When They Go Low, We Go High

A vote of thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama for her example of grace and strength, including the memorable phrase she taught her children and her country: “When they go low, we go high!”

We know what that means in social interaction and communication:  When we hear a degrading comment, we don’t respond by trying to degrade the speaker.  When people engage in name-calling, we zip our mouths or simply say, “No. That’s not appropriate.”  When we read messages and even “news” that seem to be lies, we don’t reply with alternate lies, but we investigate the truth and correct untruths when we can.

I’ve been thinking about other ways to “go high” when they go low. Continue reading When They Go Low, We Go High

Finding the Right Names

Our crisis has taken another nose dive.  We are descending into name-calling and scapegoating on all sides.  We have to stop this, and it begins with each of us.

First, a framework:  A biblical story tells of Adam “naming” the animals. Interpretations of this story abound, but I think the story is about language.  The unique gift of human beings is expression of experience through language, in an immense range of communication. Indeed, there are many languages:  expression includes the arts, music, mathematics, and so on.

In that pure state of first creation, Adam was able to find the right the name for each animal. Like all the Edenic stories “before the fall,” this was an ideal.  After the expulsion Continue reading Finding the Right Names

CES Asks the Big Question: What Does It Mean?

The annual Consumer Electronics Show draws thousands of consumers and retailers to explore more than 20,000 new appliances, gadgets, apps, and related products every year.  This time, however, the organizers from CTA are asking “what is technologically
meaningful, not what is technologically possible…. Now we focus on what does it mean, why does it matter, how does it change our daily life?” (Los Angeles Times, 1/5/16)

It reminds me of the scenario in the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man, when a dentist discovers Continue reading CES Asks the Big Question: What Does It Mean?

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