Let’s Spread Love

There seems to be enough hate to go around in the world.  Let’s spread a little love.

A couple of days ago, there was an online poll started to find out “the top 20 most profound books that have touched people’s lives.”  Obviously, for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that book is unquestionably the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  Word spread quickly, and we all voted for the Book of Mormon, and it was fun to see it rise from No. 25 on the chart to No. 1 in a very short period of time.

Then something interesting happened.  Deseret News did a little story about the Book of Mormon reaching the number one spot on the list of life-changing books. Immediately, people who hate the Mormon people began voting for the most vile books they could find in order to bury the Book of Mormon in the stats.  It wasn’t long until it dropped to the number four position.  As of this evening, the owners of the site have taken it down.  They must have realized that this had turned into a hate campaign.

I suppose we could all get upset by this, but no one that I’ve seen on the internet seems to be riled up about it.  We are quite used to “feeling the love” from people who have an ax to grind with the Church.  We understand that we are a “peculiar” people.  We understand that there are people out there who don’t like us for whatever reason.  While we are saddened by their conduct, it doesn’t surprise us because it happens so often.

It occurs to me that there is a lot of hate in this world, and I don’t want to be part of that whole scenario.  I don’t want to belittle others, or get in their face, or bully them, or argue with them, or try to torment them.  I want to spread love.  So my challenge to you today is to go out and say something nice to someone today–or give service to someone.  Spread a little love.  Smile and make someone happy.  Be kind to a stranger.  Let’s purge the hate and spread the love!

Reading with A Critical Eye Versus Reading to Be Critical

Yesterday I watched as yet another writer was crucified by social media.  Ironically, most of the people casting stones actually agreed with the main point the writer was trying to get across–they just didn’t like the way it was presented.  I know that feeling oh so well!

Technology can be a good thing, but it has had a detrimental effect on how we read things.  We are no longer reading with a “critical eye,” but reading “to be critical.”  Allow me explain.  Reading with a critical eye is to realize that not everything you read is true.  It means that you read it, ponder it, and possibly do a little research on your own before owning it.  Reading to be critical is to deliberately pick up on something the writer says, vehemently (and publicly) disagree with it, run the author publicly in the ground (since it is Easter week, think hang on a cross), without acknowledging the main point the author is trying to make.

In the case yesterday, it was a matter of using a two-word phrase that got people all riled up.  Readers just couldn’t see past those two little words.  It didn’t seem to matter that if the author had left those two little words out, they would have agreed with the rest of it–in its entirety.

A week or so ago, I was in an e-mail chain where a discussion was taking place about an article written on a well-known and well-respected site.  The comment was made that the site should not have allowed this particular article to be published.  I was aghast!  The last time I looked, the Constitution still had a First Amendment.  The site had every right to publish the article, just as the author yesterday had every right to express opinion in the blog post.

It is important to remember that every writer has his/her own style of writing.  A writer may have very good points to make.  Those points will be overlooked by those who are reading to be critical.  Please realize that while a writer may not use exactly the same words that you would use, or may have a different style of writing than you prefer to read, the crux of the article may be exactly on point.

Above all else, be a courteous reader and respond appropriately.  If you wouldn’t say it face to face to your best friend, don’t say it to a stranger behind the safety of your computer screen.

Safety Reminder for Cone Zone

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Today would have been Matt’s 42nd birthday.  On April 22nd, Caltrans will begin the huge project of fixing the W/X freeway in downtown Sacramento.  Originally, the section was to be closed during the construction.  Caltrans has now caved to pressure from pretty much everyone and will be keeping a lane or two open during the construction–risking the lives of the private construction workers, as well as Caltrans personnel.  They are counting on US as drivers to be responsible and not get someone killed.  Heaven forbid that any one of us should be inconvenienced by the closure of a section of the freeway that has needed to be repaired for years.  I literally hold my breath every time I go over the W/X freeway knowing how they have been bracing it up from underneath for a couple of years.  These workers will now be faced with dodging impatient drivers as they try to do their jobs.  PLEASE FIND ALTERNATE ROUTES.  This website has been set up to provide further information.  If you MUST travel this section of the road, please SLOW FOR THE CONE ZONE.  Don’t be impatient.  These workers all have families that want them home at the end of the day.