Thursday, 24 July 2014

NEVER LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY KNOW

I'm sure this has happened to all of us at one time or another. Somebody we like or who we think knows about a subject tells us about something that later turns out to be false. We implement their advice, only to find that it didn't work. I had such an experience in 1968.

Randy, a friend at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind, told me about how wonderful FM was. Not only was the sound clearer but, according to him, I could pick up distant stations just like I could on the shortwave bands. That summer, I lobbied hard to get an AM/FM portable radio.

My dad objected when I picked out a beautiful pocket-sized receiver with a chrome speaker grill and blue tuning dial. "Why do you want such an expensive radio?" he whined. This one is much cheaper. He held out a black radio with a tiny window for viewing the dial frequency.

"But, Dad, it doesn't have FM and I can't see the numbers in that tiny window," I objected.

Dad reluctantly paid for the radio which I coveted so much. I cradled the box in my lap as he drove me home and admired the picture on the box. I imagined pulling in stations from all over the world with my new acquisition.

When I installed the battery at home and tuned the FM dial, not a single station came in. I couldn't understand why. Randy was a few years older than I so he should know more about radio. My heart sank as I realized how wrong I was to take his uninformed advice.

I learned later that FM was just for local stations. The signals weren't reflected back down by the ionosphere as short wave signals were but could only be received directly. Some weather systems occasionally bent the waves back down but those only occur rarely.

All wasn't lost, however. I was able to pick up radio signals from Edmonton's local FM stations while on a shopping trip with my mom to that city. When I was sent back to Jericho Hill School in Vancouver that September, the variety of stations I tuned in amazed me. Even more surprising was that I could receive the sound of TV channel 6 from Victoria on my radio.

Though that mistake worked out fine in the end, I've been the victim of erroneous advice many times in my life. The worst misinformation I received was from a minister at a house church. I wrote about how God marvelously led me back to the truth in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Find out more about this wonderful testimony at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.