Categories: Politics
Find me on Google+

I’m not one to need a silent classroom, but every so often my class of students would get a bit too loud. Two or three times, without thinking about it, I would say, in a very raised voice, “BE QUIET!!!”  And then I’d laugh at myself. In trying to get the room to be quieter I’d added quite a bit to the noise. Not really the most efficient way to go about doing things.

I thought about this yesterday with the media world buzzing menacingly right now. There’s a whole lot of unsubstantiated finger pointing going on that looks a lot like “YOU EXPLETIVE! STOP YOUR EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE VITRIOL!!” (because vitriol is the word of the week). Which is often followed by an explanation about how open minded and civil the speaker is.

It’s like beating someone up so they’ll be nice. Is it really solving anything? Or is it just yelling in a noisy room?

One shared thought about BE QUIET!!!

  1. Brett says:

    Great points. The best way to combat vituperation (I am also looking for substitutes for “vitriol”) is not to engage in it, which can be highly difficult. When you realize that your level-headed, calm, and perfectly reasonable attempt to communicate is being drowned out by the angry, damaging, caustic noise coming from your opponent, the temptation is to do whatever it takes to be heard, which too often involves elevating your tone and lowering yourself, both to his level. I’m really working hard on the “big picture,” which is that the people who attack rather than talk usually do so because they have nothing better — and they know it. If we really have the moral high-ground, it will be abundantly evident after the whirlwind of anger and criticism dies down and we are still standing emotionally detached and unaffected. That’s where real power lies, but in the short term it sometimes requires taking a couple punches and bouncing back. :brett:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

smile big grin lol joy wink tongue sideways silly pouty sad crying surprised shock unsure huh cool pinched annoyed whistle w00t sleep sick angry read love kiss heart check computer lightbulb game pacman sun moon star snow cactus daisies pansy elephant penguin turtle butterfly bird cow owl apple pencil party car tractor run infertility