Friday, May 29, 2009

Lead a Horse to Water/Not Pride, but Depression

Here is the Post that I intended to Post on Tuesday, 2/26/2009, but it seemed that God blocked it, for I sensed a check in my Spirit and well, as it turns out, God did not want me not to Post this, but only to delay in Posting it, for it seems that I was supposed to Post two others in the mean time. The best way for me to refer you Googlers to the other related Posts is to refer you to May's Archive, or for the rest of you, just scroll down and read them.

I hope that those of you who are not Spiritual will not mind me inserting comments in my writings about how God speaks to me. I do often sense His guidance in my writing and sometimes I actually listen. LOL.

Anyway, the original Inspiration for this Post came from the Comment Section of the Post, "The Unmotivated Electorate/Voters/Basic Economics", which you will probably want to read if you want to better understand this Post. In short, I suggested in this Post how it might be helpful to set up more Information Centers to help people learn about the Issues and the Candidates that they will be Voting on. The Comments that I am responding to now in this Post can be found beneath the Post that I've just left a Link to.

When I submitted a Comment on May 22, 2009, at 7:53 AM, beneath the above Linked Post, I had Type Written 1 1/3 Pages and only submitted the first 1/3 Page. The other Page has given me some pause and I was wondering the following morning if I should try and rewrite it while Speaking more from the Heart.

Well, once I got going on this Post, I realized that it was long enough to be at least 2 Posts and maybe more. Hopefully, I will one day get around to the Speaking from the Heart part, but for now, I'm just going to respond a little more to a few of the comments beneath the above linked Post.

The first thing that I want to respond to is Griper’s Statement You Can’t Force People to Inform themselves.” (Griper, May 16, 2009, at 10:41 PM). The second time I read this Comment, the second half of the sentence caught my eye; “Especially those who believe they do not need any.” In reading this, I have noticed that he was Focusing on the Proud, yet it is actually the Slow Readers and Slow Learners that I was first thinking of when suggesting these Information Centers and then later I was also thinking about those who Lack Motivation because they are either Stressed, Discouraged or Depressed. The Arrogant and Proud are a totally separate group and are not really the segment of the population that I think these Centers should be focused on anyway.

BB-Idaho said something similar in that “The Black/White People will not attend. They already know all the answers.” (BB-Idaho, May 18, 2009, at 5:37 AM). Again, the Focus is on the Unwillingness of the Proud, yet again, that is not who I think these Centers are primarily for.

In further response to that Comment, perhaps some of the “Centrists” and “Gray Area Folks” “do not Prioritize their Politics as the Overriding thing in their Lives”, yet you know something? As much as the Black and White Folk may not like it, it is the "Centrists", "Gray Area", "Moderates" and especially the ones who “Lack Passion and Conviction” and/or “CAN’T DECIDE that decide the Elections. A lot of what I put in quotes in this Paragraph and the next one is in quotes because this has been suggested in the Comment section of one of Z’s Posts, "This Gospel of Moderation".

Motivating, Educating and Persuading the Electorate is not about changing the minds of the Black and White, Stubborn, Proud, Unbending and Impossibly Resistant. It’s about the “Luke Warm”, Moderate, “Non-Passionate”, “Non-Committed”, “Lacking Conviction”, “Unmotivated”, Undecided Voter, who is not really so Stubborn and Painfully Resistant, just Unmotivated. This is who needs to be targeted. The Stubbornness of the Black and White Thinker and the Extremist is not a concern because that’s not who we should be targeting anyway.

Soapboxgod also said something similar to what’s already been discussed relating to not being able to “Force” the Unwilling. In Soap’s words, “You can Lead a Horse to Water, but you can not Make him Drink.” (Soapboxgod, May 18, 2009, at 12:00PM). When ever I hear this statement, I am always reminded of how in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and similar places, they give Salt to Camels in order to “Persuade” them to drink lots of water just prior to a trip through the Desert and apparently it works rather well.

Here’s the thing. Too often people use statements like this in order to justify their decision to not even try to Persuade. As you can see from the Comments of all three of those mentioned, this practice is quite wide spread. It’s a contradiction, though, because there is no such thing as a Politically Motivated person who does not try to Persuade. They only call on the “Horse to Water” Statement when they don’t care as much about an Issue.

