Posts Tagged ‘false assumptions

21
Aug
14

Acrimoniously Yours

Civil Discourse-thumb-360x245-1046There’s nastiness on the tips of everyone’s tongues. Our language is more blatantly bitter, decidedly divisive, and our mouths runneth over with hate. The one thing hailed as separating us from animals, our speech, has devolved to its lowest form because its intent is to hate, not communicate. This allows our behavior to bypass thought and reason and tap directly into emotions such as rage and anger. Nothing good ever, in the history of mankind, comes from these places.

The world is slowly caving inward under the constrictive World Wide Web devoid of facts, tolerance, accountability, compassion, and truth. The Golden Rule is tarnished by people who don’t know how they want to be treated because they are so busy feeding their rage by hurting someone else.  Remember as children when we were taught to “Stop and think how you would feel if someone did that to you” and it taught us empathy and self-control?

I once had an employee who screamed at everyone all the time. Although it had been tolerated for years by prior management, when I came on board I could not allow this type of toxic language. When I asked the employee why they insisted on speaking in a hostile manner to customers and team members, they looked at me with complete bewilderment. Their answer: “That’s the way I talk to everyone, even at home!”

Are you losing your faith in humanity because you are surrounded by people who interpret “Do Tell” as “Do Spew”?  How can you exist as a peaceful, positive person in a world filled with rage? I have a couple of tips that I personally use in a valiant attempt to never let the bastards wear me down.

  1. Stop watching the news (local and global) on TV.
  2. Do not read blog posts/social media comments pertaining to local or international news.
  3. Do read books on critical thinking and/or communication. Thinking and speaking are two skills that are learned just like everything else and are honed with usage.
  4. Recognize that standards do not vacillate depending upon their application. If you begin talking to someone who advocates the same thing they are ranting about, cease communication.
  5. Present your facts from a point of humility, not of hostility, i.e., “it ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it.”
  6. Realize most people fixated on justice actually want revenge. Recognize the difference.
  7. Violence, yelling, ranting, beheading, looting, threatening, and mud-slinging never moved anyone over to see things your way.
  8. Just because someone is offended, doesn’t mean they are right.
  9. Quit tokin’ the hashtag pipe. Don’t try to stir things up with a tic-tac-toe sign. If you feel compelled to action, find something positive within your sphere that you can do to make a real difference in making the situation better.
  10. My new chant: Stop Venting! Start Relenting!

Thank you to those who diligently work to tame their own tongue and enhance their abilities to listen, reason, think, and act in a way that brings about a solution, not an exacerbation.

16
Apr
14

We all have a brain, but do we have the mind to use it?

83238_f520We may tout ourselves as the most technologically advanced, sentient beings in the history of mankind, but do we really use our minds when it comes to researching facts, formulating opinions, or even challenging our own previously held convictions?  In the modern world, opinions trump facts, disagreeing or debating has been ditched for demonizing, and civil discourse has become very uncivil indeed.  Ignoble ignoramuses repeat their talking points ad nauseum, to hell with the facts or consideration of someone else’s personal, religious, or even cultural convictions.

 

And because we believe that modern man is so technologically brilliant, we allow anything from any source to infiltrate our brains, without so much as a moment of pause for consideration. If we read it or hear it, we blindly support it, deny it, or obsessively regurgitate it. Facts used to mean something; not anymore. Anyone anywhere can create a platform to blast out their views regardless of the truth or the author’s motives. Words attached to a graphic meme have now become the gospel, and celebrities have replaced subject-matter experts. Swiping an electronic screen has replaced diligent research and trolling/name calling has replaced debating your point. Actions are represented either positively or negatively depending upon the reporter’s personal views. We are no longer a planet of independent thinkers but rather drones who are told—and who accept—who is right and who is wrong.

 

Remember when you were growing up and you were told not to believe everything you read or hear, and never to assume because it makes an ASS out of U and ME? Critical, pragmatic, and contrarian thinking has gone the way of the dinosaur. I am mortified by the things that are posted on social media or blogs and then endorsed by people who assume they are true simply because they saw them somewhere. Trust, but verify has been replaced by Trust, then vilify. After all, if I am offended by a viewpoint that does not align with my own regurgitation, it must be condemned!

 

The Foundation for Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as “…actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication…” The key words here are right at the very beginning: actively and skillfully. This implies that we make a conscious effort to understand and evaluate, and that we practice it habitually; but instead of honing our discernment, too many of us have settled for spoon-feeding. How can we all be better critical thinkers and begin to stem the tide of intellectual apathy?

  1. Consider the source: Are you reading the Washington Times or the National Enquirer? Where do the stories that get passed around on the Internet come from? Why is an expert qualified to speak in his or her area of expertise? It’s imperative to think carefully about the source of your information. If there is no basis for credibility, ignore it. We hear a lot about the difficulty of finding unbiased news. The truth of the matter is that it’s very difficult to report the news in a completely unbiased fashion. That’s where critical thinking comes in.
  2. Think about the issue: Never believe a word you hear or read without doing your homework. We can defeat the repetition of falsehoods by gathering information from several sources, thinking about it from a multitude of angles, and synthesizing it into a unified whole. Hopefully, you’ve surrounded yourself with people whom you consider to be smart and rational, the ones who can distill the hype down to the real meat of the issue. Ask them to synthesize the points being discussed as an objective frame of reference. And then carefully take a look at them to see if they make sense to you!
  3. Draw Your Conclusions: It may seem like it goes without saying, but we really do need to put all of the pieces together and form a conclusion about the topic at hand. Too many of us allow our threads of thought to trail off without tying them up. Discipline yourself to form cohesive and well-thought-out conclusions about the important topics of the day based upon careful gathering and analysis of credible sources of information. And never forget that your conclusion must be congruent with your core set of values and convictions, otherwise you’ll be a double-minded man, unsteady in all his ways, and speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

 

All of which leads us to the simple but profound question: What do you think? If you rigorously follow these guidelines you’ll be surprised at how rapidly you will improve your understanding of important issues, along with your ability to really discuss them—not just state your position—spontaneously and with authority. And remember, once you rise to a higher level of thinking, you will definitely stand out from the masses. This can make you a target for imbeciles. Don’t indulge them in arguments. As the good book says, When arguing with fools, don’t answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are. (Proverbs 26:4)Think critically! Each of us has a brain; we just need the mind to use it.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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