19 Oct Are we better listeners than 100 years ago?
This post is not about “freedom of speech” rights, it is about us “the society” and “humans”, where do we stand, how tolerant are we, how open to listening things we don’t like or agree with. How do we respond to messages we are not comfortable with.
I want to leave you with a question. Have we evolved, gone backward or are we just the same we have always been (think 10, 30, 50, 100, 150 years ago) when it comes to listening, judging, punishing others for their way of expressing themselves?
Now to the story, I was listening to “The daily” a podcast from the New York Times. I was catching up on a few episodes and in one of those episodes, the guy being interviewed said something that resonated true and disturbing to me.
I’m not quoting here, it is more along the lines of freestyle paraphrasing “I am sorry that I can’t actually say everything I think about this because I am afraid that one wrong word (no matter the general meaning of what I’m saying) can end my career” and I wonder, Is that what we have come down to as a society? The analyzes of any discourse performed word by word vs. considering the meaning first?
If the above is true and it is sad just to have to consider the possibility, then we have to start thinking that potentially fewer people will want to talk and exchange ideas, thoughts, concepts..etc. There is going to be self-censorship because you can never make everyone happy, it is the nature of things and if it is your livelihood and good name at risk for such a small thing like a word that made someone unhappy, then why to risk it… most souls will think.
We have to also acknowledge that sometimes going neutral with words take away from the spirit of the message, therefore the person who normally would want to communicate a concept might decide that if he or she has to use “neutral” terminology that has been previously proven not to offend anyone, better say nothing. The terrible consequence is that we might all be missing out in a great idea or a golden nugget of wisdom.
The road to hell is said to be paved with good intentions. People trying to do the right thing in the worse possible way. But wouldn’t you rather have people make mistakes than not try at all? Wouldn’t you rather hear what everyone has to say in their own words and make an effort to understand or ask them to explain differently what they mean vs. “if you don’t talk my way I don’t want to hear it”?
Another thought that crossed my mind based on my own life experience is; Are we simply looking for excuses to get angry with one another? I noticed in myself that when I get fired up by a word, is not really the word or what the person is trying to convey. It is a deep rage born from what most likely is an unrelated event. I am looking for an opportunity to get offended so I can lash out. It has nothing to do with the message or the individual. He/she is just giving me an excuse.
What do you think? How do you feel about this? Make your own opinion!
#youropinion #think #useyourbestjudgement #freedomosspeech #tolerant #intolerant #dontlashout