Monday, September 30th, 2013
RANT N CANT
I have been out and about more than usual lately given that recluse has become my default position.
I have been with friends and colleagues and family and clients and new acquaintances. Red, blue, young, old, mostly all intelligent and nice.
Still I am stuck in small talk unless I want a personal Homeland Security Guard to protect me in conversation. If I throw out hot words like Syria, Obamacare, gun, God, 1%, Palestine/ Israel— (fill in your own taboo of choice) there spews a sudden Mount Vesuvius of words. Even from quite reserved types. Blah Blahddy blah blahddy blah. I am seared. My hands are up in front of my face.
And this is with people I know and like.
So many beyond strong opinions. So many words and phrases used over and over again depending which side of the opinion track you live on. Such narrow ditches have been dug to protect these opinions from being accessible to new possibilities. So defended.
I am talking about people on almost any side of the hot topics of our day.
One word and the result feels like pressing a button to dispense a cup of ranting and raving.
I don’t trust any strong black or white opinion–at least not for making decisions and taking action.
The more simple the argument gets the more I don’t believe it.
And I am not an easy person to shut up.
And I am not wish washy.
But I am getting quieter and quieter and quieter.
Beaten down my the anvil of already formed opinion.
And when I work to be informed and open, the complexity of most hot issues is what strikes me.
The patience and time it would take to get clear and then converse.
The seemingly insurmountable task of creating open space to think together.
If I ran a “salon”, I would ask six violently opposed (easy) people to come together (harder).
Three on one side and three on the other of their favorite rant topic.
I would have them give 3 things to read to their co-thinkers/opposition.
That would be the common ground of fact and rationale.
Then I would ask them to define the core dilemma and create an approach for its resolution. Only silence or agreement with points made could be used to work, talk and think their way to new resolution.
Does the word “hysterical” ring a bell? “Uncontrolled extreme emotion”!
The world needs a nap or a big time out til it can take part in the big people’s table as adults.
Lest this become rant, I’m going to work at getting in behind the wall of rant n cant this week. Asking for more depth to understand, being curious about the fear behind the rigid opinion and assuming goodwill as I listen. Dieting would be easier.