but still had his name and his wife’s cited in the papers and was severely penalised, all because he reacted, reasonably, to a threat and was falsely accused. Where’s the justice in that? Where’s the ‘correctness’ in that?

Another case cited a teacher who had been in the profession for 15 years; he felt that he could not carry on as a teacher after ‘the system had chewed me up and spat me out’. False allegations are extremely common. I know of colleagues who have been wrongly accused. In my opinion that is Political Correctness gone mad, the cry of ‘It’s my Human Right” misused.


How to Combat such Influences

We could, of course, not use the internet, not read the papers, not watch television, not listen to the radio. I know some people who don’t. However, we need to inform ourselves somehow - don’t we? Or should we just concentrate on talking to our neighbours, helping them out, interacting with family and friends to spread kindness, charity, concern and love within our own? If we all did that, would that be the answer?

I’m not sure. I think we should know what’s going on in the world around us, what’s really going on, then form our own fact-based, educated opinions.


What Criteria should we Use?

Those who study history for their GCSEs in Britain are encouraged to question sources of information, under the following criteria:

  • is the source reliable (proven), i.e. is it a respected and qualified source?
  • is the source biased?
  • how old is the information?
  • who wrote it? are they qualified, out of touch, up-to-date?
  • are the details plausible? are the details correct? what are their origins?
  • is the language emotive?
  • is the source stating fact or is it inciteful?

We would do well to heed those criteria when listening to or reading any report.


What is this Man Doing?!

He's giving a baby alcohol!  Shock! Horror! Uproar!  (Is it alcohol? Did she drink it?......)
He's giving a baby alcohol! Shock! Horror! Uproar! (Is it alcohol? Did she drink it?......) | Source

What about friends and family?

Do we listen to and discuss issues with our family and friends? Of course we do. Would we condemn a brother or a mother or a well-trusted friend without finding out the facts? Highly unlikely.

So why do we condemn others when

a) we don’t know them, have no idea of their character and

b) we don’t know the facts regarding what they are ‘supposed’ to have done?

We’re all thinking, ‘Well, we wouldn’t!” But it happens! It happens when a crowd of people are incited by others, go with the flow, get caught up in the heat of the moment. Ordinarily rational, pleasant, law-abiding citizens react like lynch mobs and vigilantes and do it in the name of ‘justice’ and ‘human rights’.


Laws of the Land

There are laws which govern our actions. There are laws which protect people. There are laws which have been rationally worked out, written down and used in courts throughout most lands in the world (there are corrupt systems, yes, but that’s a whole new hub!).


Be Mindful!

Look more closely at the presentation of events, listen to the language used when reporters tell you about a person or his actions, ask yourself the questions the history student uses. Maybe you will then be in a better position to argue the situation.

Listen to both sides of an argument. Do your own research using reliable sources before you join the crowd banging on someone’s door. Think carefully about both sides in this war before you make your stand. Make sure you have an informed, educated opinion. Above all, make sure you have all the facts before you hit out, do someone harm, with actions or with words. It will probably be too late to say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realise.”

Please be mindful of yourself, others and the world around you.


Copyright annart/AFC 2015


Political Correctness

Do you think PC has gone mad?

  • Yes, totally.
  • Yes, in certain fields.
  • No, without it we are lost.
  • No, it is always used within reasonable boundaries.
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 56 comments

annart profile image

annart 5 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Patricia, for your valuable comment. I agree that if people feel strongly they should be able express their feelings. It is such a complicated issue and I appreciate your coming back to read.

Great to see you today.

Ann


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 5 months ago from sunny Florida

Very well said and filled with much thought provoking content. I do agree that sometimes knee jerk reactions are incorrect but sometimes they are spot on. Because one feels or reacts in way that may not be 'politically correct' does not mean they are wrong. I have serious mixed feelings about that incident to which you referred and truthfully have not resolved it entirely. We all have our own set of beliefs as we should; but a job, is a job...not wanting to debate things here just pointing out that we are entitled to disagree when we feel strongly about something as that person did ...but dissenters who should dissent respectfully are allowed that same freedom.

