To Ease a Crisis You Need to Suspend the Drama
Have you noticed the hysteria in our headlines lately? Everything is a crisis. Not only is the sky falling, it’s emitting catastrophic earth-warming waves as it does so. People are stabbing, robbing, chasing, kidnapping, torturing, mangling, and pummeling each other. And when caught, they demand their rights.
Others, less violent but no less hysterical, lie, steal, slander, cheat, and take whatever they can get to improve their lot in life. The shouting and screaming that erupts from offended ones is deafening. And these are just the stories that make the news.
Has everyone gone mad?
There’s been a lot written about video games and television violence and how they have contributed to a terrible and growing disregard for human life. Are they also to blame for our cavalier attitudes, cut-throat behaviors, and stupid, rude speech? “The Apprentice,” as an example, certainly doesn’t represent character or dignity. It celebrates raw competition and forgives venomous invectives from people who get fired. There’s nothing held back; nothing left to the imagination.
Here’s a challenge. If you want to be truly powerful and effective, suspend the drama. Grab your wits and hold onto them. Same for your tongue. Engage your brain in what’s happening and try to understand why. Withhold your opinion until it’s informed. Listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they, too, have their story. (Thanks, Desiderata.) Control yourself even if—especially if—others are baiting you. Here are a few other common sense truths to consider:
Shouting does not raise a person’s IQ.
Rudeness does not equate to power.
Drama does not lend credibility or create priority.
Punching, stabbing, shooting, or otherwise using violence does not constitute superiority or courage.
Smart-ass remarks do not signify intelligence.
An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.