Another similar Quote from this same Comment (May 18, 2009, at 12:00PM) is Soap’s words “People need to have the Fortitude to seek out this Information.” This is a similar Cop Out as the “Horse to Water” Statement just mentioned. The idea is to place the blame on the UNMOTIVATED PERSON and thus justify any reluctance to do anything that’s helpful.

Here’s another Quote, “If educating the electorate is your primary goal, then it behooves each individual party as a whole to guide their members towards books, think tanks, research, etc., which is in tune with said party's ideology, principles, beliefs, etc.” The problem with this statement is that it focuses mainly on “Members”, many of which have already decided to Vote with the Party, yet just as mentioned above, the Audience that we need to reach is not the Black and White/Extremists, nor even those who are simply Loyal to their Party, but the Moderates, who are “Less Passionate”, “Less Motivated”, “Less Committed” and Undecided. To draw those to the Centers, some Advertising outside of the Party Membership is going to be required.

I guess I could also point out that just because a person is not fully Motivated does not necessarily make them Unwilling.

To Elaborate on the actual Title of this Post, sometimes "Lack of Motivation" has more to do with Depression than Pride. I guess I don't have to educate you very much in relation to the fact that Depression is just the Opposite of Pride. Depression involves not Liking Oneself and not Believing in Oneself and just so that you can Understand what I'm getting at, Statements such as "You can't Force People to do anything.", "Black/White People will not attend. They already know all the answers." and "You can Lead a Horse to Water, but you can not Make him Drink." do absolutely nothing to address the issue of Lack of Motivation, as it relates to not pride, but to the slow Reader and Learner and also those who suffer from Discouragement, Stress and Depression.

Statements such as "I can't Force you or Make you." are actually not that helpful when said in response to a humble person who is simply asking for help. In fact, these statements come across as quite Accusatory and they Focus more on Guilt than on Encouragement, but I can assure you by my own experience that Accusations and Guilt never produce much Motivation. Instead they produce just the opposite; an increase in Discouragement and Depression.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God's Voice Takes Time (Gentleness & Force)

You know, as soon as I finished Posting the Previous Post, I right away started thinking of what I wanted to say in this one. As a quick recap, Yesterday Morning, I felt one of my Posts Blocked "in my spirit" and so I prayed and God told me "In order to really listen, we have to stop talking." Along with that thought, I also realized that it is not just what others are saying that we need to listen to, but we need to Listen to God. For more detail, see the below post, or click on the Link above.

There was also another thought that I got on that day. As I was thinking about our struggle to train our very Stubborn and Strong Willed Dog, the thought that came to my minds was "We can not Get Tired. We can not Quit and we can not Give In." This was different than the "Still Small Voice" that God usually speaks in. This voice was Louder. It was more like a Strong Dictator sort of Voice and that is not usually the way in which God speaks to me.

A couple of paragraphs down, I said something that is More Balanced...

"When it comes to Relationships, though, there is a time for Stubbornness and also a time to Give In. Politics involves a Relationship between the Strong and the Weak and the Rich and the Poor. Somehow we need to find a way to meet the needs of both."

I guess it's like I already sensed on some level that there was another side to the Never Getting Tired, Quitting or Giving In Idea, though it hadn't fully germinated yet. Moving right along to the subject suggested in the Title of this Post, sometimes there is a time delay in the complete revealing of God's Voice. Even though I prayed, a good part of the answers relating to what I should write didn't come until the next day and for me, this really isn't that uncommon.

This Morning, I woke up thinking about the Dog Training again and about something that the trainer said. She was wondering if our Dog, Shasta, responds better to my husband (Ray) than to me. Well, that seems odd, because he is not the one who is the most Forceful. Even now, I'm not sure whether or not she was having a Senior Moment when she said that and didn't really remember how much Ray struggled with the dog the last time it was his turn to work him at the class a couple of weeks ago.

I could never figure out who the dog was responding better too. At times it would appear that he was responding better to Ray, but that is only because he was reluctant to try and do the things that were difficult for our dog and that would cause him to act up and rebel if Ray had tried it. Ray is more Gentle. He is reluctant to really yank on the Choke Collar to the extent that is necessary to "Force" the dog to behave and he is even reluctant to really use his strong masculine voice. When he gives commands, he isn't even really that "Forceful" in his tone.

I am actually the one who is more willing to apply the type of "Force" that the Dog Trainer has suggested, just as she keeps saying to Ray, "Don't worry about it. You are not going to Hurt Your Dog." Well, I take those words more to heart than Ray does and I am harder on him, than Ray is. The Dog Trainer, of course, is even harder on him than me.

