"In 2007 on the Fox News Channel, Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera went head-to-head in a debate over the deaths of two Virginia Beach girls, the result of them being hit by a drunk driver who was an illegal alien. The confrontation between the two men is now legendary as they heatedly shouted down each other with fingers aimed in faces.This example, I believe, is indicative of a growing problem in our nation. We have grown so divided and so suspicious of those who are on “the other side,” that we have largely lost focus of the issues, centering more on inconsiderate taunts or the belittling of our adversaries. Terms such as “left-wing whacko” or “right-wing fascist” have become commonplace, and they ultimately get us nowhere in terms of achieving real social/political resolutions.This is not the way people should be behaving in a civil society."
In fact, I had blogged about a few other Bill O'Reilly interviews where he had approached the other party in an abrasive and disrespectful way. One of those interviews was with Barney Frank. As sometimes happens with interviewers, Mr. O'Reilly spent a monologue asking him a question and then never let him answer. Though I don't agree with Barney Frank, I did sympathize with him in this instance. Mr. Frank did it right. He was, for the most part, respectful and gracious. This makes you look good and the other party appear to be the aggressor who is out for blood.
One man is taking a stand and organizing a response: The Civility Project.
"The Civility Project is not a call for people to surrender their personal beliefs or convictions, nor is it a call to limit free speech. It is simply an appeal to reason and respectful behavior among conservatives, liberals, moderates and all those in between as we debate and deliberate on the issues that face our nation.If you are tired of the hostile and often petty social/political environment in which we find ourselves today, I encourage you to join me in taking the Civility Pledge by visiting this website: http://www.civilityproject.org."
Though I have read the Bible cover to cover many times, and I have seen hundreds of scriptures where the Lord tells us how to communicate with one another, I have never seen anywhere where He tells us to shout others down the way society believes it is entitled to do these days.
"Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6
Shouting your adversary down does not change his mind or anyone else's who might be watching. It's akin to what I call "Screaming in a Deaf Man's Ear". He has no idea what you are talking about, but he knows one thing for sure: you are making him angry!
It takes much more skill to be an effective communicator these days. That's because we have allowed ourselves to lose sight of what the Lord tells us HUNDREDS of times in His Word. How we speak to each other is of vital importance, even over the words we use! The lost art of civility is only one in a long line of lost communication skills over the years. Communication is the key to understanding each other and without that, we are reduced to a bunch of Screaming Mimi's who affect no change but make valiant efforts at Screaming in a Deaf Man's Ear!
Will you join me in bringing civility back to the world? Will you learn the communication skills necessary to share your thoughts effectively? If you don't know where to begin, Art of Eloquence can help!
From JoJo’s Purple Crayon Learning Speech Communication Skills can ALSO be fun with Art of Eloquence!