Before we get to discernment itself, the media recently helped us to note the lives of two different individuals who made a difference in what many of us do and think each day. These were the lives of Steven Jobs and Andy Rooney who both recently died. Steve Jobs was the co-founder and creative entrepreneur of Apple Inc and the genius that produced the iPad. Andy Rooney was a writer in several different formats and a very interesting and popular commentator on 60 Minutes for many years. Both of them reportedly made significant contributions to the procedures and content for some of the communication that we exchange with each other from day to day. There shouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that easy to use hand-held tools for communication and thoughtful commentary are important factors in all of the messages that are being exchanged between individuals today.

Discernment under bombardment

Everyday our national media for news and other platforms for various personal and social messages continue to bombard us with thousands of messages, reports, opinions, advertizements, appeals, and warnings about various things, issues, events, and projections that can have serious effects on us in our daily lives. I don’t know about you, but I often find it very difficult to discern from these messages what is a reasonable conclusion that I might draw regarding the possible meaning of such messages and what I should do in response to them in my life. And this process of discernment is further complicated by the questions as to the accuracy of the facts behind some of these messages and their basic truthfulness.

Right now our media and much of our attention is being drawn to the next national election for our President and members of Congress. So we are bombarded with national debates between Republican candidates for President and intense state and local discussions regarding various legislative issues and economic problems and over many of these messages and discussions, broadcasts and public demonstrations are the “filters” regarding what is the “truth” in these messages, what are the facts, who has the “right” solution to many of our common problems, and what can we ordinary citizens do about these matters of concern and interest. And some political careers and some personal careers and reputations are being seriously affected by these messages, and we are each being challenged to be very thoughtful in our discernment of these matters and what we decide to do about them.

Political Discernment

In our current political and social situations what are you doing to make reasonable sense of all of these messages with which we are bombarded everyday? What “filters” of discernment do you find to be most effective and helpful in your efforts to understand and to respond to these various messages? We are facing a year of intense debates and ongoing discussions regarding these messages and concerns. Let’s talk about this matter and try to develop some practical insights into our personal and collective responses to these messages. What is your take on discernment? Please submit your comments to this post.

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