Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Me of little faith meets Thee of little faith

I'm fascinated by polls--a collection of opinions on anything and everything ranging from "Who should be the next President?" through "What's your favorite dessert topping?" (and I'm often surprised how often those two answers are identical).

Here's the thing: not only have I never been a part of one of these surveys, I've never known anyone else who was, either. And neither have they. How about you?
(And does this count as a survey, if I'm asking you about surveys? Hmmmm...)

And after you've read about a survey, or seen a report on TV, does it change how you feel about whatever the issue is? Last week, there was a story on the decline in consumer confidence and, gotta tell ya, there was definitely a lack of spring in my step for a couple of hours. Never mind that the survey was based on how people were feeling about purchasing 'big ticket items' in the course of the next quarter (houses, furniture, automobiles) and I am preoccupied with affording groceries in the here and now, I could feel 'their' pain even if I were a little foggy on exactly who the 'they' is.

I smile when I read letters to the editor where the authors talk about where "Wall Street" stock prices are since So and So was elected to Such and Such. Some of it reminds me of W. Edwards Deming and his red bead experiment. Sometimes I think of King Canute watching the tide roll in despite his insistence to the contrary.
There's a joke to the effect of 'Cheer up, things could get worse. So I did, and they did!' Where is Dr. Norman Vincent Peale when we could really use him? Not here, not anymore and I'm positive about that.

Have we confused cause and effect? Do events take a specific course because of how we feel about them or are our feelings on a specific course shaped by the events? And this is just the challenge with faith! Don't even get me started on hope, charity or whatever the other Spice Girls are called.
-bill kenny

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