This comment was by MediaHound, in reply to Mark, on the post “Lobbing Grenades Is Easy. Forming Bridges is Hard. Do the Hard Work.”
“Its important to be aware that conversations are not just about content, they are about tone and about process. One can be theoretically right about something they are saying and at the same time shut the people down they are speaking to.”
People shutting down is a two sided issue. Some wish to shut others down and some wish to be shut down. It all too often comes down to how language is apprehended on different sides.
In mapping out events round here, it’s fascinating to see who was attempting to shut down who and by use of which words. The processes applied and even the Social Engineering Involved.
I remember one heated debate on the subject of Buddhism (not here on GMP by the way) – two sides each claiming superior knowledge on a particular aspect which was the fulcrum of discord. They spoke to a long standing Buddhist leader, academic and teacher. His response, you are both right and both wrong – you have missed the bigger picture. One group heard the word “right” and the other the word “wrong” – and both missed the bigger picture. The debate between the two factions continues, and the rest of the Buddhist world has adopted the bigger picture. P^)
As I am often heard to say “Words Are A Very Poor Tool For Communication”. People will hear words and apprehend them from their own frame of reference, and they will also use words the same way. That all too often leads to words being used as munitions, apprehended as munitions and treated as munitions.
It even leads to people who hear such comments saying that those who seek to Transcend words are misguided, foolish, idiotic and so the use of munitions goes on. P^)
I love to invert the way words are used to see what meanings come out. “All Men Are Rapists”, is a phrase I have heard often as a generic. It’s a from of stopping language, a linguistic obstacle and a “Thought Terminating Cliché”. I asked one user if they were married – the response was “yes”. When I asked if her husband was a rapist I was called mad, foolish and even labeled MRA. She did also make it clear that the generic most specifically excluded her husband, yet she also failed to Transcend the language she was using and blamed others when the error and misuse was questioned, shutting down any possible dialogue that may address a Frame Of Reference that was being used and explosive words that were hurled about. It has ever been thus!
If some wish to shut down that is a choice they make – if some wish to view others as attempting to shut them down that is also a choice – the words used are also choices – and behind all of the munitions and frames of reference is intent and all the choices used to construct that !
Some have the Intent to hold to a very fixed view point – some have the intent of seeing the issues from many diverse view points with a view to Transcendence. When some are shown the inverse and even the Obverse of what they have said you get a range of responses from words hurled back with explosive meanings to some who go “Oh – Thank you for that – My bad.”.
It is fascinating that in the midst of all the turmoil round here I have watched two people using language in most positive ways. It has taken time to read, look at view points, communicate, clarify and see where that has lead. There has even been much humor which some have just missed as they scanned for a few “Key Words” to fit a personal frame of reference.
The way that played out and has been used–misused and abused around Twittergate is very revealing.
As I also often say “There Are Three Ways To Read” – something I do know about from my years of teaching practice and having to teach adults to read a foreign language – the language being English. There is 1) scanning for key words – 2) reading for content – 3) reading for meaning and intent. These strategies get used in different ways at different times. There is a bias in net forums and across the net to “Scanning For Key Words”, a limit caused by the number of words produced by so many people all communicating at once. The net is recognized as fermenting discord due to the use of Scanning – and the shorter the words available the more often discord occurs.
I recommend that many should look at the ongoing Dialogue between Julie Gillis and DavidByron which has been unfolding across so many threads for so long – and it’s been in the middle of what many wish to see as a War Zone. It’s charming and actually beautiful to read. Don’t scan, Don’t look for content – read it in total and see the dialogue the meanings and the intent and real communication that has been developed and is developing. It’s Beautiful and Wonderful and in the middle of a supposed war zone!
If there was a way to flag it up as something so clear to the Ethos at the center of GMP I would be screaming from the roof tops! B^)
I was in no way being ironic or dismissive when further up this comment thread I said “I think you and Julie would make a great double act in the field. You have so much in common it’s quite comical!”
It’s comical because so many have missed it because it’s all so far outside of the language and frames of reference people are using as they scan for a few “key words” to respond to.
Some even mistook David’s humor when he asked in one thread where is Julie – he wanted to speak to an angry woman. They saw the word angry and just walked on by – because they missed the irony and humor and good natured communication and the respect and all because the looked down on one word and not at all the love, respect and intent behind what was written!
Shutting down is so interesting – and the choices people make when that shut down occurs are all theirs. All too often the shutting down has nothing to do with any external influence, only the internal.
It’s one of the core values of Conflict Transformation – people take responsibility for their own choices, else they can not transcend the barriers and limits that come from such choices and that leads back to the dreaded compromise and a lack of freedom to use language with respect and freedom where words are about intent and not meanings that others apply to them.
As for seeing where people were offered “Win Win” – you just have to search the threads and see when it’s mentioned and to who! lack of response and deafening silence are so eloquent when it comes as a response – and then you just see what is said next and where. If they had read what was proffered and the considered the opportunities, they would have written differently.
It will be interesting to see how they will act in future every time that offer of embracing and different way of addressing so many issues is offered. If they fear them now one has to wonder how that fear will play out in their lives and uses of words in future?
If they choose to be fearful ….. it’s a choice they have made and may even benefit from Transcendence. People who have a fear that is manifested in words have a big problem in using them any other way. P^)
C’est La Vie.