Information is power.
Information is power and, in case you need an easy reminder, all you have to do is look at the tabloids and “entertainment” magazines the next time you check out at your local pharmacy/grocer/convenience store.
Dr. Wayne Boss, of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder, recently spoke with a leadership development group of which I am a member. He said, “people only have has much power as we give them; when we stop allowing them to have a certain level of power, it is lost until we return it to them.” In essence, when we, as consumers, purchase/buy into the product that these publications are selling, we are giving their information power.
Thanks to my personal experience with law enforcement agencies (city police, county sheriff’s department, FBI, Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, just to name a few) and the criminal justice system, I have a tendency to err on the side of the accused, rather than the accuser, when it comes to legal matters. I have a biased perspective and I recognize that I am skeptical, cynical and full of doubt.
I feel like I’m floating in this giant shit storm of information right now that only perpetuates this tendency: the recent tragedies that have befallen our nation, involving both innocent (because remember – we are innocent until proven guilty, okay?) citizens and members of law enforcement; today is the birthday of Nelson Mandela; I’ve begun listening to the audio version of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (thank you to friends Shannon and Marilyn for the stellar recommendation); and I’ve recently returned from an experience with some amazingly fierce athletes and fans of sport who are bringing awareness to injustices in the way athletes are treated by our nation’s Olympic Committee.
As I’m sure one could imagine, there have been some heated discussions in our home; Jonathan tends to play devil’s advocate with me, which is actually really helpful, since I never talk about any of these things outside the confines of my home and, other than a few prison stories on this blog, nowhere on the web. I have so much respect for my friends who post their thoughts on social media; the comments many of them receive are nothing short of horrendous.
I share all of this for one reason: we live in an age when information is available everywhere. I have no reason NOT to have an informed opinion; I have no reason NOT to consider both sides of every story; it’s okay to have a meaningful conversation and NOT feel the need to blame someone/something while also preserving/protecting my own beliefs; and we can agree to disagree…and still be friends.
Information is power. I encourage you to seek more information, to make informed statements and to support the causes/issues that you believe in; give power to those who are sharing both sides of the issue, not just the side you prefer; and please remember that everyone has a story and that we can learn from all of them (*hops off of soap box*).