Thoughts and Prayers

We’re expecting snow in CT

Back in October, when I was writing an SoCS post, I made a minor edit. Not the kind Linda would have chastised me for, just one of those, “oops, shouldn’t say that” moments. I was going to refer to a bowl of empty mussel shells as “dead soldiers.” According to one source – no not Wikipedia – a “dead soldier” has referred to an empty thing (usually a beer bottle) since sometime during WWI. I’ve heard and used the expression all my life, but I decided to stop. We have buried too many soldiers.

A little later, as I continued reading about people affected by Hurricane Michael, I continued to mention that I would keep someone in my thoughts and prayers, and I started thinking about that expression. It rolls off our digital tongue so easily, but it’s giving me pause. It has become the mocking standard for people who want to call out Congress for taking no serious action on gun violence. Saying it sometimes makes me feel subject to that ridicule.

Then I ask, what does this expression really mean? Is it hollow? Is it nothing more than a feel-good way to get off the hook of saying, or doing anything meaningful? Perhaps, if you don’t think, or if you don’t pray. Or, as I was taught, if you don’t ask for the right thing when you pray.

You can’t ask God to make the Steelers win” – yes, our minister actually said this during one of his sermons – “…but you can ask Him to help the players play their best game.”

So, just in case there are any members of Congress reading, If you’re going to pray about gun violence, it would go something like this: “please help me to figure out a solution and give me the strength to stand up to the people who will line up against me as I try to bring that solution to pass.”

I don’t care what your solution is. It can be anything from ban all guns to arm everyone. On the other hand, some of the politicians who offer their “thoughts and prayers” seem to be insulting people who actually think and pray.

When I tell someone I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers, I do. So, I resent the mocking comments that seem aimed at the world, as if no one ever follows through on that pledge. If I don’t think the person will appreciate my prayers (some people are on record) I leave that part out (although I still might pray for them, cuz Sunday School lessons). I can’t imagine anyone objecting to my keeping a good thought on their behalf. Thinking is a different issue.

I like to think that I think.

I’m not sure how you measure it, but seems there are fewer people thinking today, than there are people praying.

To be clear, I don’t care what people think about things, if in fact, they do think. If they listen to some talking-head commentator on a 24-hour news channel and substitute his or her opinion for their thoughts, they’re not thinking.

Thinking requires facts – opinions are not facts – and time. When we gather some facts about a subject, study those facts, compare those facts to other facts and arrive at our own conclusions, we’re thinking. Thinking also requires the willingness to consider new facts once we have formed an opinion – sometimes, that’s the hardest kind of thinking there is.

So, when there’s a disaster or a local situation that puts people in harm’s way or has affected a group of people and we say that our “thoughts and prayers are with them,” what does that mean?

It might mean that we ask God to help them recover, find shelter, or deal with the grief they now feel. It might mean that we remember to ask them if they are OK. It might mean that we donate to an agency that’s trying to help. It might mean that we don’t joke about the situation. It might mean that we, as a blog-buddy put it so well, “don’t add to the problems by traveling to the affected areas.”

It also might mean that those of us that are thousands of miles from the situation don’t complain about how the event has affected us:

Great, my team’s game was cancelled due to the hurricane. Why do these things happen to me?

See, if you think, you don’t say things like that.


The gallery includes a few more images of sun, surf and critters (you can click anywhere to start a slideshow). The video below the gallery is one of my favorites on the subject of thinking – “Football is fun” from: “Remember The Titans.” It periodically gets yanked from YouTube, so you might have to search for it.

82 thoughts on “Thoughts and Prayers

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  1. Interesting. Often it can be a chicken or egg situation. If a person you like says it, you interpret it as well meaning. The world is a collection of groups of people with variable status often interpreted in terms of respect and responsibility. Hence,in the digital world, we have ‘role models’ who feel the need to comment on any disaster as they can be castigated if they don’t. Therefore,how well meaning,are there comments?
    Every phrase can take on a different meaning over time, it is interesting picking up things where meanings have changed. Also communicating with irony and nuance how often – in an online experience – that is often missed. I shall stop now :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for weighing in on this. Tim. It is difficult to express any emotion well, online, at least in the shorter forms like Twitter. I tend to avoid those, and I tend to avoid Facebook, where almost any well-meaning statement can be easily attacked or twisted. The sad thing is, there are probably politicians who make these statements in a sincere manner, however, in many cases, they should be held to a higher standard, as there are things they can do about certain societal issues.

