Ron Colone: On the subject of all those scars

RON COLONE

OK, here’s one for you ...

Suppose, for the last 25 years, in an effort to educate yourself, you’ve made a point of reading and researching and seeking out information on various health and medical conditions that you or a loved one have had to deal with.

Suppose there’s been one particular source of information you’ve found especially enlightening, helpful, trustworthy and to your taste. Suppose you’ve come to regard the person or the organization behind that information as your go-to expert, so much so that you even cite, refer to and ardently share the information with others.

Then, suppose something like COVID comes along, and no one knows quite what’s going on, and as usual, you endeavor to educate yourself by gathering information. You do your best to sort through all the noise and the hype and the chatter, the media reports, the political slants, the establishment and anti-establishment warnings, threats, explanations and pontifications, and, alas, you decide where you stand on the issue — in this case, on the coronavirus, masks and vaccines.

Now, suppose that after all that, you discover that your position on these matters, the views you’ve come to formulate and settle upon, are completely at odds with the person or the source you have regarded as the expert all these many years. What do you do?

Do you consider shifting your views so they align more closely with your own-chosen expert? Do you look at your expert in little a different light, and call into question all the information you have gleaned, gained and passed along over the years that came from that source?

Could you allow both things to be, at the same time, or would it require a change or a progression that takes you from one thing to the other, like those politicians who attribute and justify their shifting stances, their fluctuating views and their changing policy positions on some current hot-button issue by saying, “I’ve evolved.”

To me, this gets us to a vitally important and extremely interesting area of study, namely, how we evolve.

Today, another friend announced through the same social media platform that she had an interview for a job she’s hoping to get. She said that all prayers are appreciated, and also proclaimed, “God is good.” The wise guy in me said...

I’m not talking about the theory of evolution or how our genetic makeup or physical appearance changes over eons, I’m talking about our hearts and minds — knowledge and wisdom, mental and emotional evolution, and social and spiritual advancement.

How do we progress in these areas and become more adept at living, loving, caring, helping and being our own unique, authentic selves? How do we become better at detecting and transmitting “the truth?”

Clearly, experience plays a big part. We learn as we go, based on what we encounter along the way.

In the case of conflicting information, of different pictures painted by different people, different explanations and interpretations that come at us from different sources, how do we choose, or even, do we?

Do we first choose who we like and who we’re going to give credence to, designate them as our information “champions,” let them sort it out and, then, whatever they decide we go along with it?

Do we choose who we don’t like, and whichever way they go, we go the opposite? Is there an opposite, or is the choice between two roads that diverge in the woods too limiting, too linear, a two-dimensional model that is rendered invalid when we introduce a third axis to give depth?

Do we choose based on allegiances to family, tribe, country, party, process or denomination? Is it an all or nothing proposition, or can we accept some of the things established and asserted by the experts or any other source, while at the same time rejecting others?

The point in asking is not to examine or challenge what we believe (or don’t believe), but, rather, why, and to acknowledge that it almost always comes down to who.

A collection of thoughts, memories and musings from columnist Ron Colone

It is hard to provide a short bio for Ron Colone. Writer, performer, business owner, concert promoter, music historian, baseball fan, proud son of Detroit for a start. There's so much more. We at the Santa Ynez Valley News have been lucky to work with Ron in various roles for more than 30 years, and we want to make sure you have a chance to read more of his thoughtful and insightful work. Here are a few of our favorites, let us know if you remember one that we missed and we can add it in. 

Ron Colone can be reached at ron.colone@gmail.com

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