“If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth! For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” Proverbs 30:32,33 NIV
How is it that so much of what we do in a public forum, we forget that people are watching and paying attention? Perhaps, if we think what we do behind closed doors of a public event, those outside the doors won’t discover what we’ve said or done. In today’s world of “instant” video and transmitted images, thinking what we do won’t become public is a pipe dream.
Teachers and students in conflict in a classroom–someone whips out a phone and video tapes it or live streams and the conflict–not the facts–are aired in the media for all the world to see. On more than one occasion, the facts differed greatly from what was seen, but the facts were only discovered after teachers have lost jobs and the students appear to win the upper-hand, to live another day, to create other conflicts.
Even in the privacy of a person’s home--conflicts are blown out of proportion when someone captures it and distributes it--making it seem like something is happening that is not.
There have been situations in which the immediate access of a conflict through video images have actually helped to find criminals or determine other wrong doing by police and other figures of authority.
No matter what the situation is or was–we know from all the images displayed on social media which get air time on television–people are watching and drawing conclusions about what they see and hear.
Now, with the knowledge that people are watching everything that’s said and done–especially in a political arena–is there an excuse for people being foolish–saying whatever comes to mind–without thinking about the potential fall-out and then having to back-pedal it? A wise person is always mindful of their surroundings and knows that they should listen attentively, and think before speaking. If wisdom is exercised in all we do in all situations, the public would soon lose interest in the sensationalism generated by the foolish.
Speaking of sensationalism, we must also question the journalistic integrity of many of the print and broadcast media. It would appear they deliberately distribute incendiary information, with the only goal in mind–higher ratings for them. Considering the fact that many of the people who read a newspaper or even watch biased newscasts are swayed by the misinformation–it is no wonder they support people based on their biases, and not actual facts.
Let’s face it–do any of us know the truth about anyone? People have opinions about celebrities with no “knowledge” of them--but based on what is disseminated through the media. We stoke hatred and bigotry, presume favor and hope in people without facts–just biased journalism. We see it all the time when people attack or worship celebrities–based upon information broadcast in the media. The general public tends to take sides of celebrity divorces–which are none of our business–and other prominent public figures–which are also none of our business–and think we have a right to chastise them or judge them. It’s none of our business!
But what is our business is knowing we will put the right person in the White House in November. And the only way we can vote with wisdom is in seeking guidance from Holy Spirit and obeying–regardless of our biases based on misleading and flawed media. Not only is it our business to select the right President, but it is our responsibility to vote for a Congress that will work and not obstruct–serving the will of the people–not their private or bought-and-paid-for agendas.