Speaking of jokes, don’t forget to add humor, anecdotes, graphics and other spice to your articles especially if the article is loaded with facts or new information. These interludes will break the tension of trying to absorb too much all at once.
Following is an anecdote that was sent to me by email from one of my friends. I don’t know where this story came from, and I would be happy to give credit to the author if they wish to identify themselves.
I use it here as an excellent demonstration of how to make a point and deliver it with subtlety and humor.
The Four Orthodox Rabbis
So it seems that these four rabbis had a series of theological arguments,
and three were always in accord against the fourth.
One day, the odd rabbi out, after the usual "3 to 1, majority rules" statement that signified he had lost again, decided to appeal to a higher authority.
"Oh, G~d!" he cried. "I know in my heart that I am right and they are wrong! Please give me a sign to prove it to them!"
It was a beautiful, sunny day.
As soon as the rabbi finished his prayer, a storm cloud moved across the sky above the four. It rumbled once and dissolved.
"A sign from G~d! See, I'm right, I knew it!"
But the other three disagreed, pointing out that storm clouds form on hot days.
So the rabbi prayed again: "Oh, G~d, I need a bigger sign to show that I am right and they are wrong. So please, G~d, a bigger sign!"
This time four storm clouds appeared, rushed toward each other to form one big cloud, and a bolt of lightning slammed into a tree on a nearby hill.
"I told you I was right!" cried the rabbi, but his friends insisted that nothing had happened that could not be explained by natural causes.
The rabbi was getting ready to ask for a *very big* sign, but just as he said, "Oh G~d...," the sky turned pitch black, the earth shook, and a deep, booming voice intoned, "HEEEEEEEE'S RIIIIIIIGHT!"
The rabbi put his hands on his hips, turned to the other three, and said, "Well?"
"So," shrugged one of the other rabbis, "now it's 3 to 2."
The title of this article could be, “Is It Better to Be Right or Happy?” The kernel of understanding is simply that “the odd rabbi out” would never be right in the eyes of the other three, even if God delivered the verdict. Therefore, the message to the fourth rabbi is, “Why bother trying to ‘win’ if it’s always going to be 3 against 1, and I will always be the odd person out? Be happy and let it be!!”
Professional writers proofread their work many times before they’re ready to send it off for publication. The manuscript:
• Has no typos or other errors
• Has no extra words or phrases
• Delivers the goods as clearly and simply as possible
JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM
News articles or reports have different rules. The writer or reporter is looking for facts, and although these facts may point to certain conclusions, it is the reporter’s responsibility to be objective. Personal opinions are a no-no in any type of news article.
If a media organization has an agenda, often they use tried and true techniques to slant a story in order to direct the reader to a certain line of thought.
The most common form of bias is omission. Ignoring a news story or blacklisting it among media conglomerates that share the same position downplays its importance and value. Censorship is a common practice in countries whose governments control the media.
Interviewing only those individuals who support the reporter’s agenda is another sure-fire way to deliver bias.
Third-person reportage of someone else’s opinion is yet another way to slant the news. Usually the reporter or commentator will provide a liberal number of statistics to support their bias. Selective information is a powerful tool that is used often to sway the masses.
This is a good place for repeating three aphorisms from my pocketful of other people’s wisdom:
• The Truth shall set us free.
• Often the The Truth hurts.
• Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
We can either choose pain or freedom. If we choose pain and use denial and deception as a means for resisting The Truth because we are afraid to embrace it, we find ourselves in the company of some interesting characters.
If we oppose The Truth, we are opposing freedom. Who on this planet wishes to say they oppose freedom?
Which side are you on: Self-Deception or Truth? Would you be willing to earn the right to be called compassionate?