My days are long, and they are full of busy-ness and chaos.  I go to the gym, I then spend quiet time at home.  The past couple of days I haven’t turned on the television, I’ve not paid alot of attention to the computer after about 8 p.m. 

I need escape time, or – as Jim puts it – “down” time.

Some people just sit and stare at the television.  Some people listen to music.

Alot of people, like me, read.  Most read some form of fiction, because they are not only desperate to escape their day, they are desperate to escape the world.

I escape into various forms of nonfiction, and I learn.

This has been the case with Blind Spot:  When Journalists Don’t Get Religion.  I was going to do a review of it, but in reading it, I’ve tried to sort out how I could do a simple review about the size of that found in a newspaper.

For me, this is impossible.

Is it credible to write a white paper on a book full of others’ white papers?  The material covered has been superior to anything I have read anywhere on the subject of what happens when journalists are ignorant to the underlying factors of the stories they report.

I would love to teach this class and approach it from the direction in which this book was written.  I am acutely aware this is something that has never been taught at university level.  It should be, but it won’t be.  The impact of such an education would illuminate the world.

It’s not just that this book talks about the misinterpretation of the role religion plays in major global news stories about conflict, government and culture, but that it touches the heart of the real problem – that journalists, in their exhuberant gathering of pertinent details, don’t understand why the details are important or that the possibility exists that the details they gather are not where the real issue lies. 

This is why I want my sister in Los Angeles to write a book on the war right here in the United States.  Few understand it or are as close to it as she. 

This is why I want my brother to write a book on his experiences throughout the world with different cultures and personalities.

This is why I deeply regret my own ignorance and shyness when family members who were diplomats and amabassadors were recounting their own experiences throughout the world.  I should have started writing about it then, when I was aware at the age of 8 that the world is not all we have learned in history books.

This is why man, in its ignorance and intolerance of other civilisations, continues to see the world through its bias.

This is why it is impossible to get people to understand.

And this is why, if I could, I would insist that a class based on the general premise of Blind Spot be taught not just to journalists, but to everyone.

I am not as frustrated as I am disillusioned with the inability to educate, to understand, to make the light bulb go off.

I am going to write this “white paper”.  It will turn into a book of its own.


5 Responses to “Escape”

  1. smokeybones Says:

    I am a retired Navy combat veteran currently working for the government (Department of the Navy) I train (teach) our military people deploying overseas to the Middle East which is my specialty, so you can imagine I am quite busy. I train the in Cultural Awareness of the Middle East specifically Iraq and Afghanistan.
    I guess the reason I am responding to your post is because I wish you could see and hear some of the comments and ignorance of our people. The biases and racism that is in them about anything other than what is American.
    Don’t get me wrong I love my country, almost died for it, but sometimes I am saddened by what I hear from the young people in front of me.
    I guess I am happy that I get a chance to bring a little understanding and maybe even a little acceptance of foreign cultures to them.

    Anyway, great post listen to Jim, we all need some down time 🙂


  2. I honestly can imagine what you’ve experienced trying to teach others. Because of my own experiences in eastern and central Europe, and what my brother has told me about his experiences in the Middle East, I often despair at what I find back here in the US.

    There is so much to learn, and it seems that many are unwilling to do so.

    Thanks for responding. You give me hope. 🙂

  3. Maniacal Mommy Says:

    I haven’t gone on a good non-fiction bender in a while. Although I suppose my last great research project, raising chickens, wasn’t quite as mind expanding as some of my others!

  4. Deb aka St Colette Says:

    Once again I’ll start dropping in here to read the serious Maggie that I love.

    I raised my sons in a community that was extremely multi cultural. I wanted them to have a window into the foods, faith, and wonder, of people from around the world. I made sure that there was nothing said against another (it was usually one of their less informed friends) that wasn’t addressed to the fullest. I liked to say our house was the UN of the community. I’m proud of the caring, and compassionate men they’ve become.

    This was a great post. I’ll have to read Blind Spot.

  5. Jon Mahoney Says:

    |OK I get it …I’l read Blind Spot

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