Turn Down the Volume

No friends, don’t worry, I’m not getting soft in my old age. This is not going to be about turning down the volume of your music. I mean, come on, if it’s too loud, you’re too old!

Rather, I would encourage all of us to turn down the volume on the 24-hour news cycle, the “news” that appears on our social media accounts, the ranting of talk radio, and the like.

This morning, I was on my way to the gym listening to NPR as is my usual habit. They were reporting about a particular subject having to do with a particular politician. They shared the information from their point of view.

At the gym, I was on a machine in front of a TV that happened to be tuned into FOX News. They were reporting on the same particular subject having to do with the same particular politician. They shared the information from their point of view.

Now, this will probably come as a huge surprise, but they had drastically different reports! Each did a bit of picking and choosing when it came to which facts they shared, which facts they ignored, and how much opinion they added.

We could get into which news outlet tells the truth most of the time. We’ve all seen those reports that show most of our 24-cycle news outlets have a poor track record with the truth.

On my way to the office, I found myself thinking about how I need to turn down the volume. As our friends from the X-Files would remind us, “The truth is out there.” It just probably can’t be found on our airwaves or in our newspapers.

Frank Zappa has been credited with saying, “Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.”

We live in a world where information, knowledge, wisdom and truth seem to be defined by whoever screams their version of the truth the loudest. It doesn’t matter if your information, knowledge or wisdom contains even an ounce of truth…as long as you are loud, you will be convincing, and others will blindly follow you.

This applies to the Church as well. These days, the “voices” who seem to represent the Christian movement in America tend to be those who are the loudest. Too often, their “Christian” message seems more closely related to the Republican platform rather than to the Way of Jesus. Of course, many of the more progressive Christian voices I tend to gravitate towards seem to embrace more of a universalist, anything goes platform rather than the Way of Jesus.

Maybe, all of this just means that each of us needs to do the hard work of rolling up our sleeves, digging deep, and discovering information, knowledge, truth, beauty, and love.

Or maybe we just need to pour a pint of our favorite beverage and put on a good record because, after all, “music is THE BEST” and, in my opinion, beer is a close second!

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