Have you ever tried to grab hold of mercury? When I was just a kid, playing around an open fireplace, I picked up a thermometer hanging on the wall nearby. I was fascinated seeing the substance inside the thermometer rise and fall. Rather than leave it on the wall to guage the rise and fall of the room temperature, in my young inquiring mind I decided to hold it close to the flame in the fireplace. The mercury inside shot up and I dropped it on the hearth and it broke.

That tiny bit of mercury was lying on the rock hearth, and I tried to pick it up but it rolled around like it had a mind of its own. Despite all my efforts my little fingers could not hold on to that small drop of mercury. I would try to grab hold and the mercury would slip through my fingers and roll around. It was like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube, I simply could not pick up that mercury to put back into the thermometer.

But that was just one of my problems. I had to face my mom when she missed the thermometer off the wall. I got a broom and swept the mercury into the ashes in the fireplace, then ran outside and threw the broken thermometer into the bushes at the edge of the yard. I sat down and started to cry, when my mother approached and wanted to know what was wrong. I just confessed, and she scolded me for removing the thermometer off the wall in the first place. I was quite upset, but mainly because I could not grab hold of the mercury.

I have never forgotten that childhood experience, which comes to mind from time to time when trying to explain the philosophy of Freedom, Private ownership of property boundaries and basic tenets. It’s not rocket science, but seems so many have some kind of barrier in their thinking, which stirs some sort of resistance to the idea of understanding just what Freedom means.

I’m not easily bored, because I’m so interested in so many things, but lately I find myself on the verge of boredom, which is more akin to frustration, trying to get across to another the meaning of Freedom. I have to remind myself, I spent years studying the Philosophy of Freedom, and put up every argument of resistance to my teachers, before I finally “got it.”

Living quietly in the beautiful hills of north Georgia nowadays, writing almost every day, posting about 15 or 20 per month on my website, I feel quite privileged to do that. Rewarded by a great deal of recognition, in newspaper and magazine articles. Over a hundred thousand comments from 80 different countries, and lately other prolific writers sometimes reprint my articles.

Despite the fact my underlying theme is the Philosophy of Freedom, I write on a variety of subjects from A to zizzard. The only subject I steer clear of is religion, only mentioning the Ten Commandments or our Divine Creator infrequently. Because one’s religion is so personal, and there are so many differences in belief systems, I respect anyone’s belief, and try to avoid that subject.

I’m well aware some of my expressed views are controversial, particularly in the area of politics, however despite differences in opinions relative to some, responses I receive are usually courteous. I’m fortunate not to have been the target of personal attacks such as other writers report. In the past four years, posting almost 600 lengthy articles, my responding readers sometimes voice disagreement but with civility and courtesy, for which I’m extremely grateful.

About a year ago, I activated my Facebook account and now have a thousand-plus FB friends I can interact with, and enjoy. They too have been very kind and courteous. There are many kind-hearted and sweet people on FB. But have read some of the interaction between others, which are quite abrasive, name calling and accusatory. Attitudes going beyond disagreement, indulging in unpleasant personal attacks.

A few days ago I encountered such an experience, which began when I asked the questions, What has Ron Paul really done in the way of accomplishments after 12 terms, to slow down or change the direction of Socialism in this country? This really ticked one reader, whose response was rather attacking.

Then I wrote a couple of articles objecting to those in groups, with different agendas, signing me up as a member without my knowledge or consent to join. That same reader jumped on that, with what I considered rather irrational responses, when we engaged in an exchange. In my articles and exchange with the reader I clearly stated I considered the arbitrary sign-up making me a member of their group violated the boundaries of my freedom of choice. The reader seemed to be unable to address that premise with rationale and responded with rather vilifying attacks, repeating I could and should just get off FB. I stopped the exchange after I realized he was ranting with mischaracterization of my original clearly stated premise. His retorts were obviously angry and off the wall responses which had nothing to do with arguing nor debating the subject I first presented. Ending by saying I had some kind of “disorder” and should get off FB.

Now I can argue or debate my position on the Philosophy of Freedom with anyone. However, when a respondent goes completely off the subject matter and begins characterizing with personal vilifying attacks, then I’m through with it. Oh, I failed to mention he informed me he was a politician running for a state office.

It was Harry Truman who said, “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.”

This encounter with a young man who kept running off in different directions, unable to rationally debate the issue I first presented, reminded me of my experience in the story about mercury. Couldn’t stay on course to debate the subject matter without ranting on in different directions, until I finally just swept it off my radar for any further discussion.

It was really my first encounter with this sort of mind-set, relative to my articles, or with any FB exchanges. And I’m grateful the majority of those interacting on the internet, do so with common courtesy and rational thought. Not boring as this exchange turned out.

This crisis we face in this “transformation of America” has a solution in the hearts and minds of the American people. And requires interaction of thoughts and ideas, discussed rationally, despite our differences in opinions and ideas. However, it’s my opinion that in any argument, debate, or difference of opinions, in order to be productive, we must find at least one area of agreement. Flailing around criticizing and name calling about any and everything, becomes a circular saw situation that solves nothing, and only serves as a venting mechanism for the one unable to land anywhere with anything relative to rational thought. Namely, a mercury-style thought process.

It’s reported Einstein said: “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.”



email: annecleveland@bellsouth.net

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