Monday, August 15, 2016

Easy Outrage: When Hearts Grow Cold

We live in a society where people get outraged far too easily. Some things truly are worthy of outrage, but when outrage is the foundational orientation . . . 
Honestly, I think this outrage-orientation is one of the most insidious and alarming aspects of our society (fueled by one-sided, 24/7 media programs (on both - or multiple - sides of every issue that are focused on stoking outrage for ratings and the attendant profit) - and I think it is a manifestation of the concept of hearts growing cold and real charity being lost. When we don't even try to listen to those whose views are different than ours, with real intent to understand and respect (even when we still don't agree), we lose an important part of our humanity. 
I could have gained a quality education from professors at a lot of institutions, but the students at Harvard gave me a deep respect for people who saw the world differently than I did - and a deep respect for their views, even when understanding and respect didn't create agreement. In a real way, they gave me the world. 
I try hard not to fall into that trap, but I have not been entirely successful lately while posting on Facebook - not so much in what I post, since there truly hasn't been real outrage for me in those posts, but rather in how I have reacted a few times to respondents who appear outraged and derail the posts completely. I have committed to practice better what I preach - so if all someone wants to do is argue, with no attempt at understanding and respect, please understand if I ignore their comments and/ or simply don't continue to engage. 
Hopefully, that won't happen often; hopefully, we can converse civilly and respectfully. However, if that is not possible, I will try harder to respect everyone by not perpetuating and fostering increased outrage.

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