      I resent when a word/phrase that has meaning to me (or is just something i Like) is co-opted by a group who either wants to make fun of it, use it to make fun of others, or – equally as bad – make it part of their brand. Language is hard enough without people banishing good phrases into the corners.

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      1. Any idiots used to be alone, one to each village – not they gather together giving themselves the illusion of validity to their opinion. There’s a certain kind of joy they get when hunting a new target to destroy – as depicted in Jon Ronson’s book on internet shaming. The irony of this ‘new thing’ as the powers that be catch up, it will be used to erode people’s rights to free speech (no written right to it in Britain!) Not necessarily through legislation but through fear. One interesting yet awful aspect of it is that mainstream media can give equal weight to idiocy as lazy journalism means they give equal weight to opposing views under the guise of ‘fairness’ or ‘neutrality’. In a way this gives rise to the validity of some opposing views is anti-vaccers, many other examples. I say to my wife as we leave the car sometimes ‘outside talk’ as I can forget in England speaking freely is not the done thing and can result in trouble. Bringnback mutual respect and nuance!

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  2. An interesting and thoughtful post, Dan. I agree that listening to and considering new facts that influence your opinion, particularly from a negative to a positive point of view, is a difficult thing to do. We seem to have tuned ourselves to thinking negatively. The internet has given people and opportunity to learn many new things and share in fabulous ideas. On the down side it has given like minded people an ability to group together and share thoughts without allowing any other opinions or views in.

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    1. Thanks Roberta. You’re exactly right in your last point. We can easily stay within an online comfort zone – much more easily than in the real world where it’s harder to ignore people.

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  3. Timely and well written post. As a Catholic and a person who enjoys the listening part of a conversation, I can say my ‘thoughts and prayers’ are with the folks in DC this week. I’m hoping they consider talking, listening, hearing, and praying that they remember why they are actually in DC – to work for citizens and not lobbyists. I think I just gave God a headache.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, I think you did, Judy. If they got together, worked together and jointly came up with an answer, I wouldn’t care if it wasn’t the answer I like. I would feel, as you say, that they did their job. It’s just not what they seem to do any more.

      I hope you’re stil south of the storm line that’s coming our way. Enjoy this week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am still south, and I hope you get whatever is at the minimum end of their forecast. Although, I read something on line this morning that had me laughing. ‘If you can’t find joy in the snowfall, you won’t have joy in your life, but you will still have the same amount of snow.’ I think I need to embroider that on something to keep at home. :-)

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  4. Reading this was a reminder that so many expressions we grew up with and have used most of our lives are now questionable in propriety. Or songs that I loved in my youth, are now considered inappropriate because of their lyrics. My son called me out on one of those songs recently.

    As a society, we’ve become so hyper sensitive to perceived insult it often borders on the ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne – you can add to that list, the songs we grew up with that are now part of a Walmart commercial (there should be a law). I feel like there are so many things I have to explain. “I clicked the ‘Like’ button because I liked your post.” “I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers , and I really do pray!” It’s getting absurd. I did once link up to a song from the 60s before realizing (or really even thinking about the lyrics). It’s still a good song, but someone would make a fuss.

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  5. I know it’s become a bit of a platitude, but in difficult or tragic situations sometimes it’s hard to know the right thing to say. If I’m going thru a difficult time and someone tells me their thoughts and prayers are with me? I take it as a heartfelt sentiment from a friend. But I agree, when politicians try it… the outcome usually feels like a cop out.

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    1. It is hard. I don’t like to judge, but it definitely means more to me when it’s a personal message. Maybe I’m too cynical. I don’t think we’ve really figured out social media as a communication platform. In many cases, you say something without remembering that a zillion people are “listening” to what would normally be a private conversation.

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  6. I am all about being kind but I am also about non cencorship. Fervor over any issue almost always leads to extremes. Being kind is desirable and preferable, but removing free will from any situatiin becomes dictatorship. What I am finding is offense being taken to things that were never intended as offensive in nature. At what point do we draw a line between outright dangerous insult and perceived insult? We all have different familial and social backgrounds that affect our perceptions and understandings.
    I know just what you mean about all those catch phrases we grew up with that even as I say some of them in my mInd, I question the origination and who it might offend. We all should do that anyay; however, It is stressful, especially when the farthest thing from my mind is ever intentiionally insulting someone I don’t even know or worse yet, someone I consider a friend.
    Why is it that some groups find it ok to control our mouths and our diverse population yet controlling gun deaths would threaten our civil rights!? 😳
    If I say I am sending healing thoughts and preayers I mean it. I loathe that it has become a dismissive catch phrase in our Congress, as well as ‘Harm’s Way’ being overused during the Bush administration.
    Thanks for the thought provoking post, Dan. And I love that bird shot. Perfect timing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Cheryl. You nudged this post off the shelf with your SoCS post in response to ‘Affirm’ where you brought up another aspect of this issue. I also worked through this draft after my post for ‘testify’ and the practice in my mom’s church of openly asking the gathered congregation to pray for something. No one ever felt embarrassed in making those requests, but I see people make similar requests online and end up having to block comments or delete the request. Some things shouldn’t be co-opted.

