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“What’s Most Important – Words or Intent???

~ Never Let the Truth Interfere With a Good Story !!!

Two of the most common terms, you seem to hear uttered more than any other, are “I Love You” and “I Hate You.” Thank God we hear “I Love You” a bit more often than the later term but my question is – Do the people making these statements…TRULY…mean what they are saying? I’m sure there is some level of truth in each of these statements, but is it the words that are important or is the importance of the true intent of the person who is saying the words?

It seems not a day goes by without someone being critically judged or criticized for something they have said. It seems we have gotten quite shallow in our acceptance and understanding of others and very quick to judge what they say. Unfortunately, these snap judgements have led to a lot of truly good people being subjected to all sorts of ridicule, extraordinary scrutiny, and in many cases, career ending events. The real shame about this, is that most of these people were taken entirely out of context and what was attacked were someone else’s interpretation of the words or phrase, and very rarely the speaking persons true intent!!!

This reminds me of a statement my father always said; “Never let the truth interfere with a good story!”

Most recently, a political race led to such a ridiculous attack. What followed such an attack, was the local school system, who should be teaching our students about freedom of speech, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness, actually agreed with the attack and took the position that all people involved in any activity are 100% in agreement with, or equally guilty of, that associated activity.

This attack stemmed from a school board candidate who made this statement; “Not all Nazi’s were bad.” We all know the Nazi party was a horrible assembly of people who carried out terrible atrocities before and during World War II. But to say every party member was bad is an indictment on all human being’s knowledge, understanding, compassion, and values. I can’t say that I have ever seen a group of people labeled as “ANY” group, society, gathering, party, etc. that had 100% - EVERY SINGLE MEMBER, who thought and believed EXACTLY THE SAME as all the other members.

Let us also not forget what history has taught us. The fact was Germany was in serious financial trouble and nearly all its citizens were struggling to survive due to sanctions placed on them from World War I. So, for most, they could become party members or…LITERALLY …die. Many who found a way or had the means, fled Germany. But for those who could not flee, they became members to survive. Literally they became members to put food on the table and in the most extreme examples, they became members to get a job to pay the bills, or the party leaders would execute them if they didn’t.

I think it’s clearly beyond the realm of possibilities to say that 100% of these party members were bad. There is no way 100% agreed ion totality with the Nazi party and there is no way 100% participated, or carried out, the evil things many in the party made happen. There had to be some good people in this party. Not because they supported the party, not because they agreed with the quietly hidden atrocities that were occurring, but mostly because at that time and place, they simply had no choice.

To this candidate’s credit, he did not back down when the self-appointed “judgment managers” criticism aggressively attacked him. He answered that his statement was true and cited many resources to support his statement. The fact it, his statement is true and there is nothing in the annals of history that says otherwise. (If I could, I would vote early and often for this candidate!!!)

By the way, if you are a sport, or more specifically a baseball fan, you may remember a similar attack. Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, made a similar statement when she stated that the early days of Hitler were not so bad. History also proves this to be true as the Hitler regime did bring Germany back into financial well-being and helped most of its citizens out of the worst economic blight of its history; This was primarily before the War. Well, the Good ‘ole Boy network, of Major League Baseball owners, who always despised Marge, a flamboyant WOMEN owner, finally had their excuse, that they could embellish and create a firestorm over. They used this excuse to drive her out of baseball.

We have also seen other such examples. Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter said the NFL had not done enough to stop national anthem protests by NFL players, and that the famed Colonel Sanders of KFC fame had used the “N” word early in his career without ever being ridiculed for his use of it. Sportscaster Thom Brennaman was ousted for saying “one of the f*g capitals of the world.” Brennaman a devout Christian and family man immediately apologized when he realized his private comments had been picked up by a hot microphone. Both of these men, saying these things more aligned to their intent and not their poor use of words, made statements that were true.

There are many more examples where people have been criticized for words used that had nothing to do with their true intent. Perhaps if we actually tried to be understanding and asked for clarification when we aren’t sure, we would be able to truly understand. But today’s culture wants to attack, wants to gossip, wants to degrade, and in no way wants to be as truly understanding, accepting, and “equal” as they profess.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Seems to be the motto of today’s press in many cases, certainly of those in society who have branded themselves the judges of all things, and many in the politics and corporate power game. Jesus told us: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

I’ve said many times that words are critical and that they have meaning, but that meaning has to align with the person speaking those words. The speaker’s character, their history, their background, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, their intent.

I’m not sure a single day has gone by when I haven’t heard someone say something not exactly as they meant to, which is usually followed by this statement; “Oh, you know what I mean!” So, instead of immediately jumping to judgement of what is said, perhaps we need to treat everyone as respected friends and actually find out what’s behind the words. Perhaps we need more “You know what I mean!!!”

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