Anyway I am bookmarking this to reread as I do when I read something that is thought provoking. It needs to be read and reread....well said....

Shared

Angels are once again on the way to you.


annart profile image

annart 10 months ago from SW England Author

aesta: Thank you for your interesting input. Making room for the differences is an excellent philosophy but we ALL have to do it, that's the difficulty! I appreciate you popping by.

Ann


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Wow, there are so many things here to think about. I know mindfulness very well yet there are occasions when I just react especially when a comment touches a hurt inside. Many times, I keep away from some commentators because they just make me angry. But when I think about it, I am faced with the challenge to give room to the differences - maybe, because their experience is different, they view the world differently and what they say may be true to them. Maybe, the challenge is to keep reaching out, trying to understand and maybe make room for differences.


annart profile image

annart 11 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Deborah. I appreciate your comment and thank you for reading. I totally agree with your sentiments.

Ann


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 11 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

I believe that political correctness has taken a turn for the worse. Having said that, I believe the solution is mindfulness. People paying attention to what is happening around them, right now, in this moment. People being present and aware.

Thanks for writing,

Namaste


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Theresa, for your considered input. Yes, your point about people wanting to be seen as victims is an interesting one.

The baby in the photo didn't actually drink anything; she grabbed the glass my partner was holding (which had wine in it!) and I happened to have the camera open! He got the blame for trying to entice her though! Babies seem to like the reflections in glass and liquids. I can just imagine some condemning him outright.

I totally understand you being busy, what with work and family. I find it difficult now I'm retired; I've no idea how I found time to do anything else when I was working! Glad you've had lots of family time and thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to read this; it is rather longer than usual!

Blessings to you too, Theresa.

Ann


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Ann,

Here in the U.S. political correctness has indeed gone mad! It is to the extreme now. I am sick and tired of it all ...

So true, it seems that people are quick to jump on the band wagon without hearing all of the facts to just be able to rant and rave and shout about something without being totally informed!

The media here tends to paint everyone as a victim and people seem to want to be painted as a victim for some reason?

It looks like the baby is drinking grape juice to me in your photo : )

We should all practice the art of mindfulness in this overly PC world.

I can see why this hub has worn you out as you have given it all you have and then some.

I see I have a good bit to catch up on reading here on HP. I've been having extremely hard and busy work weeks and then family celebrations on the weekends.

I always enjoy your articles.

Blessings always,

Theresa


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Jo. I greatly appreciate your kind words and the fact that you find a gentle tone here means a great deal to me. I believe it's important to treat anyone and anything with a measure of thought and tolerance.

Your thoughts about parents and the way they teach their children are insightful. Thank you for your valuable input.

Always good to hear from you, Jo. Hugs to (((you))).

Ann


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 13 months ago

I really enjoyed reading this very informative and educational article. You did an amazing job and touched on so many good points. I very much like your writing style! It is always a gentle tone that comes through your words. Mindfulness is something I whole heartedly believe should be taught in our school system from grade 2 throughout the student’s life. Especially when parents need to learn this and maybe they are lacking in this area themselves. It is hard then to teach your child. The media I think sometimes puts content out there without using mindfulness with regard how to share the news.

I myself had struggled with learning this, and I still will have to stop for a minute and breathe and then think! Ms. Davis and her decision was all over our local news here in Kentucky. I believe the “knee jerk” responses come out of the “self indignation” with one’s personal religious beliefs. So many who will read this, will become better for it! Shared and applaud you for spending some time pulling this together! I highly respect your work!

Blessings always…


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Mary. You've put it in a nutshell, not a rant! It is a lot to think about but your 'live and let live' just about sums it up.

I appreciate your comments and your support, Mary.

Ann


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 14 months ago from New York

This is certainly chock full of things to think about. Mindfulness, political correctness...yes, I think the world has gone mad! Whatever happened to being innocent until proven guilty? How about live and let live?

I agree 200% with "If we remove everything which offends someone, we will have nothing left to say." You cannot please all of the people all of the time!

We need to stop jumping to conclusions and get on with life.

