“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Plato
I may regret writing this post. I may say something that will be misinterpreted or come off as holier than thou. I may appear pompous or just plain ignorant, depending on how you think. The truth is most of us have said something which has hurt another – led them astray – caused them to second guess themselves – cut them like a knife. Our intentions were not to do any of that, but when we put our words out there, without thinking first, we’re setting ourselves up for a fall.
People in the public eye are often in situations where they feel the need to address something they feel strongly about. They have a captive audience after all. The movie stars who use an awards ceremony to state their personal opinions, are a good example of this. I’m not saying this is exclusive to public figures. It’s something that’s become a way of life lately.
Our kids slam other kids. Our teachers, in frustration, might say something that inhibits a child’s growth in a certain area. Parents are not immune. Couples argue. Doctors don’t always use a good bedside manner. In the heat of a moment, we’ve all been guilty of things we shouldn’t say. That doesn’t excuse any of it.
Thhe tongue, when not controlled, can become deadly. Bullying in our schools as well as the work place is on the rise, even though steps have been taken to put a lid on it. Are we not teaching our children to care about others and their feelings? Are we depending on social media to raise them? Are we becoming numb as a whole, because everyone else is doing it? Are we simply becoming unfeeling, uncaring, selfish human beings?
It seems to me that any kind of degeneration in a civilization takes place slowly. Now we are faced with a problem that’s been growing over decades. Unfortunately this age of technology feeds it. As this uncaring nature devolves, it eventually molds us into thinking it’s normal.
I’m sick of people bashing my president. I’m weary of our nation taking a hit by its own people. I’m disgusted when I see people I admire on the big screen, come out and use every opportunity to speak their piece. They never stop to think how their influence will affect someone else’s thinking. I’m also fed up with those who will not accept that our president was duly elected by the people of the United States. They use social media to voice their hatred and disdain. The public forum has gotten too big and now our words can go viral in a second. That is precisely why we need to be more thoughtful in our speech. We have the right to voice our opinion, but not to use every opportunity to spew hatred.
Not one of us is perfect in this area. Sometimes we do it with the spoken word, the written word, our influence, our status. The point is, we all do it. We speak before we think. The movie stars, the journalists, the politicians, those in power positions and all the rest of society, need to put ourselves on the back burner and concentrate on what effect our words are having.
We’ve been blessed with the right to express our opinions, but even then, we need to be careful how we express them. If our speech is negative, we need to shut up and listen instead. Maybe we do that anyway.