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  7. Love this Dan. Great post. Your words are thought provoking and so very current. I also try to be intentional when offering thoughts and prayers. It’s not something to take lightly or make fun of.

    I could say so much more, but on my way out the door to work. Have a super Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. I know that you mean these things when you say them and that you appreciate it when others include you in their thoughts and prayers. I have to revisit these comments during lunch.

      Have a great Monday and I hope it leads to a very good week.

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  8. Well said and I agree with you, although I am shocked to learn that “opinions are not facts.” While I say the foregoing in a mocking tone, I fear that for some people, often elected officials in DC for instance, that bit of truth falls on deaf ears. Why deal with facts when a platitude like “thoughts and prayers” will give the impression that you are truly concerned, without you doing a single thing to help solve a problem? It’s despicable behavior.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ally. I suspect there are many people legitimately ready to argue about opinions vs. facts. People say things like “I heard this on…” and I point out that “that isn’t a news show, it’s an opinion-driven talk show” but they insist it’s news so what they hear represents facts. Politicians, judge the merit of facts based on how much money they are wrapped in.

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  9. Food for thought Dan. Great post. Platitudes and self centeredness have sadly become acceptable and expected…. but they don’t change anything.
    Let’s keeping saying what we really mean and take time to consider our motives and actions. This is what will bring about the change some of us pray for.

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  10. Using your criteria for the thought processes: far too many people ain’t doing it! As for the expression, it is easier to say, than it is to do. Fortunately a great many people do both. As for the mussels, would ‘dead politicians’ work? We see them, we want them, they’re great for a bite but then they’re better empty and tossed aside.

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    1. I wouldn’d wish harm to anyone, Pam. However, I morn less for some people. You wouldn’t think- “work with facts and think about them” – would be a radical expectation of people who makes laws for a living. Thanks for being here.

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  11. Keeping a person or people in your thoughts and prayers is a good thing, it is an extremely kind and humble thing to do, and should be treated with gratitude, love, and more kindness and humility. But politics kills everything that is good. Politics makes us forget the good things about people, about the world. I have seen posts on Twitter and Facebook jeering at the phrase “thoughts and prayers” as uttered by politicians during dire catastrophes that they could easily prevent by legislation. In this sense, it is politics that has poisoned the meaning of the phrase.
    What you say about thinking, I have wondered about them too. The seeming lack of thinking in the world. I have blamed it on education. We go to schools where independent thought is hardly encouraged. It is as if we only go to school to be taught and not to learn at all. We are fed other people’s thoughts everyday and made to cram them. Even when you write an essay, thesis, desertation, etc, you can’t give your own independent views. You have to refer. And in our schools, the teacher has the ultimate authority in class and you are required to listen attentively. Then there is the exam scare to tame you into an obedient student. So there you are as a student being taught/forced to listen to people in authority without protest, to repeat other people’s thoughts will suppressing your own. Decades of this practice, starting from the time a person is just a baby to the time they are at least in their mid-20’s, and we have generations addicted to thoughtlessness, to quoting other people’s thoughts (even if it is garbage), to listening to authority regardless. Data from ourworldindata.org/literacy claims that by September 2018, only 17% of the world was still illiterate. That is around 1.3bn out of 7.7bn people. A small number. Could be children. Yet you wonder. Where are the learned people?

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    1. You raise a good, albeit sad point about education, Peter. I praise teachers who teach and suggest critical thinking skills and answer challenging questions, but there are too few of them (in my opinion). Logic and problem solving skills seem largely absent from our curriculum, while the notion that we can google everything (and base our opinion on the first 10 results) is overwhelming. I had a doctor google my symptoms when I started losing hearing in one ear!