Okay, now I'm ranting. This very thoughtful hub arouses thoughts and feelings about the state of the world right now. Well done.


bradmasterOCcal profile image

bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

Hi Ann

I would have hoped that the person saying All is Lost would be able to educate us on that viewpoint.

Cheers


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

bradmasterOCcal: Hi again! The answers to the polls give no indication as to who voted what, as you probably know. As you can see, there are no answers which explain any of the votes so I can't say. It's interesting to get a feel of which way the general sway of thinking goes; that's the only reason I put in a poll. Each to his own.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Flourish. I don't know the laws of the land in the US but if that's the case then I understand that view. Nor do I know what she's stated on camera so I can't really comment when I don't know the facts! However, it's a difficult position, isn't it, when someone has already taken on a job and then a new legislation or situation presents itself causing one to have a conflict of interests? Very difficult one.

Thanks so much for your viewpoint. I must say that I'm really happy with how everyone has put across lots of thoughts, all in a moderate and measured fashion.

Ann


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

I agree that people are overly sensitive and just need to toughen up. At the same time, I thoroughly disagree with Kim Davis' actions on the basis of her own statements on camera. If she will not put aside her personal beliefs and uphold the duties of her office (what is now the law of the land) she needs to get another job. Period. The people of Kentucky are being ripped off. People need to understand that religious accommodation only goes so far in this country, like it or not.


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Hi Mike!

Thank you for the compliment but you are definitely very productive. This one did take it out of me though.

Sadly, I feel it is the competitiveness that is important rather than the ethics. No trusted sources, as you say.

Thanks for reading and for your input.

Ann


bradmasterOCcal profile image

bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

Ann

I am interested in the poll taker that ticked off the no, without it we are lost?

Did that person make a comment explaining how they made that conclusion.

Thanks


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Ann. It is difficult for me to feel productive after reading one of your presentations. You pour so much energy into them. In today's internet world media and bloggers compete side by side for attention. It is impossible to tell what is what and how much bias is built into the reporting. Unless we are an eye witness you cannot put too much stock in what you read or hear, no trusted sources I guess I am saying.

I enjoyed reading your ideas on mindfulness.


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

RTalloni: I appreciate your keeping an eye on this hub and your added comments. I think I've finished updating now, at least I hope so as this is plenty long enough already!

Your comment regarding teaching is a long-standing one here. Teachers are constantly on their guard regarding responding to students. Some contact reassurance is good for some occasionally, such as a pat on the back or a little touch on the forearm. When we know our pupils well, we react accordingly, not before. There are little ones in reception who need an arm around the shoulder from time to time. How awful to have to be wary of showing concern and offering sympathy. Your example is an extreme one but one which happens more often than we realise; I hope the perpetrator was dealt with severely, though it would have been too late to prevent the drastic change to that teacher's life.

Thanks again.

Ann


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 14 months ago from the short journey

Have been checking back for your updates and appreciate the added work you've included. If you continue to work on this post please notify, perhaps by sharing the post or in a comment on mine. Others may be able to tell you a better way to notify us.

Re your comments on how teachers need to be able to exercise authority in the classroom, I thought I would share a friend's incident. She had worked her way to a principal's position with high hopes of making a difference in needy lives. In trying to deal with a violent student before law enforcement were on scene she could only use words, but the student used a knife to permanently damage her physically and mentally by stabbing her in the neck. Her career was over and her life changed forever. The authority teachers need is for the protection of other students and themselves. I honestly do not know how some of them go to work in certain places. Perhaps a strict self-defense course should be a requirement for their degrees.

Anyway, the topic of this hub covers a broad spectrum of issues. Thank you for all your work to initiate reasonable discussions.


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you Dora! Maybe too many definitions and 'stuff' in this one but, yes, it's being mindful of oneself which leads to being mindful of others. If we look deeply into a situation we might be surprised at what we find.

Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment.

Have a wonderful weekend, Dora.

