Facts are Different than Opinions

What to believe?  Who to blame?  What if we don’t like what Obama had to say in today’s press conference?  Is there an appropriate response other than to either be defensive or be on the attack about the BP oil spill, the oil industry, the Bush-Cheney administration or the current government response?

I propose that there is another way to listen and respond to the news — and it is the same thing that it takes to produce anything powerfully in life.  You start by separating what’s so (the facts, what happened) from what you, me, or the commentators are making it mean (opinions, fears, conclusions).   By distinguishing the difference between facts and stories, you can interact powerfully with reality and have clarity about new possibilities.

It would be useful to know what happened, what is being done, what was discussed and was not done, and what is the plan going forward.  Facts include that mistakes were made (i.e. some things could have been done sooner).   Facts include that it takes time — perhaps more time than we’d like — to get people to talk, agree, and take action, especially on such a complex matter.  We should have had a plan (opinion) but we didn’t (fact).  The President is human.  Yes, we wish he was super-human, and we probably even have a right to demand our President “fix it now”, but in reality?  I’d like to see any of us hit it out of the park every time something completely catastrophic happened at our jobs. We are human.  Let’s roll up our sleeves, uncover the facts, and deal with information that is useful.

By the way, while we can love opinions (especially our own), in order to powerfully deal with the problem at hand, we do not need to know “Is Obama’s cool too cold?” as one MSNBC headline promises to explore, nor do we need to know the approval ratings or who is going to win in November as opined by commentators today.

What would make a difference to you?  Let us know what you think.


Categories: News

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