My social media friend Carol Hopkins posted a quote from Rumi on FB today that reads:
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
Now Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, and apparently a pretty smart guy. I imagine if they had televisions back then he would have cautioned us to turn them off.
In fact, I effectively turned mine off after the 2016 election. I decided I would not be able to watch mainstream TV, especially the news, without losing many of my now diminishing years to aggravation and frustration, and I didn’t want to break my new TV in a fit of anger either. I had, after all, just treated myself to a nice one in honor of having survived my second divorce. I may have walked away with nothing, but now I had a nice TV. Progress? I’m not so sure. 😊
But back to Rumi – that saying is true wisdom.
Be thoughtful. Choose your words carefully. Use your intellect. And employ the gentle art of persuasion.
Apparently, not enough people have heard or practice this wisdom. In particular, it seems that news and commentary, and the unilog on social media, have all deteriorated into little more than a shouting match.
I use the word “unilog” because people seem to be talking only to hear themselves speak. They are not listening to anyone else, or engaging in an actual two-way discussion. Nor are they thoughtfully considering other viewpoints. It’s more like they are trying to convince themselves. And it seems that some feel that who ever screams the loudest is the winner. And to scream on the net,
YOU HAVE TO PUT EVERYTHING IN CAPS AND USE EXCLAMATION POINTS !!!!!
I remember someone who used to send every one of her emails at work like this. But if everything is considered IMPORTANT then nothing really can be.
Anyway, Rumi’s quote made me think of an old expression I heard in law school as it pertains to arguing legal cases in court. That saying goes kind of like this:
If the facts are on your side, you argue the facts. If the law is on your side, you argue the law. If neither is on your side, you pound on the podium and yell real loud.
Now that’s what I see on news shows, talk shows, AND SOCIAL MEDIA (!!!) – people have little to support their positions, they are just trying to out-yell one another. If they think the loudest one wins, well, all I can say is it merely shows that they are all idiots.
Thoughts? Civil thoughts, that is? 😊
Photo: The Great Horned Owl. The Owl has long been a symbol of wisdom. Some say higher wisdom. Others, silent wisdom because of the Owl’s ability to fly without making any noise at all. I picked this picture because there is a lot to say for being silent. For pausing before entering a discussion. For consulting wise sources before speaking. And for speaking softly.
The pic is not perfect. It has a bit of blur factor. But that is because taking this image was tough. I had to put my camera on a tripod to try to eliminate my own hand movement from blurring the subject. I discovered that, once on the tripod, the simple action of me pressing the shutter moved the camera enough to blur the photo. So I set it up with a ten second timer, so my movements had no effect on the camera. Of course, I couldn’t control the wind, or the Owl. And those movements were unpreventable.
But I still think it’s beautiful.
Similar to discussions we may have involving opposing viewpoints, not all will be perfect. There may be blurring of facts and positions. It may be difficult to overcome preconceptions and prejudice. But there is no reason to become uncivil. Anger and noise do not carry the day.