Ann


MsDora profile image

MsDora 14 months ago from The Caribbean

Thanks for all the definitions, but especially of mindfulness. So many positive benefits! When it comes to the television, there are so many messages scrolling at the same time (worse than having ads on a page) it distracts us from mindfulness. At the end of the day, its our responsibility to be mindful. Thanks for emphasizing that.


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Glad you liked England; Cheltenham is about an hour or so up the road from me. Our old comedies are great and 'Yes, Minister' was one of the best. I believe it was based on 'inside information'! It certainly seemed like it!

I suppose politicians are the same the world over, though occasionally we come across someone who really does care, has some integrity and who manages to make a difference. Few and far between and none around at the moment, I fear!

Ann


bradmasterOCcal profile image

bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

Annart

I like the old British Comedies, and I think yes, minister, and yes prime minister are still more truth than comedy.

Years ago, I was working during the summer in Cheltenham, and I really liked it. I visited most of the surrounding area from Rugby to Wales. Like the US, I liked England but I am not crazy about the politicians.

Cheers


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

bradmasterOCcal: Great analogies in your comment. Thank you for your interesting input.

It's the same here, that the news channels are out to be the first (how often do we hear 'it's exclusive to ... news'?). Who cares? I just want to be told the facts of whatever happened to see if it affects me or if there is any action to be taken, or...... etc.

I also agree with you regarding the voters. I hear so often, 'Oh, I've always voted for....' Never mind if they have a rubbish candidate or that s/he's corrupt, it's ok because they belong to the party I always vote for, my parents voted for and Uncle Tom Cobley and all have always voted for. Crazy!

Thanks for your input today. Much appreciated.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

RTalloni: Thinking through and discussing is always important, whatever we're doing, I believe. I was brought up to listen, give the benefit of the doubt, make sure I knew the facts before landing with both feet. It's just courtesy and tolerance.

Things which we have to stand up for are of course important too, but we should still do that with a measured approach and a good deal of solid reasoning behind us.

Thanks for your kind words and thank you for supporting me; in fact, thanks for instigating all this in the first place! I have a few amendments to make which I'm currently working on, so this will be even longer (but only a little)!!

Ann


bradmasterOCcal profile image

bradmasterOCcal 14 months ago from Orange County California

My opinion

The news lost its value, veracity and integrity when they absorbed the once separate and independent declaration of the opinion of the television station, they called an Editorial.

There are no more editorials as they have been blended into the shoddy, and hardly verifiable facts of a news event. The quest to be first on the TV block to report and event has taken out all of the traditional reporting safeguards.

If the true and unadulterated news was a true North direction, then the news reporting of today is a vector skewed from that true north. The degree of skew is dependent on the television station, or network.

Bad news reporting is when the television news made their first report on the plane hitting the WTC. It was reported as a Light Plane, as opposed to a Jet Airliner. How could anyone seeing the event make such a blunder?

It is sad to say but the majority of television news viewers are sheep waiting for their shepherd to tell them what to do, and how to do it.

Many times people just parrot the opinion of the news personalities or pundits without understanding or even being aware of the context and the big picture. Usually the viewers come away with the hidden editorial, rather than the story.

It is like the loyal political party voter, most of their intelligence has bee replaced by unquestioned loyal. We don't have independent and intelligent voting, or true raw news. It is always bundled with something. And like the little kid that is more fascinated with the box rather than the present inside of it, the TV news viewers are content to play with the box.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 14 months ago from the short journey

Spam, that's funny. :) Comments continue to be interesting. The written word is so different from a verbal conversation so carefully communicating what we want to post is important. Been there, done that in the failure department but it's always a good learning experience. We have to be willing to give each other room to think things through on a continuing basis.

In some cases, though, the intention to start a war is clear. Though nothing could be further from the truth I was accused of agreeing with the county clerk's actions after my post. I would not have handled that the way she did, but I do not know all of the details that led to her decisions. The legal system will rule on the matter, but attacking her personally in any way helps no one and threats are illegal.

Thinking through related issues and discussing them along with our opinions is very useful, as far as I can see. Mindfully examining as many angles as possible when it comes to any of the issues we face is so important. Thanks again for encouraging careful thinking before/when we step up and speak up about important issues.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Ann,

Thank you for reminding us all that it is worth it.


