Criticizing Too Much……

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criticI am sometimes accused of criticizing too much on this blog. Some seem to think that if we were all just more positive as a society good things would then happen. Being a history buff I know that is not the case. Sorry if you disagree but that is my current line in the sand so to speak. Criticizing things is just about the only way to affect change in our society and if we need anything in today’s gridlocked world it is a change. Until enough people are critical of things nothing changes.

Yes, we could like the German citizenry did during World War II, ignore the problems around us and say every thing is fine and dandy. We could ignore all the unemployed and underemployed workers the same way they ignored all the millions of people who disappeared from their streets.  We could ignore the horrendously increasing cost of medical care in this country and how so many were locked out of the old system the same way they ignored the stench coming from some of their smokestacks. Let’s face it ignoring problems don’t make them disappear; if only that were a solution wouldn’t life be easy.

I do try to celebrate many things in today’s world. Not everything needs criticism.

  • I celebrate that we are for the most part finally out of Iraq (only 60,000 of our young kids remain there and that is 60,000 too many).
  • I celebrate the fact that Afghanistan wants us out of their country even sooner  and more completely than the generals want.
  • I definitely celebrate the fact that we have less of our kids in harm way than we have since the Clinton years.
  •  I celebrate the fact that the super rich are going to give just a little more of their humongous discretionary income to help strengthen the safety net of this country.
  • I celebrate that we may finally take some action to reduce the absurd violence caused by so many guns available in our society. But that is by no means a sure thing. (Some more vocal criticism might be needed.)
  • I celebrate Obamacare because it makes healthcare available to more of our citizens.
  • I celebrate that our economy is turning the corner and that so many economists think things will be much better by the end of this year.
  • I celebrate the fact that there are a few less “tea party” member in the 113th congress. Maybe something just might get accomplished there now. Maybe.
  • I celebrate the fact that Obama was given a second term. He is not perfect but…
  • I celebrate the fact that the emergent church movement is coming to the rescue of a dormant or dwindling Christianity in the world.
  • I celebrate the fact that neither my wife nor I had any serious health events in 2012 and even if we did Medicare would be there to help us cope with the costs.
  • I celebrate that my blog here has grown dramatically in readership in the past year. It is a signal that maybe I am on the right track with what I post.
  • I celebrate that I have some of the best reader in the world on this blog. Most of you agree with much of what I say; some of you respectfully disagree on a regular basis. Both of those type of readers are very welcomed here.

Yes, we had quite a bit to celebrate in the last year but those things that need criticism in order to affect change are still much too prevalent in our society and I plan on doing just that.

10 thoughts on “Criticizing Too Much……

  • You are doing fine by sharing what is really on your mind. So few people are willing to express their inner thoughts, but you are very rare in doing that. Because you do it, it helps us ” weaklings” to have our say and be respected for our own thoughts . Thank you. You remind me of the two sisters with their book titled Having Our Say. They were two African American sisters who lived together all their life in professional life in NYC. By the way, do you read a lot of books these days or are you doing jigsaw puzzles?


  • Yes, healthy criticism can be a good thing. But, with our constant stream of information and opinions from TV and internet we can often find ourselves floating in a sea of negativity that can be downright depressing. Critical issues become overcomplicated and bogged down by comparisons to the past and dire predictions for the future. And yes we can learn much from the past, but we need to “live” in the present. When we always strive for perfection and and add layer upon layer of complexity we get bogged down and never solve our problems (as in healthcare, gun laws, immigration). I sometimes wish we could just settle for “good enough” or a “good start” and move on. I guess I would like to hear a few more positive voices to balance the critics. Your list of things to celebrate is a good example. I need to remember how many good things there are in my life and then I can better filter the barrage of negativity…one day at a time.


  • Lastly, I celebrate that you do not let difficult circumstances slow or prevent you for continuing to find and search for new ideas and new gifts. The other morning on the CBS show on Sunday morning they interviewed a remarkable human being who was born with no arms or legs . He lives a totally full life and can swim, play golf and does inspirational talks all over the USA. Maybe some of us have it too good and are not challenged enough in our own life.


  • Mary, I think you are right saying that some of us may have it too good. When I read articles from foreign news I am reminded of how much of the world looks at Americans and it’s not good. Rightly or wrongly, we are blamed for the much of the pollution, financial unrest, wars, you name it. And the reason is usually stated as our determination to live our excessive lifestyle regardless of the cost to the world at large. Talk about criticism! Something to think about for sure.


  • Thanks for the thoughts ladies. I have just recently re-read “Having our Say”; it is a very good read especially when you get bogged down in the times as Jane said. We all need some light hearted moments to help balance out some of the gloom. I try to do that here but maybe not enough.

    Strangely I read more books in the spring/summer/fall than I do in the winter. I most enjoy taking a book “to the mountain” (the highest point on our property) and swinging away on the glider and reading. I read on average a book a week up there. I just haven’t found a good in-door mountain I guess 🙂

    Yes, Jane you are right we must all live in the present but we must also learn from the past. I think I am a wiser person for knowing so much history. Right now I am tackling a post about how abolition and Obamacare are similar. How’s that for a challenge?

    I am also a pragmatist. Whatever works is what we should be doing. There are no silver bullets to put us back to the “good old days”, we must tackle each problem separately and head on. Gun regulation is something that is solvable (much of the rest of the world has like many other things already solved it) but we need to focus on it to get it done. Not running around the edges. Tackle it head on…..


  • That is what I wished most about Obama. While standing in DC four years ago I hoped that all the people in the crowd would follow him to change things. To actually make health care better and change how our children are taught that the individual is far more important than the group. I’m not going this time, the money is short and I have two new grandchildren on the way. I am just hoping that he does bring the troops home-sooner then later, does come up with a reasonable solution for guns, does fix the Obamacare package so there is actual universal health care. I want peace, health care and a stable world for my grandchildren.
    Let’s hope the next speech is as good as the last—and Congress will follow.
    I believe positive speech can move mountains.


    • I find myself in a very weird situation here Janette. Here you are complimenting a Democrat and here I am criticizing one. Obama’s rhetoric got my attention very early in his career but I am for the most part disappointed in his actions to back those words up. I hope that he grows a stiffer backbone and is able to live up to his words in his second administration. He seems to be pointing in that direction.

      I like you want peace, healthcare and a stable world for all the world’s grandchildren. I know we both want the same things, it is only our life experiences that make us see things differently.

      Always a pleasure to discuss things with you as long as you don’t take what I say too seriously 🙂


  • R.J. and Janette…I think you’re both saying the same thing…hoping our President will match his actions with his inspiring rhetoric. So far that hasn’t happened, but Janette is trying to be positive….so am I. The power of positive thinking …. feels good.


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