Sticks and Stones…AND Words…Can Hurt!

Arthur Schopenhauer opined that the three stages of TRUTH seem to be “Ridicule”, then “Violent Opposition” and finally “Acceptance”. To arrive at that conclusion involves quite a lot of living with and among other human beings.  And although truth cannot be hurried, occasionally it falls upon one’s noggin like an apple bopping Isaac Newton into sensible, reasoning logic. Well, duh.

Mark Parker, a fellow writer, spoke recently of the need for and the pitfalls of offering thoughts via well-structured sentences and logical, ascendant paragraphing. Composition takes years to master and requires a heart filled with the necessity and the urgency to communicate. It is an illness–a MENTAL illness, the very best kind of affliction. Why the best?  The implication that thinkingquite undeniably mental, is involved during successful communication efforts, and THINKING, however it’s voiced, ought not to be scoffed at except by those who seldom give THAT particular exercise, i.e. thinking,  a try.

Amusing to HEAR:  “Not good journalism” or “Lengthiness loses one’s audience” or “Naughty you, for employing sentence fragments”.  It’s even more edifying to LISTEN for sub-conscious messages which fall between those same acerbic lines and to hunt for the twinges of resentments buried quasi-deeply within the criticisms. “You’re brave enough to write your thoughts down, and I am not” and “Journalism NEEDS to be boring and cowardly and rote and deadening and always concise and often non-committal and must always cater to those who pay for advertising” and “Sentence fragments are too poetic and free-spirited and expressive, thus one must follow the RULES and strive for anal-retentiveness.”

Simply wondering, and BTW so did Duke Ellington, WHY some folks wish to “tear the seams of anyone’s dreams”?  Have you noticed that everybody’s a writer–a commentator–a critic–these days?  Too much exposure to hate-talk-radio, instant continuous news, screeching panel discussions, town meetings, press conferences, televised OR casually occurring street-corner DEBATES,  jabber-jawing all around the town, Facebook posts, texting, twits tweeting, graffiti posing as informed expertise ?  We are all so inundated…and drowning and combative and floundering and at the same time reaching out for one another–to connect.  We are worse than chattering monkeys.  We make less sense, as a matter of fact.  No one’s above reproach on that score.

Most everybody wishes to be heard in one “forum” or another…but few are willing to listen.

Offering ideas, solutions, and concerns as well as encouraging and welcoming participation from all, as we move through life, would benefit the human race and facilitate improvements, harmony, practical legislation, peaceful resolutions, the demise of name-calling!  Aligning ourselves into vainglorious, closed-minded camps of cult-thinking is the first step toward tribal warfare. Evolution seems stuck in time right now–and nobody can reach down and pull us from the primordial mud and slime. Only WE can rescue US.  Goals?  Stop promising to pray on behalf of all of the rest of humanity…to one God…in an elitist, exclusionary ceremony while shielding a secret password. Quit aspiring to smooth transition to heaven while trampling on the life-styles, the heart-beats, the pursuit of happiness by others–man or beast.  Cease ignoring or demeaning or destroying other forms of life which seem to be blocking one’s SELF-ish straight-shot path to the pearly gates.

We are not only drawing lines in the sand–we are diving into those suffocating granules head-first and stubbornly remaining on our own side of those battle lines, until we amass our troops, refusing to budge. Immobile.

Tough to breathe. Impossible to see clearly. Hearing impairment proliferates. Tasting defeat. Light-years away from touching the face of any God. 

We have forgotten how to speak, with any understanding or patience or tolerance, face to face with those right in front of us. The ability to listen is a lost art.  Perhaps language, whether a miraculous gift or a meaningless invention by “just another” species labeled “Homo sapiens”, is a tool–not a weapon–that we have yet to master. 

We seem to be hurling damaging epithets when our words, whether written or spoken, degenerate into slashing sticks and Biblical stones from which no creature–living or dead–is safe.  Now, let’s take a short-cut toward acceptance of the truth of the matter.

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