The Assuming Public Eye and Its Empty Road

Today the widely acknowledged website, Humans of New York (HONY), posted an image and story line of a gentleman which quickly sparked a variety of comments. The specific post can be viewed on their page here. I encourage you to read it and then read through the comment section to see the diverse thoughts in which it provoked.

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My first reaction was, “Yikes!” I do not believe in saying 9/11 was deserved, nor do Iself-portrait-640754_1920
believe that one should say innocent people died as representatives. I like to hear one’s
opinion and discuss the reasoning, but I am not sure that I could ever understand any explanation as to why innocent people had to die (though I would allow him the opportunity to further explain himself if this were a conversation in person), so I moved on to my next thought.

 

My subsequent reaction was, “Wow! That’s a wild thought.” I was mainly referring to the part where he says, in reference to 9/11, “I think it was one of the greatest events in human history.” I questioned what he meant by that statement and what events happened in his background that would lead him towards this viewpoint. man-1253004_1920Next, I read through the top comments and recognized that some readers made a pretty good point. To sum it up without direct quotes, they were stating that “great” does not have to be a synonym for “good.” Then I began to reflect more. One key purpose of Ahmeli is to interact with one another, hear varying viewpoints, and then have discussions that could create change. Now, this change does not have to mean that you switch your view (though one might), it can also mean that you now understand someone else just a fraction more. Or perhaps you can say, “I don’t agree with you at all, but I understand why you think/feel that way.” This is the exact message that I felt through this HONY post; it is an opportunity to hear another person’s point of view and it stimulates a discussion (Side note: I have found that many of HONY’s posts create amazing dialogue!)

 

Next my attention was drawn to his statement, “All those countries are artificial.” I homeless-844208_1920found this sentence interesting because often one will make assumptions about events that take place in Middle Eastern countries, yet how often do they know the history behind the shaping of the borders? This man continues to make another point as he says, “We sponsored it.” I wonder, how many Americans have researched the ways in which money was spent in the Middle East throughout the years?

 

It is easy to make assumptions based off of a few pieces of information that is reported, or to assume we understand exactly was someone meant during an interview, but how many times is that assumption correct? We have to move beyond assumptions and dive deeper through having dialogue with one another. This is also true with the woman-590490_1920recent events plastering our current TVs in regards to relations between minorities and the police. If we want change, conversations have to take place. People understand that we only hear/see a snippet of an interview during a news broadcast, yet we jump to assumptions based on those few words. Likewise, the wording from a headline may twist the subject into that which was not the intended meaning by the individual whom the story was about. How many times do we hear something on a news report and then take it as 100% factual? How many times do we assume that we know what the person meant from their responses that we heard? We have to move beyond assumptions, beyond complaining, beyond judging and get to meaningful dialogue that is targeted toward developing a sense of understanding for varying viewpoints and ending with a committed focus toward uniting in an effort to create sustainable change throughout our nation.

 

Ahmeli… that we use dialogue as the only weapon towards change.

 

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7 thoughts on “The Assuming Public Eye and Its Empty Road

  1. I know that the intent of this wonderful piece is to get all of us, regardless of where we come from, to engage in meaningful dialogue.

    If I may be so bold, I would only add my humble perspective to the events of 911/2001. The question always seems to be, “why did or how could this have happened?” But the question should be, “Where is this leading?” The only way to make sense of the loss and destruction and consequent actions, is to view the events through a prophetic lens.

    On Sept 12 2001 Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle publicly identifies America as a nation in defiance during it’s judgement. He reads, after his speech, out of Isaiah 9:10 and unwittingly pronounces a cures upon this nation. Now you don’t have to take my word for it go see for yourselves and study this event as it unfolded in ancient Israel and why. Don’t just read Isaiah 9:10, STUDY Israel’s idolatrous history up to that point and you will see the reflection of America there in. Study what they did and what we did and you will be astounded.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for offering this view. I will look into the book of Isaiah in the near future. I think many parallels can be seen throughout the world and our historical documents. Studying history is interesting and can lead to insightful discoveries, yet we often do not “find” them until after the fact.

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  2. You are kinder than I. While not a violent person, I wanted to bash his face! But I do get some of your points, too. Perhaps I am still just too “up-close-and-personal” where 9/11 is concerned to be objective. For some reason, I could not see comments on the hony article, so I did not read them, but I suspect that was for the best. Again … you are kinder than I am. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand your feelings. It is a very sensitive area for many Americans. I took an approach of looking beyond his words and trying to find a deeper message. It has always interested me to learn why a person thinks/feels the way they do. Plus, I thought the post served as a good reminder that we cannot full understand one from a few quotes. Try the HONY site again if you have the time; people made valid points.

      Liked by 1 person

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