Keeping this in mind, it is quite interesting if it is indeed true that the Dog is responding better to Ray than to me, yet it is only in relation to things such as Heal, Sit, Stay, etc.

There are still things that the dog is reluctant to do. He Sits quite well, but he seems to have a mental block in relation to the Down Command. He will do it for a treat, but I can't get him to do it without a treat, while on the lease. Ray, in his Gentleness, has only tried a few times and than stopped trying because he doesn't like being "so hard on the dog". I'm not afraid to be a little more forceful, yet when I do, Shasta jumps up on me and fowls the lease by deliberately tangling his paw in it and yes, the trainer has confirmed that this action is deliberate. This starts a struggle in which I have to yank him down really hard with the lease, while saying a very firm NO!

The dog trainer has struggled with him too, but gets him under control because she is even more Firm and Forceful than me. Ray hasn't been able to enforce this command because he is not even willing to apply this type of Force. I'm willing to be more Forceful, but still can't get the desired result. Maybe I'm not as strong as the trainer. I don't know what it is.

If, in fact, it is true that Shasta responds better to my more Gentle, Easy Going Husband, at least in the things that he is willing to do, than that is quite interesting, because what it tells me is that for the most part, the Dog responds better to Gentleness, than to Force and the Down Command, that he for some reason has an aversion to, will come in time. Apparently, sometimes "Force" doesn't even work on Dogs, to the extent that Dog Trainers think it should.

So what does this say about the original statement "We can not Get Tired. We can not Quit and we can not Give In."? Is this actually always true? And another question that comes to my mind is "Is it actually even possible to 'Not ever Get Tired'?" Let's try and be at least a little more realistic. Shall we?

To Listen, We Must Stop Talking.

In order to really listen, we have to stop talking.

That was the first thought that came to my mind as I prayed Yesterday Morning and asked the Lord to remove the writers block. It's not really that I don't have anything to say. I've actually got a number of Posts that are stored as drafts on the server. The most recent one is one that I really thought I was getting ready to post, yet for some reason, I felt it being blocked in my spirit Yesterday.

The odd thing about the sentence that came to mind when I inquired from the Lord about the Writers Block, or actually the Blocked Post, is that my first reaction to it was to make the decision to try and read a few of the other Blogs out there, for if I'm not supposed to talk, than I should read instead. Right? Yet as I began to do this, I realized that I didn't really feel like reading either and let's face it. When I read, it always makes me feel as if I want to talk and actually as I write these words, I realize that I am talking right now.

So what is God trying to say to me when He says "In order to really listen, we have to stop talking."?

One hint is that sometimes when I just Ramble, as I am doing right now, I have moments in which I pause and pray as I do so. In this way, I am really trying hard to Listen as I Speak and I am also very keenly aware right now that when we listen, it is not just what others are saying that we need to listen to, but we need to Listen to God.

Sometimes we get to the point in which we speak out of our Passion and out of our Strong Desires to be heard. We listen to our own Frustrations and to our own Anger, yet there is something available that is deeper than that. There is a quietness. It is so quiet, in fact, that sometimes one really has to listen in order to figure out what it is saying.

Maybe I shouldn't call this presence "It", yet there are so many people out there that are not really all that Spiritual and these people may decide to tune me out if I call this quietness; this Small Still Voice; the Spirit of God. This is the Voice that both Christians and non-Christians alike are so reluctant to actually listen to.

Aside from the Initial Sentence that I based the Title of this Post on, there is something else that I was thinking a lot about Yesterday. As we've been struggling to train our very Stubborn and Strong Willed Dog, all that I keep thinking is how we can not Get Tired. We can not Quit and we can not Give In.

This can be so hard at times, especially when it comes to life in general. For Life itself can be quite Stubborn at times, as it Refuses to Bend in the ways we need it too in order to make things easier for us.

When it comes to Relationships, though, there is a time for Stubbornness and also a time to Give In. Politics involves a Relationship between the Strong and the Weak and the Rich and the Poor. Somehow we need to find a way to meet the needs of both.

Getting back to the Theme and Title of this Post, though, in our Stubbornness, who are we listening too? Are we Stubborn because of our own Passion and Anger? Are we Stubborn because of what we ourselves want, or are we Stubborn because we are protecting that which we continue to believe in even after speaking continually to God? Also, does God want us to push our ideas on others right now at this time, or are there moments in which we just need to be silent and allow God to work on people's hearts?

