To the Editor:
To the pundits of The MV Times: Emotional maturity, understanding, reasoning, and reality make for dull reading, but are far less annoying than reading the comments section of The MV Times.
It really is “unsafe” to say anything. That said, it is quite likely someone will take exception to that, as well. That does not mean you should not speak your mind. Orders, requests, directions, no matter what is said, there is a likelihood your words may cause a reaction other than intended. It is the risk of speaking out. The speaker’s goal is to be understood. An order not followed, a request denied, directions too confusing to follow could end in a refusal to comply or a message poorly sent, or perhaps not understood.
Communication is the art of being understood, as well as understanding.
Agree or disagree, the goal of communication is to be understood. Or is it? Persuasive speech is meant to influence, but it is not the motivation. Why anyone chooses to influence another is as simple or as complicated as the individual speaker. Why you say something is as important as what you say. It’s a peek through the window into the real person. You need to draw the shades, people.
Ironically, agreement between like minds shuts down communication almost immediately. What’s to say? We agree. There is nothing to learn. When we disagree, facts, statistics, opinions, beliefs, and our passions may be brought forth to defend our position, or attack the opposing one. This is when communication has actually really begun.
Our failure: when we cannot express our point, or we are not understood, we often hear we are being told, “You are wrong.” It is possible to be right and misunderstood, and it is possible to be understood and incorrect as well.
You may believe the sun revolves around the Earth, and to the casual observer, it may seem correct. If you cannot explain why it is not the case, or offer a more reasonable alternative, arguing is pointless. If you simply disagree and have no reason, remain quiet and do not “remove all doubt.”
True believers always default to “must have faith” as their foundation, and there can be no point in further discussion. If you do not share the same “faith,” nothing follows. It does not mean that you are right or wrong, just that the pretense of any reasonable discussion is off the table. There are many forms of demagoguery.
I have heard it said that statistics do not lie, but statisticians do. The precursor to fake news, I guess. A reasoned and clear presentation of what you believe and why too often is reduced to a person’s convictions. If you disagree and have no logical or reasonable explanation as to why, it is not facts you believe in. We make errors; that’s part of learning. The need to be right is how we stop.
I do not understand why many people think as they do. I have become annoyed and at times angry with the ignorant, entitled people whose opinion, compassion, and worldview end at a boundary mark. I have read the bumper sticker, and I have read the comments, and do not wish to “thank a teacher.” How to think is more important than how to write.
Please stop writing at each other. Go have coffee and a conversation.