I remember the days when the kids were all little and there were several cousins and/or friends over, playing. Normally they would be outside, but on rainy days, they were cooped up inside. The decibel level was off the charts in the house on those days! While I have always loved the sound of kids at play, there would inevitably come a point in the day when I craved a break. The quiet moments were easy to achieve back then. By calling a time-out, or bribing them with popsicles and pudding I could get a welcome respite from the frenzy. I cherished it.
The noise that assaults my senses now is not from rambunctious children. It comes from the “talking heads” on the TV news, and the rantings on the Facebook and other social media outlets. It just never seems to turn off, does it?
The odious cacophony coming from politicos seeking election, the pummeling of rantings and half- truths constantly in our social media streams all seek to convince us that their voice is THE voice, the only one worthy of being heard. I feel that the louder and more obnoxious the voices become, the less anyone listens. Even if I agree with what is being introduced, I don’t want to read or listen because of the manner in which the subject is broached. I try to tune it out, to scroll past it all as I lurk, searching for the feel-good posts of kids and puppies.
The disturbing result of the banshee-like posts is the deafening sound of silence. Unlike the covetous quiet that ensues when the graceless masses are shushed, I fear the silence of the righteous and level-headed is interpreted as a thunderous roar of acquiescence to those boorish mouthpieces.
While there are times when silence is indeed, golden, there are times when it is harmful. It is time for the well-spoken among us to speak up and be heard. There are serious issues in our society, and very quick changes afoot. Where is the voice of the majority? The tide of acceptable behavior is being turned by the smallest of rudders, while the anchor is ignored.
Why don’t we hear from those that know how to string together a grammatically correct sentence and present it in a clear, concise manner? I find that I am one of the guilty, just rolling my eyes and making my case in my own head, unheard by those that need to listen.
Contrary to what one may think, I don’t maintain my silence because I am afraid of criticism or of the challenge of a different opinion, or even of being verbally attacked by those that think differently than I. I find that I am silent because I don’t wish to be baited into battle. But, while I am weary, I do think we need to stand up and be counted.
Years ago when the health curriculum at one of my children’s school got way too sexually oriented and explicit, I went to the teacher, principal and other parents, and, collectively, our voice was heard and the curriculum modified to a more age-appropriate learning experience. We didn’t rant or scream; we presented our case in a non-threatening manner, well-thought out, and articulated exactly what we wanted to say, making a clear and concise point. We got their attention and they listened. They didn’t all agree, but they respected what we said because we were non-confrontational and well-versed on the subject. We did our homework before we opened our collective mouths, and it paid off.
I have seen two videos the last two days explaining the changes to the health and family curriculum in the public schools in two different States. I have not verified the validity of either video, so I won’t go into details here, but it has been suggested that the school boards have acted against the will of the parents to introduce new courses to the children concerning sexually explicit content. If this is true, the battle is even more than the one I fought all those years ago. While I faced everything at a local level, today’s issues are fought on a world-wide battlefield, a tangled web, indeed. It will take more than the voices of the local parents. It will take us all. Woefully, this is only one example.
I am, indeed, tired of the rantings on social media, in the news and so many other outlets. I don’t listen to them, but I do hear them. My silence does not indicate my agreement with them, or my total ignorance of the situation; it simply means I have chosen thus far not to engage. I think now it is time to be heard. It’s time to pay attention and have the conversations. The future of our children’s children depend on it. I feel it is our reasonable service.
What is the topic that is bothering you most right now? Go ahead—I’m listening.
“A word fitly spoken (is like) apples of gold in pictures of silver”. Prov. 25:11