Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster
I saw a little news items recently where a growing number of Americans felt the world was “coming unglued.”
Things like the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian attack on the Ukraine, inflation, rising gas prices, supply chain issues, politics and the such were cited.
Let’s look at “unglued” before we go any fuirther.
It can mean “to become extremely upset or angry; to fail suddenly or completely; to become upset, disorganized or confused; lose emotional control, disintegrate or collapse; fall apart, break down”.
However, for something to become “unglued”, doesn’t it need to have been glued in the first place?
The idea that our world is coming “unglued” therefore means that at some point it was “glued”.
“Glued” relates to something bonded or cemented.
There’s a belief that something is somewhat solid and stable because of the “gluing”.
I don’t think the world has ever been “glued”; therefore it can’t be coming “unglued” today.
“Chaos” has always been a part of the human existence.
Forer U.S. Representative Tom Barrett said, “Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it allows the opportunity for creativity and growth.”
The American experience is riddled with chaos.
It’s our legacy to be unglued.
American writer Alan Dean Foster believes “Freedom is just chaos with better lighting.”
Think about that for a moment.
I stumbled across this thought years ago and it seems to fit this discussion.
When I hear someone sig, “Life is hard!” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?”
The Irish poet Oscar Wilde stated, “Without order, nothing can exist; without chaos, nothing can evolve. Nowadays , people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Mr. Wilde came up with that thought long before we had Facebook.
That’s when the glue ceased to be sticky.
In these modern times, we have so many ways to read and hear about things immediately.
We have 24 hour, 7 day a week news channels and we never get a breather.
There was a time that our televisions showed “test patterns” instead of another “talking head.”
I would argue that most of today’s “news” wouldn’t even make the cut years ago, simply because it wasn’t “newsy” enough.
But today, “breaking news” is usually nothing more than the latest tidbit of information that hasn’t had time to develop.
It’s like stirring up cake batter and pouring it into the cake pan and only leaving it in the oven for 5 minutes before you take it out, try to frost it, and serve it to your dinner guests.
“Breaking news” has been perverted by round-the-clock news outlets who wrongly assume that something “new” is actually “newsworthy.”
Newsworthiness is the term used to describe whether or not a topic is interesting enough for people to “want or need to know.”
It is the first thing good news people should consider before airing or writing a story.
And, in your pocket or in your purse is a device that keeps all this information at your fingertips.
This communication device also allows you to say things to others electronically that I truly believe most wouldn’t say face-to-face, in-person.
Everyone has someone out there ready to read his or her opinion and so many of us think it’s factual.
It many cases, some of this tripe isn’t even good fiction.
But we are constantly bombarded by this “information” and if you’re not careful, you just might begin to believe some of it.
It’s lead to the creation of “fact-checkers.”
But who are they and is anyone checking their facts?
And, just because someone has an opinion is there any reason to believe that this output had anything to do with good input?
If ever there was time that we needed to dig deeper into matters and issues, it is today.
But most will tell you, “I don’t have the time.”
Thanks to all these labor saving devices we are blessed with.
The trick is to not believe all the chaos
Mason Cooley told us, “No chaos. No creation. Evidence the kitchen at mealtime.”
Mr. Cooley, an American aphorist is one who is adept at “aphorisms”.
Those are concise, terse, laconic or memorable expressions of a general truth or principle.
Bingo, Mason Cooley!
Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt chimed in with, “If life were predictable, it would cease to be life and be without flavor.”
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Helen Keller said that.
Our world isn’t coming “unglued.”
We’re just experiencing life.
Did anyone say it would be a boring ride?