Thursday, October 22, 2009
This morning while quickly perusing our local newspaper, I read a few of the comics. I noticed that there seemed to be a "theme" to the comics, something that I haven't noticed previously. I remembered that this theme had been carried over several days. I wondered why so many comics were about the same topic. It was only later today that I heard a news item that our current First Lady had proclaimed this week to be "service week." The interesting thing about this whole "service" thing is who is supposed to benefit from all the service. I am actually a big fan of serving in my community and church. I enjoy helping my family, friends, and neighbors. I truly believe that we can make the world a much better place by forgetting ourselves and helping other people. I have a problem when someone calls for service for a personal benefit. I believe that it was wrong for Michelle Obama to proclaim a service week in order to advance her husband's agenda for further destruction to our country. I find it very interesting to see that the printed media was prepared with comics about service just in time for the First Lady's announcement. I also find it interesting that Disney is rewarding "volunteers" - a word for working without pay - with a free day pass at Disneyland or Disney World for each day of service (who is keeping track of which people do service?). I also find it interesting that producers of television shows - I've heard that the number is over sixty - had programs about service all ready to be shown during "service week" well before the First Lady made her announcement. Hollywood is said to have stated that they have been planning for these shows for over a year in order to "promote a new way of thinking about service." Is all this just a coincidence or is there an agenda? I remembered reading a chapter about words in Rules For Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky. In the chapter called "A Word About Words" Alinsky explained why words such as political, power, self-interest, compromise, ego, and conflict have "become twisted and warped, viewed as evil" (p 48). "The question may legitimately be raised, why not use other words - words that mean the same but are peaceful, and do not result in such negative, emotional reactions?" (p 49). Alinsky explained that it was important to use a word that wouldn't dilute the meaning and thus change the emotional response. He quoted Mark Twain as stating: "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." So, service is a very peaceful word. Who could find fault with service? I can't find any fault with true service, but I do question what is meant when Barack and Michelle Obama call for "service." What do they want to accomplish? I am learning to question everything. I advise you to look for the meaning behind the specific words being used. Think about the problems that the words "hope and change" brought to our nation. I am sure that many people who voted for Obama because he was promising "hope and change" are seeing changes that they didn't ever expect to see. That is why I am saying to question everything!