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  12. Keeping your boat out of the water is much more expensive than keeping it in the water. No algae or barnacles to scrape. But you have to call the facility and let them know when to let your boat down or, at home, you have to have the equipment to raise/lower your boat.
    Nothing anyone says is beyond ridicule now. It gets both tiring and aggravating. What will people say in the future? Maybe I should say, ‘what will people text in the future?’ A good read, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lois. Given the size of some of the boats in and around this “neighborhood” I guess money is less of a concern than it is for me. Oh well.

      I’m going to keep on saying what I say. If people are upset, they can tell me, and I’ll stop thinking/praying on their behalf. Well, as far as they know.

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  13. Yowzer!! Lots to think about here. People who know me know that I say what I think and mean what I say. So when I say, or write, “My thoughts and prayers are with you”, that’s exactly what I mean. If I extend an offer of help, it’s sincerely offered. This is how I was brought up, and it just comes naturally.

    How politicians managed to take this oft used sentiment and turned it into a BS statement just boggles my mind. My thoughts and prayers are with the powers that be in Washington to be able to work together for the sake of all of us……you know, the ones who voted you into office because we believed in you!!

    On a lighter note, beautiful sunset. So glad you “managed” to spend some time on the beach. The water in that photo looks like it’s been covered with thousands of diamonds! Also love those foggy shots with the great reflections and those huge puffs of smoke coming from the chimneys.

    The ‘3 M’s’….what can I say. MuMu checking if it’s safe to come out and find the guy who brushes her. MiMi trying to figure out when she’s gonna get some “me” time. And sweet Maddie, just trying to get comfortable on the couch when you don’t change your position to accommodate her! But, she seems to have worked out a system that works for her because she always looks comfy!!

    Hope you don’t get hit too hard in your neck of the woods. Forecasts here vary…none are good! I worry more about the ice than the snow. Good news is spring isn’t far away!!

    🐾Ginger 🐾

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    1. Thanks Ginger. I do wish the folks in Washington would remember that we sent them there to do a job. If I got as little done as they do, I’m pretty sure I’d be fired.

      The M-girls have me pretty well wrapped around their piddy-paws. They speak, I listen. Somehow, I always imagined it the other way around, but what do I know?

      I’ll keep saying what I mean. Hopefully, I will retain the energy to mean what I say. Thanks for your prayers for those knuckleheads in DC – maybe it will help.

      The weirdest thing about this forecast is going from 8+ inches of snow and ice on top of that to 50 degrees on Friday. Still, we are adding daylight to each and every day – spring marches on.

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  14. One of your best posts.
    Yes, I am offended when a politician says it, another flash of positivity for the cameras when they don’t give a damn. And the ones who give a damn seem to show up, console victims, vote for protections or solutions, work in food kitchens or some such thing.
    I never mind hearing it from someone I know, even when they are very flowery or biblical about it in a way I can’t relate to They are praying for me, their intention is to have whatever pain I am in stop.
    I pray, sometimes by surrounding the person in protection, or I put a memory of them on my altar (peeps dealing with cancer or a huge issue), but the thing I think about most is that I don’t know what is best for them. For instance, I don’t generally pray to have someone not die — maybe it is time for them to go and their pain is too great. Praying sometimes make me feel very small and humble, because i don’t know what is best. So I honor that, and pray for the best outcome. xo

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    1. That seems to mean that you think, Kate. When someone includes me in their prayers, I am honored and I appreciate it. I also appreciate it when people think about me, even if they offer suggestions that don’t work. It’s nice to be thought of. Thanks for this comment.

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  15. Thinking requires facts – opinions are not facts – and time. When we gather some facts about a subject, study those facts, compare those facts to other facts and arrive at our own conclusions, we’re thinking.

    Let’s look at it another way.

    Facts are worthless without values. We can gather thousands of facts, but then we have to rank them by significance. If the problem is mathematical and technical, it is not that hard – but if the problem is social, we can never agree on what to consider.

    It makes my blood boil to read a story in The New York Times or Wall Street Journal and note how each selects and orders its facts. It is like viewing the world through a Venetian blind where each source casts both shade and light – depending on its values.

    There is no way around this – because it reflects human nature. That is why our founders developed the messy process of legislation. A process where many sides reflect our conflicted nature and sometimes, though rarely, reach a wise decision.

    Knowing that they can almost never square the values of competing interests, our leaders simply call for a moment of gravity and respect, in other words, thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a good point, but I think the legislators could work a little harder at leaving issues in a crucible until the pure facts remain. When I see them pass hundred and thousand-page legislation only to later admit that they didn’t read it, I get angry. CT passed a law last year, tacked onto the end of an overdue budget. All they wanted to do was to get out of town, but they passed a law that affects our state, its residents and our future. Many of them agree that it’s a bad law, but their excuse is “I didn’t read it. If I had, I wouldn’t have voted for it.”