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Eric, for your thoughtful and perceptive comments.

You're right, it is a struggle to go against the tide and it is difficult to be mindful of all around us. I think the crux of mindfulness is knowing oneself, understanding how we react to our own world, our own thoughts and feelings. If we can know ourselves, then it's easier to understand both ourselves and others.

It did invigorate me because it got rid of some of the angst! As for the editbot, I have to be careful what I say, for I've had my question removed; so has Jackie. PC?

Thanks, Eric, for your support and your understanding. It means a lot to me.

Ann


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

These are very difficult articles to write. Two things would make them easier; If you did not care and if you just went on a wild rant. Clearly you care and this was not a rant. I do not say that in order to pile platitudes your way but rather because it is at the heart of the matter. Effort and struggle. That is what you are asking of us. Mindfulness of our place in our social reality is not easy. It takes some work and often some painful introspection along with perspective. Why oh Lord did you make it so easy just to follow along with the masses and yet so difficult to swim against the tide? In practicing mindfulness we have a saying: "There is good news and bad news, the good news is that you feel everything more and more truly. The bad news is that you feel everything more and more truly."

May I suggest that our new writing toy - the editbot, is the exact antithesis of mindfulness. Does it really help us to write/think in a manner more in line with the masses, more acceptable to the masses of social networking and mass media?

I pause in thought for the depressives. What really is it about the mindfulness that helps to alleviate such a condition? I believe it is in the engagement of life. Rather than a passive acceptance it requires a thoughtful interaction. The mind must be in gear in order to run smoothly.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this hub. I know that it must have sucked much energy from you, so I hope it also invigorated.


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Frank, for your valuable contribution to this discussion. If we are aware then we should be able to respond with appropriate distinction. I suppose we have made progress to a certain extent but when we look at what's going on in many places, I do wonder that we don't notice, remember and learn from our experiences.

Thank for your kind words; if this is eye-opening then I've done some of what I intended.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

RTalloni: Thanks for your thoughtful and comprehensive response. For some reason your comment came up with a 'spam' label!

I agree with all that you say and I appreciate you picking out some 'quotes'. I might just do as you suggest with that particular one. How awful it would be if we were all the same and how awful it would be if we couldn't say what we think (considerately).

I appreciate you taking the time to add your voice here. I'm also very happy with the discussion here; it seems so far that all are being mindful of others' feelings. Thanks, too, for adding a link in your hub.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Alan: of course that should have read '... don't like being picked up..'. Just before someone picks it up!!! I'm supposed to be an English teacher but then I haven't practised for 4 years; I know that's no excuse though.

Must watch out for editbot police now, amongst all the others!

Ann


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Ruby, so are we! I do worry that it goes over into the dangerous all too often. I believe you've got the right approach, to go with your heart. It's those who go with 'the gut feeling' who often make irrational decisions without the correct information.

I'm happy that you've voiced your opinion and I thank you for your valuable input and measured approach. If everyone did as you do, then we wouldn't have any worries!

Thank you for reading this rather long hub and for leaving your thoughtful response.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Once again, Alan, I'm not expressing myself very well! I did look at the definition of 'politic' as I was writing this. I meant, in my comment, that the definition of 'political correctness' did not make the connection. I think I should make an amendment in this hub to cover all that, after all.

Thanks for bringing the omission to my attention, Alan; it's important that I get it right and make myself clear. I'm not one of those who doesn't like being picked up on something so feel free to do the same again any time! I do appreciate your support and value your input.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

RJ Schwartz: Yes, it does seem to be going that way. Thanks for your input. Some interesting discussion here!

