We are living in a very fractured and increasingly strident world, where to get your point across you seem to need to shout more loudly. I started to write this before the less than edifying Presidential debate which is a case in point. What were they thinking? Were they thinking?
In recent months I have been getting a bit disturbed by the tone of everything. From debates and point scoring in the Houses of Parliament to rioting in the USA and protest in the UK. I don’t necessarily have a problem with what the debate/protest is about, but it is the way it is undertaken.
Then there is the whole social media platforms which just seem to be a forum for hate speak, why are people so quick to anger? People become afraid to voice an opinion and the strident minority hold sway. Why is it unacceptable to hold a different opinion from someone else? Surely debate and listening lead to compromise, finding that magic win/win place. Not trampling on someone else’s views and feelings.
How do you feel when someone shouts at you? Scared or do your hackles rise and you become defensive and more likely to dig your heels in and say no? It certainly doesn’t help you to listen with patience and tolerance to someone else’s point of view.
I think part of the problem is this instant world, you post on social media and get immediate reactions, physiologically you get dopamine hits which momentarily make you feel good. So you post some more, more hits, more dopamine, more feel good. Well for a while. It’s addictive, you ring up and order a meal to be delivered to your door or you order something online.
It is really easy to get cross if the meal/parcel/uber doesn’t turn up precisely when you expected it. This isn’t helped by the fact that the various delivery companies can tell you when to expect things. Have you ever thought about the toll on the drivers?* They get fined if they miss their delivery slots which is why they are often less than chatty when they deliver your parcel. Life gets faster and faster, we expect more and get stressed when life doesn’t deliver. Either literally or metaphorically, is it any wonder we have increasing levels of heart disease, strokes and mental health issues?
This weekend I came across someone who is an activist in a quiet thoughtful way her name is Sarah Corbett who uses craft to change the world. What she does is intelligent and successful. Check out the Craftivist Collective for a bit of sanity in a very noisy strident world. Listen to her on Four Thought Radio 4.
*if you want to see the reality of delivery drivers watch the excellent Ken Loach film Sorry we missed you.