There are times in which I actually feel God blocking me from Posting things and it is not because I do not believe in what I'm about to say. How about the rest of you? Do you ever allow God to stop you and say, "Stop!" or "Wait! This isn't the right time."

Sometimes, in order to really Listen, we need to Stop Talking. That's all I'm supposed to say for now, but I'm sure we will be talking quite a lot more later.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Unmotivated Electorate/Voters/Basic Economics

While I was reading through the Comments again beneath the Previous Post, Reaching the Uneducated and Uninformed Electorate, I was reminded of something that I started to write as part of one of my Comments, but never Submitted and realized that I do indeed have something already written that I could make into a Post. Before I Post that, though, I thought I might just repeat a few of the nuggets that I did write in the Comment Section of my Previous Post.

"Sometimes one's 'Civic Duty' is more to Study the Issues, than it is just to Drive to the Polls and/or Make an Appearance."

Shouldn't there be "more of a Push to Get People to Study...than just a Push to 'Get Out and Vote'"

There was some suggestion of "a Political Library, in which a person can get Literature and Videos relating to any Issue or anything Political that has ever been Broadcasted on TV and/or a training center helping people who are not that good with Computers find the information that they are looking for on the Internet?" and I guess such resources do in fact exist, yet what I could add to this idea now is that perhaps there should be "more of a Push to Get People to Study...than just a Push to ''Get Out and Vote."

In other words, perhaps we need more Advertisements relating to these Resource Centers, instead of these Silly, Not Informative, Political Blurbs that are trying instead to get us to vote this way or that. Perhaps the Push should not be, "Get Out and Vote.", but "Get Out and Study!", for it is your "Civic Duty" to Study, just as much as it is your "Civic Duty" to Vote.

Ok. Here's what I wrote earlier and have not Posted until now...

I have a tendency to apply the basic principles of Economics to things other than Money and it is not as if this wasn't also done in my Economics Class. For example, waiting in line for a Sale only brings the Price Down in relation to Money. The Inconvenience of the Crowds and the Lines, however, is a "Cost" that is now added in place of the Financial Cost that has been removed.

If the Cost is Too High, the product doesn't sell, yet the other side of that is that if the Cost is Too Low, the Demand goes up so high as to create a Cost of a different kind.

Another Non-Money related Economic Principle is that just as if the Price is Too High, Fewer people buy the product, so also if a Job is Harder than the Potential Monetary Benefit, than there will be Fewer People doing the Job, thus the Effort involved has an affect on the Numbers of People doing the Job, which in turn has an affect on the "Availability of the Product"

Inconvenience and Effort, therefore, become part of the Economic System. The problem comes when we start Judging rather than trying to do something that might actually fix the problem. That is by making both Voting and Studying Easier.

Just consider, for example, what if someone decided to Judge those who are "Unmotivated" or Not Willing to buy his product and was more concerned about the supposed Guilt than in the need to Lower his Price. Would he sell more product with this attitude? I'm thinking no.

So also, if we continue to be more concerned about the Guilt of those who are "Unmotivated" or "Too Lazy to Learn", than with trying to make learning easier, will this result in increased numbers of Educated and Informed Voters? I'm thinking no.

Also, just as the Amount of Effort involved has an Affect on the Numbers of People doing a Job and also the "Availability of a Product", so also the Amount of Effort involved will have and Affect on the Availability of and the Numbers of Educated and Informed Voters.

This is Basic Economics and yet unfortunately, the tendency of people is to Prefer Judging to working on ways to improve on situations.

Aside from the Basic Economics relating to Price and Demand and Effort and Availability, another factor to be considered in relation to motivating the Worker, Consumer, or in this case, the Voter is Advertisement. In relation to this, I think I will just repeat what I said earlier in that...

"Shouldn't there be 'more Push to Get People to Study...than just a Push to 'Get Out and Vote'?"

And also...

"Perhaps we need more Advertisements relating to these Resource Centers, instead of these Silly, Not Informative, Political Blurbs that are trying instead to get us to vote this way or that."

In relation to this, I think that we have our focus all wrong.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Reaching the Uneducated/Uninformed Electorate/Voters

Just as I said in my Last Post, "Extremism vs.Moderation, An Introduction", there were two Subjects suggested in the Comment Section of the Post before that; "Reaching the Uneducated" and "Excessive Gridlock verses Rushed Compromise". My Last Post is similar to the Gridlock verses Compromise Subject, yet there is still more for me to write relating to that one. In this Post, we will be discussing Reaching the Uneducated and Uninformed. I added the word "Uninformed" because sometimes even the "Educated" are not as Informed as they should be.

