Let’s Talk

I can’t help but wonder sometimes if we are losing the fine art of communication, talking to brainstorm with one another, come up with ideals or suggestions, even asking good questions.

I guess the ‘midnight event’ from this past evening has me broadly pondering if we needlessly put ourselves in certain situations because we don’t care to communicate without argument?

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t discuss politics with the general public and will not engage, but I do question other views, solely for clarification of understanding, not judgment or argument. Others chose not to see them as questions but as ignorance, attitude, uneducated. That may all be well and true but it in no way stops my quest to see another side of the story. I can’t help the interest in someone else’s views because I do see it as a learning experience and a good one, also.

Then we get down to those who have a beef about something and see you as wrong, whereby proceeding to take any and all forms of hostility, name-calling, insults to a new level. And this is adults, lots of times people we look up to for religious and/or spiritual reasons, or because we know someone who can clearly think outside of the box, or even those with a certain amount of power to ‘guide’ us along.

It makes me wonder……a lot.

Here on the Eastern Shore, in our little rural area that’s been pretty self-sufficient for thousands of years, we’re in the process of getting not one, but two Wal-Marts. Wal-Mart is generally not a problem for me because my life does not include Wal-Mart for personal reasons, a choice I have lived with for years and it works for me. However, those personal reasons caused me to question if Wal-Mart WOULD be a benefit to our Shore and our people.

So I asked. For opinions. Explained to all I was looking for viable information so I could see how the general population of the area felt. I wanted to know if, in the long run, would having this store be a benefit to our people? I’m always willing to see another point of view. I expected some cross-overs from those that consider those type questions ignorant or uneducated. What I did not expect was the insults, the derogatory words from those who chose to put anger in their opinions, the bashing of people because the same view was not shared.

It seems we’ve degraded the art of communication to the level of insults or hate, to the point that sometimes it seems better to keep your mouth shut and appear the idiot instead of speaking to learn. The only dumb question is the one not asked. Right?

The fact is, it’s going to take an awful lot of help to get people back to proper communication and addressing any issue. The one thing that always comes to mind when I speak, or ask is “Answer the question.” It’s not that hard if you really think about it. Answering the question doesn’t show ignorance, it shows the want and ability to learn and/or see another point of view. It does not mean you have to agree with it. It’s not a classroom where you’re getting a grade – it’s real life.

I recently heard a friend sum it all up nicely. “It’s hard to carry on a conversation when you’ve just been insulted.”

Maybe we should try a little harder to be responsible in our conversations with family, friends, leaders. Otherwise, we will never get anything accomplished as long as we’re riding on the ‘bandwagon of insult.’

More importantly, don’t stop asking questions!

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