Q. I have been trying to make sense of all the political turbulence of the last many months. I am college educated, read as much as possible and try to gain knowledge to have an opinion and be informed. I am amazed at the number of people who voice opinions or make statements with nothing to back them up. I guess there will always be people who believe anything they are told and not question why. I am trying to be OK with that fact. Any ideas to help me? — Cassandra

A. “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Kofi Annan
When you think about it, why wouldn’t everyone desire to gain knowledge of some type, to be better informed, to be more a part of our political reality? You would think the answer would be; of course everyone wants to be educated. But not everyone does.
“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Jimi Hendrix
How much listening vs talking? There is much to be said for gaining knowledge by listening; it could be the knowledge that what you are hearing is lacking in credibility. Not everything we hear will we agree with and that is OK. Maybe it will motivate us to ask questions. Questions are vital in gaining knowledge.
“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
— Confucius
You don’t have to believe it just because someone tells you it is fact. Look it up. Research it. Ask how they know that to be true. Lets become more authentic with our knowledge. If you are talking to someone who says they don’t watch the news because they don’t want to know what is going on…..move on. There are those people who function better in a detached reality.
“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” B.B. King
So as we talk about learning and knowledge we have to ask, “How in the hell did the teachers in Oklahoma end up at the bottom of financial importance?” How do the politicians explain that to the college educated teacher who computed her hourly pay to be $1.25!!!! Is there any politician making $1.25 per hour? Think of it like this, the teacher who educated the politician, (who by the way ranks 14th in yearly salary) is ranked 50th!!
So Cassandra, keep reading, listening and educating yourself. AND vote with knowledge and a big dose of reality!!!!

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

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