I was raised by very old parents.
My mom was 39 years old and my father was 42 years old.
No big deal now, because our mindsets are much more ageless.
BUT back then it was ridiculous, the generation gap was not bridged.
That is why I had to raise myself, by myself.
I was very grateful when a classmate suggested I read a book that he was finding very useful. He was a leader of sorts, creating grassroots groups to make a difference, opening minds, being relevant.
The book was titled; The Soft Revolution by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner. It was subtitled, ” A Student handbook For Turning Schools Around”. It awakened me just enough so that I could personally turn a few things around for myself – another blog will cover that!
It was a Dell softcover book, published in 1973.Unobtrusive except for the power-to-the-people type fist and peace sign on the cover. It was small enough to hide in your backpack with all that other ‘stash’. But not invisible enough that when my father found it in my bedside table he confiscated it, along with my bedside rotary phone for midnight under the covers phone calls, by locking them both in a safe.
This is the section of the book that my mind absorbed and never let go of – the usefulness and need for developing a ‘bullshit detector”.
To fine tune your very own bullshit detector, ask yourself these questions when being exposed to another’s rhetoric;
- Why are these things being said to me?
- What are these remarks intended to make me feel?
- What words am I in love with?
- Can I discount this speaker or his position because he uses those words?
- Does he mean by them what I mean by them?
- How do I know that what is being said is true?
- How many things has the speaker left out?
- And why?
- Why did he include the things he included?
- Why did the speaker choose those particular words, and not some others that are roughly synonymous?
- Am I reacting to what he is saying, or to him?
- Are these remarks literal or metaphorical?
- Am I hearing what he’s saying or what I want to hear him say?