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  16. All any of us can ever do is our own best. And there are always going to be those who say that our best is not good enough. But the important thing is to stand strong in what you believe, and DO what you believe. People can mock prayer (and they inadvertently mock thinking too with the way they behave!) all they want. Whatever. It’s not going to change whether *I* pray or not. If someone doesn’t believe in it, that’s okay — I’m not going to tell them they’re stupid or whatever. But if they expect me to extend that grace to them and their belief (or lackthereof), then I expect the same grace be provided to me. This is what upsets me about the news/political situations you mention above. The way that some people attack what’s meant to be a positive thing. Look, just because you personally don’t LIKE something doesn’t mean you should go around slamming other people who do, and telling them how worthless and useless they and their particular beliefs are. Christians are not supposed to go around doing that to non-Christians, and we don’t appreciate when people do that to us. If you don’t pray? Don’t pray! Do what you feel will be of help. And if you do pray — then pray! And try not to let other people’s endless negativity turn you away from doing what you know and want to do.

    I always find it ironic how people who have little good to say about God/prayer/religion 99% of the time will suddenly cry out to God for help when they’re in a major bind. They promise all sorts of things if only God will help them out of their predicament. And then the second God brings them through it… they did it all on their own, and God goes back to being the butt of all their scorn. Of course even believers are guilty of this. It’s honestly a wonder that God helps any of us, ever, when we treat Him this way.

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    1. Thanks Wendy! I will continue to do what I do, think what I think and pray for what I pray for. It’s how I live, and I’m not going to change anything because of what a few knuckleheads spew at me. People seem to think (at least some) that secular “beliefs” deserve universal support whereas religious beliefs are subject to a much higher standard. That argument doesn’t work with me, and it really falls short when the secular beliefs are based on opinions.

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  17. I’ve stopped using the expression “dead soldiers” to refer to empty things, too, and for the same reason. Because I THOUGHT about it. I got off Facebook partly because I got tired of people telling me what I should say. I appreciate being educated on how to be more thoughtful, but it was becoming a gamble to say anything. Maybe I’ll go back and take more of that schooling after I’ve digested some of what I’ve already had.

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    1. Thanks Marian. It’s been hard to purge “dead soldiers” out of my working vocabulary, but I’ve only slipped a few times since I stopped to think about it. I appreciate being educated, and I thanks people who point things out to me, but I find very little of that activity happening on Facebook.

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  18. Lately I’ve been thinking about principled living and what that means to me. I think it takes strength and a genuine commitment to sync our words and actions in support of authentic living. Likewise, a heartfelt sentiment should be backed by actions, otherwise it just rings hollow. Timely and thought provoking post. As for Congress, sadly, I don’t think that the ability to think is part of the job description. I will send my thoughts and prayers for an infusion of wisdom!

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, I send those same thoughts and prayers to Washington, but they seem to be falling on deaf ears. Maybe if enough of us try, it will be more successful. I agree that the one thing we can do is commit to having our words and actions on the same page.

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  19. I have to say I never used the phrase, dead soldiers since so many in my family were just that. I also was never offended when someone said it either. This was a very thought-provoking post, Dan. I say to people that I’m keeping them in my thoughts and prayers and then follow through. I can’t stand it when someone says the same in front of a camera. You know it is a scripted comment and wish they would just shut the hell up. I no longer pray for the Washington crowd. Praying that they do the right thing is like asking for a Steeler win. I just don’t think God should be bothered with what might be an impossible request. The boats are lifted around here for two reasons. 1. They are not subject to tide variations which require sophisticated floating dock arrangements or knowledgeable rope handling. 2. The hulls are kept cleaner and prevent those nasty barnacles from forming so quickly. Great post.

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    1. Thanks John, both for the thoughtful comment and the information about the boats. That makes sense. They pull the out up here, because the water freezes, but I couldn’t figure it out for waters in or just off the Gulf. I like the notion that God shouldn’t be bothered with Washington, DC. It’a s good point, but a little sad. Right now, it’s “help the Steelers organization to think clearly during the off-season.” Sometimes, it’s tough being a fan.