Aside from the thoughts that were expressed on this subject in the Comment Thread of the "Just How Small Should a Government Be?" Post, I was also thinking of some of the initial limits that I noticed in my own Education, most of which I've corrected. I was Educated in Southern California during a time in which this State was lagging behind other States in the quality of their Education.

First of all, I graduated from High School with a valid Diploma without even being required to take a Government Class. I wasn't required to take an Economy Class either. Economics was a Subject primarily taken by those interested in Business, yet when you think about it, how can anyone Vote Intelligently without understanding the Basics about Economy?

If only those who run Businesses understand much, if anything, about the Economy, no wonder People Vote the way they do. Even though I was raised by Republicans, I was a Democrat until I later took an Economy Class at a Junior College and realized that up until that point, I had not really understood the Republican Point of View. Remember, though, I was never required to take this class. I only did it because I realized that it really was something that all American Voters should Understand.

In Relation to the Government Class, believe it or not, I could have skipped this in College as well, for just as in High School, we were offered a choice between History and Government, yet I realized the importance of understanding Government and decided that I better take this Class, yet the point I'm trying to make here is how many others may not have made this Choice, because as Unbelievable as this sounds, it was not required. This reality brings a very important question to my mind. Just how many people are there out there who have Graduated from High School and possibly even College and have never taken a Government Class? And then there are those who don't follow the News and/or don't Understand a lot of what they see and hear when they do.

Can you believe it?! And yet many of those who Live and Breath Politics assume that everyone who's listening to them talk Understands what they are saying. How often do we talk over a lot of people's heads without even realizing it?

So far, I have only talked about those who actually are "Educated" and yet in a lot of ways, not "Educated", but what about those who are not "Educated" at all? What about High School and College Drop outs, or those who finished High School, but never went to College, or what about Illegal Immigrants who were granted Amnesty and yet were never required to learn much about our Culture and/or don't even speak English? If this wasn't so, than why are ballots printed in Spanish?

Aside from the fact that we really do need to try and explain things simply whenever possible, I have even thought of a rather Radical Idea that could possibly get me into trouble, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Most everyone has a Drivers Licence, yet this is viewed as a Privilege, rather than a Right. In order to get a Drivers Licence and earn this Privilege, people have to take a Test. Even though this is a Privilege and not a Right, the Test is simple enough that most everyone can pass it.

There have been times in which I wish that Voting could also be the same way.

One of the reasons why Driving is a Privilege and not a Right is because it can be Dangerous if the Driver does not know what he or she is doing, yet isn't Voting and making Political Decisions without knowing what one is doing Dangerous as well?

Yeh, I know. What I'm suggesting will never happen, but you can't blame a girl for trying. Forgive me, but what I just said makes a lot of really good sense to me.

Anyway, since so much of the Electorate is not quite as "Educated" as they should be, we do need to remember to take the time to talk in simple terms whenever possible.

Extremism vs. Moderation, An Introduction

There were two Possible Subjects suggested in the Comment Section of the Previous Post, "Just How Small Should a Government Be?". "Reaching the Uneducated" and "Excessive Gridlock verses Rushed Compromise". At least those were the Titles I was Considering. Also, as I was reading these Comments, I came across several other things that I could Expand upon as well.

Actually, the "Reaching the Uneducated" Subject is the one that most freely flowed when I sat down to write it out, but I sort of promised Soapboxgod that I would start with the second one, or at least one that had something to do with "Compromise".

I think I'm still working on formulating my ideas on the Subject of "Excessive Gridlock verses Rushed Compromise". The whole idea of "Extremism verses Moderation"/"Remaining Firm verses Compromise" is not Cristal Clear in my mind yet mostly because it reflects a shift in my thinking. Believe it or not, my thoughts have been moving more and more in the direction of things that I used to consider Extreme. I actually sort of surprised myself when I was talking to Repsac3 on one of his Post (Is it Just Me...) about the Tea Parties, Statism and Federalism, or put another way "the Sovereignty of the States" and also about People who are currently upset with both Political Parties.

I'm not going to say a whole lot more about it in this Post except to refer you to the Link I just placed in the above Paragraph. You can comment on it either here or over there. I look forward to hearing from you soon.