Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Friday, July 8, 2016

Whispers of truth

 Yesterday, following a posting, an old friend of mine pointed out something to me. She was of the opinion that I had engaged in the use of vitriol. Now, vitriol is not a word I hear or apply often but I am familiar with its' meaning. Had I used cruel and bitter language in that posting ? I had to concede that I had. I chastised myself for engaging in such and assured her I will attempt to better censor myself. I have been considering such ever since. That is what discussion and friends are for, to awaken the thought process a little bit every now and again. I wrote what I wrote out of frustration and anger. It was indeed vitriol ! I had attempted to justify those words by claiming them to all to be truth. The facts were truthful but the method of delivery was cruel and bitter. It was also pointed out that my vitriol was directed at one more so than another. In doing so I had given tacit support to the opposition. That was not my intention and so I had failed myself.
 Times have changed and so too the way we communicate. I have written about this before. Our choice of words and the manner of delivery have become more harsh. Often our manner of speech is nothing short of vitriol ! The use of expletives, often of a crude and offensive nature, is a commonplace thing. You hear that language on the playground nowadays. It seems to me a great deal of a certain genre of music relies solely on that. It is excused as social commentary. All of this is a result of frustration and anger. I was frustrated and angry and fell into that same pattern. Is it justified ? The truth is, it is not. Emotions are not good decision makers ! Emotions are fleeting things prone to revision. Emotions may fuel passion and passion results in a heightened awareness. Emotions can not sustain passion forever. Belief is what sustains our passions. The words we choose to express those beliefs define our character. I don't want to be cruel and bitter. It is something I must guard against.
 There are times when I feel like you must shout louder than the rest to be heard. Gaining the attention of others is not a passive thing. Something often misquoted is Teddy Roosevelt saying " walk softly but carry a big stick. " What he actually said was, speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far. He said this in referring to the policy of the Monroe doctrine. It was an old axiom even in his day or so he claimed. What it, or Roosevelt was really saying was to be non aggressive but be prepared to back up your actions. Today we engage in a lot of sabre rattling as a matter of course. We certainly don't speak softly ! Our willingness to respond with decisive actions has certainly changed. Terrorism is the weapon of choice in the modern world. Limited engagement and police actions. Violence is seldom the answer, but at times the only response. Vitriol almost always precedes violent behavior.
 Now, I'm not feeling violent, just angry. I am frustrated by recent events and the perceived direction the nation is going. My concern lies in the survival of our nation as I remember it being. As we age we tend to want our child and grandchildren to enjoy the same liberties that we enjoyed. It isn't something that is an everyday conscience effort. It is just that one day we wake up and see the changes. Changes can be unsettling and at times disturbing. It is then that we begin to speak up. If we are not careful we end up shouting. Shouts will gain you attention but it will only be momentary. Once silenced you are forgotten about. But whispers have accomplished more than shouts ever have.  That is why we should speak softly. Patience is a virtue. Whispers of truth are more powerful than the shouts of the ignorant. I thank my friend for making me realize that once again, a reminder. We all need that now and again.