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  20. What a great post, Dan!! Really well done. I can’t add anything, I think you have covered it and done it in a way that makes a person pause and think deeper. I can remember growing up and having discussions with people to hear different points of view to help me formulate what I thought was the correct thing to do or direction to take. To me that’s the beauty of the human condition, we all have slightly different perspectives because of our individual experiences. Hearing those differences and evaluating them is to me how we learn as a species. That said, it seems to be a dying art.

    I take the phrase “thoughts and prayers” very seriously and as you, never say it frivolously. Again, great post!!!

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  21. Hear, hear! You said what has been niggling me for a while. The saying has felt like a “get out of jail card”, and the politicians are just playing a game of Monopoly. Thank you for your voice and your wise words, Dan.

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    1. I first heard it at the bowling alley my dad managed. There was a Friday night men’s league that brought their own beer. My job on Saturday morning was to “locate and dispose of all the dead soldiers.” It has just lost its appeal to me.

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  22. I’ve already thought about this, though I’ve never prayed on the matter. If I offer thoughts and prayers, it’s because I can’t do anything to help. I’d rather help. Some people are actually offended by everything from “Wishing you the best” to “Prayers for you” feeling those are empty words. I dunno, I’d rather have people talkin to their deities for me or giving me the feeling they’re on my side than nothing at all. I value the sentiment. So many people really just want to know another person cares. I can provide that, and I’d rather help. Except with moving house, diapers, or math.

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    1. Thanks, Joey, when I need help, I’d accept almost any offer. I think most people do appreciate the idea that someone else cares. If people are offended by prayers, they only have to tell me once. Most of the people I’ve responded to with the promise of thoughts and prayers have seemed pleased. BTW, moving, diapers and math are excused.

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  23. Excellent points and beautiful photos. I especially like this line: “Thinking also requires the willingness to consider new facts once we have formed an opinion – ” What a wonderful world that would be if we all did that. When I say/write I’ll be praying/thinking good thoughts, I try real hard to do it right then and there so I don’t forget, or write myself a note. I’m not much into football (don’t throw tomatoes) but that video made me laugh.

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  24. Hi Dan – interesting post – very good one. We live in a glib world … and how on earth we’re going to live with everything we say if we’re on Tw or FB coming back at us – I couldn’t manage it. I really wish (heartily desire) a few real leaders turn up – and help this world get back on track: so much you and your readers have said makes total sense – cheers Hilary

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  25. Well stated Dan. You are right. Most of the time I stop and pray when I say I will or will do it as soon as possible. Sometimes I forget. I could certainly do better and be thoughtful of others more regularly. Love the images. 🙂

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  26. I agree that thinking seems to be a remarkably difficult skill for a lot of people and it’s never more apparent than in the knee-jerk environments of social media. (And I say that while still loving me some social media.) Even if you find someone who patiently thinks through an issue, considers their options, weighs the outcomes, and takes a stand — somehow there are STILL people who shut their brains off at that point. They miss the part where they need to take in new information and *process it* even after they’ve formed an opinion.

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    1. Other than blogs, I limit my discussion on social media to “ooh, what a cute kitty” because comments I’ve made of a serious nature have not gotten the reaction I’d expect. I’m not looking for blind faith agreement, but a well-reasoned comment would be appreciated. Lots of comments make no sense, bear no resemblance to the subject, and are often just a repeat of someone else’s’ rhetoric.

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  27. Food for thought, good read. I do pray all the time. I pray for the whole world. I don’t need to know them or their needs. God knows.

    As for other people’s thought, I have a line I use: what you think of me is none of your business. As for opinions, they are just gossips.

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  28. I can tell this has burdened your mind for some time, Dan. “Saying it sometimes makes me feel subject to that ridicule.” Yes I feel that way too.
    I always say that I hate global statements — nothing applies to every person. In this case, the “global statement” is the reaction to this phrase. It’s another instance of some people being over-eager to be offended. That’s childish and devoid of *listening*.

    Yes, if someone is in a position of wealth and power, we certainly hope they’re doing more than thinking and praying. Although, like anyone else, their thoughts and prayers are a good thing.
    The people who are offended at the average person sending thoughts and prayers would likely find just as much fault if we publicized the (comparatively) meager things we could do in response.
    Sometimes thoughts and prayers are all a person has to offer. Personally, I welcome them, no matter that their religious beliefs are different from mine.

    This “global statement”/type of reaction makes me think of a song from my youth, called Signs. The ballad ended with something like
    “And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray”
    But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all
    I didn’t have a penny to pay
    So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
    I said, ‘Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine’…”

    I apologize for this overly long comment. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

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