Guns

Guns…

What are they good for?
In the last week the ring heard round the country has [once again] been the debate about guns. I say debate loosely. Is it really a debate at all? I know gun regulations have a spectrum. Some people might think we should get rid of guns all together and some people think any person of any age of any mental status or background should be able to buy as many guns as they want. Politifact provides some interesting data that shows there’s actually more alignment, especially on background checks, than we are led to believe. They rated these two statements as True:
74 percent of National Rifle Association members support requiring background checks for all gun sales.
Americans have overwhelmingly supported common sense gun reform. 90% support universal background checks.
I’ve been reading a lot about the data around guns in this country (this past week especially) and there are some very interesting findings. Many of these quotes are pulled out of context, so if you’re interested in reading further, I’ve provided the links to the articles.
From the NY Times: “Overall, mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent 1 percent of all gun homicides each year, according to the book “Gun Violence and Mental Illness” published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2016.”
Another article from the Times has a fascinating scatter-plot of mass shootings on one axis and number of guns by country. “The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.”
One thing is for certain: the Parkland shooting was a tipping point. Something triggered a mass uprising of the students and they are leading the march (figuratively and literally) toward demanding common sense gun laws now. When one of the students tweets around the same time as the NRA, he gets 6 times the likes and 4 times the retweets:
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Google trends has the gun topic on their home page. I thought this comparison was particularly fascinating, as it shows how in the last week, searches across the country are skewing toward gun control, as opposed to gun shop, compared to the past year. Whether this shift is based out of fear or support for gun control is undetermined.
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It has been incredible to see the progress that has been achieved by these kids in such a short time:

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So there are a lot of things people can argue guns are good for, but what we’ve seen in the last week is that they are definitely not good for a lot of reasons. While we still have yet to see specific legislation pass, many of these baby steps are indications the laws could be coming soon.
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Tell Me Lies

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Chapter 1:
Since the New Year started, I’ve been listening a lot more to my favorite band, Fleetwood Mac. I grew up in a household with a record player and my parents had a lot of great records: Steve Miller, the Doobie Brothers, Hall and Oats, and of course Fleetwood Mac.

Chapter 2:
My biological father was not really a super great guy. While his intentions might have been good, he treated the people around him (especially those who loved him most) quite horribly. He threatened my mom and when I was older I discovered tapes of phone calls (yes, they were actual tapes) my mom had recorded as evidence in case anything ever happened.

Chapter 3:
When I was older (I think around 5 or 6) I was fortunate enough to have my step-dad adopt me from my biological father and that is who I refer to as my dad.

Chapter 4:
When I would sit and listen to Fleetwood Mac as a pre-teen on the record player, the song “Tell Me Lies,” always made me think of my biological father. I strongly believe that because of this experience, I have this odd and relatively annoying ability to sniff out people with selfish intentions, toxicity and narcissism. It’s also not great because combined with my other odd and relatively annoying skill of being a truth-teller, it’s not uncommon for me to be disliked by people who fall into this category.

Chapter 5:
What I’ve always been fascinated by, since this experience at a young age, is how everyone has different ranges of what a lie is. On the surface, it seems obvious – a lie is something that isn’t true. But as we know, everyone’s perspective determines what their truth is.

Chapter 6:
I’ve referenced this book before and it’s available in the Streamline library. The Four Agreements has a very specific definition of honesty. Brian (my husband) read this book recently and actually adapted this portion of the book as one of his New Year’s resolutions. The Four Agreements include one agreement, called:

Be Impeccable with Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

From my perspective, the most important part – and one of the most difficult parts when we’re challenged by those who don’t – is to Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

I truly believe if every person made the promise to use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love, we would live in a much more harmonious and positive world. If you read the book, you’ll also know that the 4th agreement is to always do your best. The point is that we don’t have to be perfect at being impeccable with our word, but if we’re constantly trying our best to be impeccable with our word, we are succeeding.

Truth Versus Reality

Yesterday I heard a segment on NPR that really got me thinking and I thought it was worth sharing. The main question that was asked and answered that was particularly fascinating to me was, “how is truth different than reality?”

The journalist, Brooke Gladstone, talks about it in her book and her answer is that the truth are facts, things that are proven. Reality, however, incorporates truth, but truth could really only make up 25% of our own reality. We all take our experiences, influences, and perspectives and apply that to facts we digest, which ultimately determines our reality. We all have different realities that we live in and some of ours are closer to some than others.
Brooke Gladstone applies this concept to the current political environment, but it can also be applied to partner marketing quite easily. It’s not uncommon for there to be a difference of reality between us, the partners we work with or our clients. Understanding the whole context of what makes up their reality often helps overcome the disparity, which is also something that Brooke urged listeners to do. Listening to people and understanding what is shaping their reality is crucial to solving problems and differences.
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