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton

annart, I think we've made the world smaller, and we have done wonders.. of course many people are more sensitive these days.. Mindfulness works, but like all things in moderation... and probably the lack of trust.. here takes us into a whole new direction.. very clever hub here and anyone can go on all day with the pros and cons, a wonderful eye opening share my friend :) Frank


always exploring profile image

always exploring 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

We in America are drowning in political correctness. Do we listen to the news media? Do we draw our own conclusions. Fox news says, " We report, you decide. CNN leans toward the left. People still feel superior among the races. Which candidate running for office will do as they proclaim to do? I've been told that I'm a political junkie. I watch and listen very carefully then I go with what my heart feels, in reality that's all anyone can do. I really think the key is to follow your heart. I don't attempt to push my views on anyone else because I am mindful of other's views and I respect that. I might add that I have felt so good about the Pope's visit. He brings a breath of fresh air. ( I am not Catholic. ) but I respect his vision for our world. If we all would love each other unconditionally there would be no wars,no hunger no color divide. Thank you for writing this most important piece, and thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion. Peace..


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 14 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

The link is in the word 'politic' from the Greek 'polis' = city=citizen. Citizens' involvement for the public good or public affairs leads to 'politics' as we understand in the general sense; 'politicking' (arch.).


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 14 months ago from the short journey

Well, you have certainly covered a lot of important territory here and obviously worked to maintain a good balance while covering the topic. Picked up the gauntlet and run with it clear across the pond! :) Thank you for notifying me. I might not have checked updates this week.

This hub is well worth reading and the many questions you present are important to consider carefully. We certainly should make sure we are in as good a position as possible to make useful additions in discussions about issues. We actually have a responsibility to each other to do that.

The discussion you began about the climate of fear in today's society is all by itself a crucial one to continue. I would be hard pressed to find one of your quotes to call my favorite, but in your discussion on mindfulness one has to be "..others are influencing us and we aren’t necessarily aware of that influence."

However, "If we remove everything which offends someone, we will have nothing left to say." is a priceless quote that you might want to put in a call-out box. It reminds me of the truth about the word tolerance having a new definition that includes the idea that everyone must agree which had led us to the absurd idea that everyone must be the same.

It reminded me of an interview I heard this week about a society without a moral compass, or in other words, an anything goes society. Anything goes? We had better think again! (Sorry I can't remember the who of the interview, but I've heard the term moral compass before. It wasn't unique to this interview.)

Indeed, "it is all very wobbly". Thanks for loads of good food for thought. I'll be reading it again soon. It's good to that see you are getting great responses for the very thoughtful work you've put into this post.


RJ Schwartz profile image

RJ Schwartz 14 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

I believe the most telling couple of words in this piece are "climate of fear" - soon the world will be at the brink where no one will do anything for fear of any one of the self-appointed PC police forces hounding them into submission


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 14 months ago from london

Yes, one of the tags was Conflict Resolution, and it was and is still being used in business. Still, society is evolving and we are much further down the road spiritually than let's say just 20 years ago. Welcome to the audacity of Hope. He he.


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Yes, Alan, thanks for the comment and the great input.

I realise that 'politic' is more the idea with 'political correctness' but look at the words in the dictionary and you won't find the connection, sadly.

It was part of my idea to show that people don't really get it but maybe it didn't work too well!

Yes, we do tend to ignore but I think the trend is going towards the 'let's join that crowd' philosophy, to be seen to know what's going on.

You also make a good point that it backfires on those whom we think, in our patronising, are benefiting from our support.

Thanks for your input.

Ann


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 14 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Hello Ann, in 'PC' the 'political' element is to do with relationships between people, more to do with 'politic', i.e., judicious/expedient. In other words it's expedient to consider the views/feelings of others. Of course it has never occurred to the PC Brigade that some of the minorities whose rights they pursue don't want to be molly-coddled because it might lead to problems later on or elsewhere.

When you take this to an extreme it can lead to over-zealous pursuit of rights by the educationally backward.

For example, when the reporting of paedophiles first arose in the papers a woman paediatrician was attacked because the attackers only heard the 'pead-' part of the word, added 2+2 to get 5 and 'went in for the kill'. Luckily she wasn't unduly hurt.

This is the opposite of 'mind your own business' that we Brits are known for (see the numbers of passengers on the Underground with a book, a paper, magazine or mobile phone, to make sure of not being drawn into a conversation or argument. The inference is, if you don't know what's going on you can't be expected to give an opinion and are therefore exempt from taking any interest).


