Ron Jackson: We see the same things, but differently

May 4, 2019

When you cannot believe your friends, you have a dilemma.

The problem might not be that you have dishonest friends, but rather that they just see the same things differently. If you have friends on both sides of the political spectrum, you might be able to relate.

There was another long, drawn-out, televised congressional hearing this week.

I did not watch it thanks to the more than 500 cable channels and recorded options. But, I have friends who did.

I have friends who actually watched the exact same thing. I have friends who saw two very different things.

Some saw a scathing rebuke of the handling of the Mueller report by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

Some saw the credibility of the AG being attacked along with more political hacking of the president.

Some saw tough questioning from one side of the aisle.

Some saw softball, irrelevant questioning from the other side of the political aisle. Again, these observations are from my friends, not from some paid political partisan hacks.

How can people whom I consider to be of sound mind and varying degrees of intelligence indulge in hours of the same information yet arrive at two separate, different conclusions?

I ask this here because I dare not ask them to debate the issue in front of me. Not even during a beer summit. If you cannot trust your friends to give you an unbiased summary, who can you trust?

After viewing several hours of televised, real-time coverage of a congressional hearing, it should not be that difficult to reach a rational conclusion — especially by people assumed to be reasonably intelligent. That is quite the contrast to the often only a few seconds of news video of possible criminal activity that the public is often left to debate.

We have seen snippets of violent activity and have been challenged to make a rational and informed decision.

More importantly, citizens are compelled to perform such duty on a daily basis. With limited physical and visual information, people are tasked to make life-altering decisions.

Lives of others literally are placed in the hands of a few people who might be given very limited evidence. Certainly, serving on a jury requires a bit more responsibility than casually watching a political hearing. However, some of those same people end up on juries.

As far back as the video of the Rodney King beating in 1991 and as recent as the 2015 Laquan McDonald shooting video, we saw how the public arrived at different conclusions after watching the same short scenes over and over again. Those were common public citizens. They were not my friends whom I hold to a higher standard.

But, it does make me wonder. Would I want 12 of my friends to sit in judgment of me? Could I trust them to make a rational call after viewing the same evidence?

That alone is motivation enough for me to avoid breaking the law.

People I consider intelligent might be called to serve on a jury of my peers. That is a potential dilemma.

What a scary thought.

Bottom line is if you want to know the truth, maybe asking someone other than a smart, trusted friend is the way to go.

Even when presented with the same thing, we don’t see the same thing because we don’t look for the same thing.

I get that.

I do recall the internet challenge a few months back of a video of a woman’s dress. Viewers were asked to determine if the color was blue or gold. I never thought to ask what colors my friends saw.

Guess I should stop looking for the same thing from my very different friends. Dilemma solved.