Posted by: C J | July 30, 2019

How many times have you uttered…

a criticism without knowing the whole story?

WTH is this???

We’ll discuss the above picture in a little bit.

Context, context, man we’re talking about context (in my Allen Iverson’s voice). Putting things into context means telling the whole story or knowing as much about the situation as possible. For me context includes: the information or backstory, my knowledge about the situation or the commonly accepted knowledge, and last but not least what part does wisdom play in this story.

Ever wonder about the difference between the words: information, knowledge, and wisdom?

Information is a gathering of words, documents, data which have been organized for a purpose… You can Google information and gain some knowledge, but you can’t Google wisdom.

Knowledge is a skill set, understanding something, and or comprehension of information

Wisdom is knowledge, information, intuition, and most often something you have experienced

Here’s my favorite analogy – Information tells a boxer he’s going to be in a ring fighting on March 10, 2020. Knowledge tells the boxer while in the ring he will have to bob and weave to stay in the fight. Wisdom tells the boxer when to bob, weave, and throw a punch, to win the fight. See, there truly is a difference. Let’s look at some examples of all three used in context.

A black man dresses up like a woman, puts on shoes, full corset, and even a hat or bonnet. He goes out into the dark streets on the arms of a white gentleman; giggling at the gentleman’s jokes. But – wait before you judge, dismiss, or criticize this man dressed as a woman. He was a run-away slave escaping from those white men who wanted to return him to slavery. He sashayed right passed them without their knowledge of what was really happening. In context, they used information, knowledge, and wisdom to be brave enough to pull that off.

“Sometimes your greatest strength can emerge as a weakness if the context changes.” Harsha Bhogle

For the past three years, I’ve been trying to figure out why there are so many angry people at rallies of the winner of the 2016 presidential election. As I was working on this post about context; it came to me. What if, anger is fear out of context? What if these red-faced, middle finger pointing people are just afraid and don’t know how to handle their fears? What if, their fear is of being replaced, fear of becoming irrelevant, or the thought of a new normal they cannot handle? To put their fear in context; they shudder at the thought of living in my world, as a minority in today’s America!

“For me context is the key – from that comes the understanding of everything.” Kenneth Noland

What did you think when you first looked at the picture above? It looks like a gigantic mushroom doesn’t it? Most people say, “And so what is that?”. Because they don’t know what it is, it doesn’t mean anything special to them. BUT when I tell them, it is a picture, I took when I was in Cairo, Egypt, in 2008; and it’s the back of the  Sphinx! Then the reaction is, “Oh WOW, really?” Now, it’s a BIG DEAL! So, in context, this picture is a unique view of a great global icon; that is ancient, revered, and awesome!

I do not fear truth. I welcome it. But I wish all of my facts to be in their proper context.” Gordon B. Hinckley

For you: where, who, what, or when have you judged, criticized, or dismissed something or someone because it is out of context or you just don’t have the whole story?

Come back soon for another cup of comfort!

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