Were you happy to see 2014 end or was it so terrific you just wanted to see it continue? Either way, it’s over and we have already begun 2015. What will the New Year hold for you?
The answer to that question may surprise you depending on who you ask. That brings me to our topic, Perspective. Have you ever noticed how the media often reports the news and then backs up the story with a poll or survey? No matter how outrageous the material is that is being reported we can be lulled into believing what is televised or what we read just by being told it was backed up by one of those means, or by “research.” Really?
I recently saw a cartoon indicating that four out of five Christian divorcees oppose same-sex marriage because it destroys the sanctity of the marital arrangement. It’s that kind of statistic that, if read quickly, reflects something very different than the writer intended. But that’s exactly what statistics, polls and surveys do: Sway us in one way or the other depending on the intent. More often than not the intent is a marketing ploy to convince us to buy a product, or one political group shoring up its battle against its opponent.
Have you heard the predictions about 2015? They’re quite varied, aren’t they? We can believe statistics that prove we are better off now than we were eight years ago, or we can consider other reports that maintain we are nearer the end of our society than ever before. Which will you believe?
Before you answer I need to tell you that’s a trick question. It’s not about which media source, political party or social agenda we are going to use to predict our year. How 2015 will be for us is almost entirely going to be what we decide it will be. Do you think that’s too simplistic? It’s not.
Take for example a rainy day. Some people will say it’s going to be an awful day. Rain doesn’t make a day awful. It makes the day wet. We decide whether or not that is awful or not. In other words, we choose our attitude. It’s also our personal choice to use polls, surveys, statistics and the opinions of others to color our perception of our own lives.
So what will 2015 bring for you? Now is an excellent time to decide that for yourself, if you haven’t already done so. We are never victims without our consent. We can choose our path and future, or we can sit back and let life happen to us. But, either way, it’s a choice.
Which path will you choose?
Happy New Year!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,