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, manatita. Funny you should mention RT; we view that more often now, as we found out things that don't appear on our news! I wonder why!

Mindfulness is something that has been trialled a lot here, I gather, so I guess it must be up and running in quite a few education establishments, probably under several different 'tags'.

This did take a while to put together but was an interesting exercise. Thanks for the supportive comments.

Ann


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 14 months ago from london

Ann, a wonderful Hub, knowing that to do this requires much effort. I commend you here.

Yes, more and more people are becoming mindful in the sense that you use the word. Nowadays, more are sceptical of reports from the media and ask many questions. There is a slow shift taking place in Society, and I suspect the 'big boys' are realising this, as they look for newer, smarter and more ingenious ways to con us.

A guy I know, whenever he reads poetry, always ask the audience to listen to Russia Today, as he feels that one gets better reports there than elsewhere.

To continue, mindfulness is now being taught in schools and some universities in America, as a way of improving our wisdom and enhancing inner peace, which not only makes us better humans, but improves our capacity to study well.

We use this approach to help patients quite a lot in psychiatric medicine. As you say, not rocket science. Excellent Hub!


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, bill, for your praise and for your input. Doesn't it just drive you mad when they do that?

This left me exhausted as I find this type of hub much harder to do than fiction or poetry. At RTalloni's suggestion, I made myself do it though I wasn't keen; a much-needed prod in the ribs!

Funny thing was, while I was writing I was very concerned that I might annoy someone or say the wrong thing. Hope I haven't!

Hope your Thursday is thriving, bill.

Ann :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

My goodness, look at you, Ann! You've done yourself proud with this one. Is it my imagination or are there much more knee-jerk reactions in society today, people who are willing to believe anything at first sight without investigating, and then they shout their opinions based on false information and then...and I love this...they argue vehemently against anyone who dares to question their arguments.....I think you've done an excellent job of explaining the influences that lead to this type of behavior.

In other words, BRILLIANT!

bill


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks for the information, Kim!

Ann


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 14 months ago from North Carolina

Ann,

NPR = National Public Radio. It is like the sister/brother to PBS. Public Broadcasting System. And, if not mistaken, a takeoff from the BBC British Broadcasting.

One of the more popular shows is called "All Things Considered."

Kim


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Kim, for your thoughtful response. I'm glad you could identify with this and I hope the mindfulness techniques continue to help.

Could you please explain to me what NPR is? I guess a radio channel, but I don't know, being from the opposite side of that great pond!

I greatly appreciate your visit today and thanks for sharing this too.

Ann


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 14 months ago from North Carolina

Ann,

What an amazing hub and so thoughtfully presented which echoes the message. Nicely done. This hub touched me in several ways.

One, as someone who suffers from PTSD/Major Depression, I am working very hard on 'mindfulness' in order to improve my quality of life.

Two, as someone who was brought up in a household where the only thing my parents watched were sports and politic-related programming, I can relate to the influences found within the media. Nowadays, I find listening to NPR a much better source for un-biased reporting.

Finally, the recent events (Charleston, for example) made me so sad when some of my FB friends posted what I deemed to be really inappropriate and racist comments, cartoons, etc... which did cause me to delete posts and in some cases remove 'friend' from my list.

Shared and Pinned for sure!

Blessings,

Kim


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England Author

Hello Colleen. That is a perceptive comment and an excellent point.

It's all part of being aware of the world around you and allowing some leeway. We all see and hear things from our own perspective and can't expect everyone to have exactly the same outlook. Tolerance and compassion go a long way.

Thanks for your valuable input, Colleen.

Hope all's well with you and yours.

Ann


Colleen Swan profile image

Colleen Swan 14 months ago from County Durham

Hi Ann, I have thought for some while that there are too many people eager to be offended if the wrong "word" is used. I believe mindfulness works on two levels; minorities should be aware of tone of voice and body language rather than exact wording. If a mistake is made, a gentle clarification will nearly always result in increased sensitivity. Colleen

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