Good evening dear reader & welcome to my world for another week. We are probably more responsive today than ever before, partly because we now have the tools to respond publicly to anyone or anything, & at any time we see fit. We can post, like, tweet, & retweet, & we are delighted to do so. We love to respond. No, we need to respond.
Sometimes a response is appropriate. Tragic & heart-breaking events happen, & seem to be happening at an increasing rate. It can be good & right to respond in a timely & truthful manner. But our compulsion to respond runs much deeper than pivotal events in society & culture.
What drives this need to respond to even the smallest of things? What fuels our itchy tweeting fingers & twitching lips? What drives our desire to have the last word? Though we might talk ourselves into believing in our own rightness & therefore the right to defend ourselves, our need to respond more likely comes from our inflated ego &/or our continuing need to justify ourselves.
You know the feeling. Someone brings something against you ~ an accusation, a criticism, a rebuke. They do something, say something, or insinuate something, & you, in return, feel compelled to return fire. It is a burning down deep in your gut. I must respond.
Unfortunately, when our response comes, it is often part & parcel with what has just been dealt to us. If it was anger, we respond in anger. If criticism, we respond with criticism of our own. If accusation, we respond with defensiveness. Whatever the case, we respond.
We feel the need to respond in such situations, in part, because we perhaps lack assurance & confidence. We do not know who we are, or at least we have not fully embraced the need for self-justification. If this truth had deeper roots in our hearts, we might be slower to speak.
So, what is it about us friends? We are often far more concerned with responding than knowing. We are much more focused on our next word than the heart which motivated the criticism or accusation. We forget, in a day & time of easy & cheap social interactions & confrontations, the ones on the other side of the tweet are actually people. If we knew who they were, we might be much slower to speak & quicker to hold our tongues & listen.
Concluding dear reader, if you find yourself enslaved to your next response, chained by the need to have the next & last word, join me in trying to focus & remain silent. If we simply refuse to listen for anything new, we may avoid the bad ideas, however, we may also miss out on ideas which help us. As we do, perhaps we will be reminded again of who we are.
Thank you friends for taking the time to be with me once again & I hope my journey may encourage you also. Until next weekend, this is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes & to you all, a splendid week.