Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our connected world . . .

One of my brothers warned me a year or two ago about how quickly news--or, should I say, word--travels in today's world. Things one would never imagine entering the ear of another are suddenly being heard.

He suggested that it is this interconnectedness, this communication, that is fueling many of the conflicts and problems in today's world. Some leader of a Western nation says something that, if heard on the street corner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, would offend the Muslims there.

Well: those words are being heard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. As well as Tehran, Iran; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Nablus, West Bank (Israel/Palestinian Territories). . . .

[I just realized that no matter how I write even a place name, I can easily offend someone!]

And so, this morning, I woke up to discover that I had, myself, caused offense.

Someone ("Anonymous") wrote in response to my "A letter to my family: About living strategically . . .":

I read your comments after seeing the M/Y Golden Rule.

While I agree with much of what you said and admire your desire to teach a perspective on the world that is not taught either often enough or effectively enough, I do have one observation.

I am the owner of the Golden Rule. You chose to make assumptions about both the boat and its owners without bothering to know the facts ---- and you were wrong.

You were wrong about where the name came from (it was the true Golden Rule). You were wrong about how the boat is used, how often or its purpose. You were wrong about the owners and what type of people we are. Nonetheless, in the absence of any real information you felt ok to judge harshly and then use that erroneous set of assumptions to make your point --- at our expense.

What happened to "Judge not and ye shall not be judged"?

Your approach in this instance is inconsistent with the tone of your writings as I'm sure that you did not follow the Golden Rule when you made your assumptions about the boat and its owners.

Besides sitting here in embarrassment, recognizing that I am, indeed, "the man" who is guilty as charged and needs to be made right with those I have wronged; and besides recognizing--and wanting to acknowledge--the gracious spirit in which my accuser has spoken; I "merely" wanted to note how truly astonishing is the connectedness of our modern world.

Who would have thought that a comment I wrote on a relatively backwater blog in late November 2006 would be seen and commented on only four weeks later by a person such as Philip Morgaman (assuming the commentator is, indeed, the owner of the boat, and the boat is owned by Mr. Morgaman)?
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