Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Using Radio To End The Culture of Anger, Hate, and Hypocrisy

This piece is not meant to be preachy or otherwise serve as some type of sermon. This piece should be seen as a challenge to the way we think. the way we perceive, and the way it affects our behavior towards others. I want this piece to be meaningful to all of you in the radio community.
If there is one thing about radio that most everyone loves and can agree on, it is the fact that it transcends the boundaries of social, cultural, religious, financial, and political restrictions. Radio is so advanced today that we hear news and events from all different points of view from all over the world.

Over my time in radio as both a hobbyist and a radio professional, I have seen radio used by those people in the world who are healthy and able bodied and by those who are shut-ins. Those who cannot get out of their house, or have such severe restrictions that they can only leave their home during nicer weather conditions due to medical problems or can only leave their home with a family member or other trusted escort depend on radio as a means of having a social life and a window to the outside world.

Radio also brings people together in the distance of thousands of miles who never get to see, hear, or know each other.   Over the last three years Shortwave America has been around, it has been used to present you with the good and bad in radio; it's been used to link you to and give you a taste of a little of everything in radio ranging from quality international shortwave programming, to different modes of communication in amateur radio, to talk about issues that would generally get ignored in the radio social circles, and so much more!

Moving forward, we cannot ignore the other wonderful ways radio reaches the world. Most of us hear the various religious / faith based broadcasters out here, and we hear the various religious and political nets in the amateur HF frequencies to the FM amateur frequency allocations. We usually turn the VFO knob and tel ourselves that these folks are either all religious nut cases or that they're all ignorant, small minded, narrow thinking extremists. Why are we passing judgement when we can all agree that none of us want to be judged? Doesn't that make all of us hypocrites in our own right? 

I think what we fail to remember is that the various radio services cater to everyone from every possible demographic anyone can ever dream up. All of it has a place for its audience no matter how limited or how large that audience is. Radio users, radio hobbyists, radio professionals, and radio listeners come from a long list of different mind sets, cultures, faiths, economic conditions, medical backgrounds, etc.

Some radio folks are the clean-cut, upstanding types and others are the alpha - aggressive, beer guzzling, lazy type. Some radio folks are enlightened, kind, and thoughtful; while others are of a limited level of education and are not the kind of person we have been conditioned to think of as "desirable". Who made these stereotypes and why do we adhere to them? Who is to say that a person in our world has no value just because of the way society CHOOSES to perceive them?

Similarly, who are we to say just off the bat that people should not be able to use radio in the way it best suits them? Who are we to say that a person cannot create a program or enjoy a program or partake of radio for the value it has for them? Who are we to say that an amateur radio operator should not or cannot use radio for its creative technical, social, educational, and other values inherent in what it is? Old topic, dead horse, I know, but stick with me please!

Something happened today that made me stop and really think about the way we think of each other, the way we see each other, the way we treat one another, and it came together after listening to a piece created by my good friend and co-worker, Paulette McQuarrie and then watching a video created by someone who really had something important to say. Paulette's piece talks about media freedom in her home country, Ukraine.

The next elemental inspiration was a video by "Emanuella" who is your everyday Christian who says she was trying to be "good" but then realized she had failed because she was trying to change people, that she saw changing people as her "job". Emanuella discovered that her "job" is to love people first, to be their friend first and foremost. I will link to this video created by Emanuella, but for those who do not have the time to watch it, I will transcribe Emanuella's exact quote from her video.

"Hey there. I'm Emanuella. I'm a Christian. I have been a "good" Christian most of my life. It was my identity. I used to like to tell people how "good" I was, how I kept all the commandments. I thought that was "good", then I realized something...I FAILED! "Christian" was just a name I wore. Kind of like a pretty coat over a dirty body. It didn't match my heart. Here's why...If you were an atheist, an Agnostic, or anything else...and you didn't agree with me, I would disdain you as a person. I feel like a hypocrite. I feel disgusting! AND I can't take it ANYMORE! I wasn't interested in being your "friend." I just wanted to change YOU. I thought that was my job. Christianity is about being "like" Christ, right? Jesus loved everyone, FIRST. If they didn't accept what he said, he still loved THEM. It's not my job to change you, I CAN'T! But, it IS my job to LOVE you! That I CAN! So, this is an appeal to my Christian brothers and sisters...not all, but some. STOP the damnation! STOP the judgement! STOP the religism (google it)...THAT'S NOT OUR BUSINESS! It doesn't matter how well you can preach. How many bible verses you've memorized...OR how many people think you're "ALL THAT!" IF YOU DON'T HAVE LOVE, YOU'RE NOTHING. Love is NOT a chore! It's a revelation. The Christ you serve revealed it in its purest form. Gandhi said.."I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians." Don't be one of "those." This is an invitation. START the love. Join the movement!


Gandhi was not a Christian, he was of the Hindu faith and yet he wanted to bring people together no matter what God they believed in. Gandhi even inspired well known broadcaster, Jawaharlal Nehru'. Jawaharlal addressed the radio audience the day Gandhi was assassinated, saying "Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of the nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me, but for millions and millions in this country."

Emanuella and Gandhi are from completely different times, cultures, and places in the world and never even met each other because one is alive and the other dead, but yet their words are in agreement with each other in both spirit of intent and in their tone. If they can say it, and do their best to put it into practice, I think all of us can!

With this, I want to challenge each and every one of my fans, followers, and listeners to find a way to use radio in some way to help end the state and culture of anger, hate, and hypocrisy in the world.

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