I just listened to Montel Williams on a morning news show.
Now I know very little about Montel Williams except he’s a TV celebrity and because he is from the Hollywood liberal community, I would imagine that he’s has other views I wouldn’t agree with. But he said something really interesting this morning about the recent remarks by Donald Trump that we should “ban Muslims from entering this country until we get everything figured out.”
I’m a conservative through and through but if Donald Trump becomes the Republican Presidential candidate, well, I may just have to move to another country.
Anyway, what Montel Williams said, in effect, was that it’s no surprise that Trump is so popular, when you consider the popularity of reality shows. (I’ve never watched one, never will).
Hmmm. Interesting, huh?
Then he went on to make a comparison between the two.
Reality shows appeal to the basest trait in people. The fact that millions of people watch shows that highlight people acting like children, throwing furniture, yelling and shouting, using vile language, having temper tantrums, spewing hate and bigotry, ………Well, if you feed yourself a steady diet of that, you’re going to love Trump.
Then l thought about the remarks that people make on Facebook.
Instead of expressing opinions in a polite and well-spoken manner, inflammatory language is used. Everyone is “offended” and “ticked off” about something. No one engages in well-thought-out and civil discussions.
And the circle of anger and divisiveness continues.
This kind of language shows a lack of mastery of the English language.
Remember, just because a person is offended by something, doesn’t make them right. Somehow, that little fact escapes most people.
Let’s face it, most people, including myself at times, just don’t think before they speak.
We need to use “precise” language. We need to search for the right words.
We should ask ourselves:
Is it kind?
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
That doesn’t mean we can’t express anger but once we “precisely” express what we are angry about, we need to be willing to listen to opposing views. If it turns into a shouting match, we’ve accomplished nothing.
And sometimes, expressing our anger isn’t even necessary.
Someone said something to me recently that upset me. I thought about responding and then thought again. I let it go. If it is said again, I will address it. But I have allowed myself some time so hopefully I will use the appropriate words.
It’s OK for Donald Trump to express his views but his outrageous, hateful rhetoric certainly doesn’t lead to the healing we need in our country.
So with all the above as the steady diet of millions of America, is it any wonder that the divisive remarks by Trump find support by so many? No one should be surprised by Trump’s popularity; it fits right in with atmosphere that surrounds us.
I would challenge us today, (you noticed I said “us”) to change the words we use.
It’s really that simple. Just change our words. Finesse the English language.
We can express our views. We can even express our angry views. I’m all for that.
Jesus certainly did. Sometimes our anger is most appropriate but let’s remember, we’re not Jesus. Jesus simply stated the facts. And don’t forget, he was willing to suffer the consequences of his words.
Let’s practice language that, whether it leads to common ground or not, at least doesn’t make it worse.
God bless and have a good day.