“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
When we speak, do we speak for ourselves as individuals, or do we speak for our tribe. We all belong to some tribal allegiance and much of what we have to say is not original thought but defense of our tribe. We belong to the political tribe, the ideological tribe, the gender tribe, the race tribe, the religious tribe and the list goes on. We see the world through the lens of our belief structures and so we communicate to others through this lens.
From an early age we are bombarded with information from parents, educators, media and most of us just accept the information that best fits into our uninformed view of the world. We grow up with certain ” truths ” ingrained into our consciousness and then later in life we repeat these axioms without really having discerned their meaning or grappled with the reality of the words.
I find it very healthy to be suspicious of the words of politicians, religious clergy and institutional educators as they all speak for their tribe and wish to lure you in to a particular ideology. I am not saying they are wrong in their speech, but are coming from an extremely bias point of view, and it is important to take pause and think their comments through. It is also important to hear all sides of a discussion before reaching any conclusion on the subject matter. Which is why free speech is so important. The politically correct norms of to day inhibit free speech as people are deemed too fragile to hear any offensive statements.
The advent of social media, particularly video editing, has been the greatest detriment to a full and honest conversation. Conversations on main street media are edited and manipulated to achieve the desired results of the broadcaster. One famous case was that of Nicholas Sandmann. a white 16 year old Catholic, wearing a red MAGA hat and returning from a pro life rally. Video emerged of him appearing to confront a native American elder, ex Vietnam vet Nathan Phillips, who was beating his drum and chanting in the middle of a native ceremony. Sandmann was accused of racism and obnoxious behavior by all the main street media and the videos went viral. It turns out that as more videos were released it was the native elder who was the perpetrator. He deliberately walked towards the group of Catholic school kids waiting for their bus after the pro life rally and beat his drum into Nicholas Sandmann’s face, while other members of his group taunted the school kids to go back to their own counties as this was native american land. Nicholas Sandmann and his young companions had shown admirable restraint, for teenagers, in not responding to these taunts. It was later discovered that the native elder was not a Vietnam vet and had a controversial past. Nicholas Sandmann won an out of court legal suit against CNN and his lawyers are suing other main street media for $millions. Don’t trust the media.
Always listen twice. First what’s being said then who said it. Good advice. So, in fairness, I should point out some of my own views, for you to discern if they come from a credible source.
I am a Cultural Catholic and Conservative.
I do not believe climate change is a consequence of human action but the natural evolution of this planets elliptical orbit around the sun, and the sun around the universe. I do believe we need to clean up our planet, but that is a matter of cleanliness not climate change.
I am pro life and do not believe in abortion. I do not believe that a fetus is just a bunch of cells like your appendices, but a potential life.
I believe gender is a biological not a social construct and do not believe in gender reassignment for children.
I am a really big fan of Jordan B. Peterson a University of Toronto professor and author of 12 rules for life.
Thank you for reading.