Sunday, May 19, 2013

Not The Buddha or Be Careful of What You Quote

I'm puttering along half doing the dishes, quarter cleaning the bedroom and totally not writing as I should when I find this quote on a web page that I printed out on September 1, 2001:

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”  Attributed to Buddha.

I like it. Sounds about right.  But then I say it again and it doesn't feel right. I run it though the Googlenator. On the surface all kinds of sites are linking and promoting this quote.

Except one. I am led to this web site called Fake Budha and I start reading.

Oh dear.

Bodhipaksa did the research to make the case that this is a possible misinterpretation of a bad translation.

If it sound good we as humans want to share it. I almost posted this quote to Twitter. I would have been in a long line of people to have done so. It wasn't with malice or evil intent. Still in all the Buddha didn't say it.

Yet this is how lies become truths or at least accepted paths of thought.

Early this morning I got yanked back into a post about the high number of single African American women who have children outside of marriage. I read the original post 10 months ago.

To me this was just one person expressing an opinion based on limited to no facts. I suspect that the author has other agendas besides equating a racial lack of moral compass with her perceived alternative options.

Yet folks read that posts and started to co-sign with what was written. 

If folks went to the New York Times article written in 2012 and looked at one of the sources cited,  Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940–99 by the National Center for Health Statistics, that report was an attempt to look at this issue spanning decades.

It is 40 pages of information, statistics and history that (in my opinion) due to society pressures may be a bit distorted or skewed. 

If you look at the data every group of women from every racial and ethnic backgrounds have had children outside of marriage. There are times when the numbers jump. There are periods when certain groups are not reported.

The report is not a quick read. If anything, you could use it as a question springboard to what was going on in the 1940 (War comes to mind. Soldiers on leave. Fear and the need to affirm life?)

Like in the above video from 1947 when the fellas want to shun the "bad girl" that comes to the table. She wasn't in the back seat of the car by herself. They can't even articulate the double standard so hey, let's blame the girl.

Compare that time to the 1960s.  Culturally, what was going on then?

See where I going with this? You have to understand the context and the people of the time.

What are the real facts, not the ones that make you feel good or sounds like it is plausible.

It is tricky. It is sticky. The only confirmed fact is that when most men stick their dicky into a fertile vagina without birth control there is a good chance of conception.

I so long for the day when information literacy become a fad that people won't let go of.

Maybe there needs to be a song about critical thinking got them crazy and they won't let go, naw they can't let go.

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