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Have You Tripwired Your Mind?

trip wire explosion sxc smallIt seems to me that a phenomena I have been witnessing for years in ever increasing regularity goes well beyond prejudice right into manic meltdown. All that is needed to create it is to mention certain topics to the wrong person while being the wrong person… one whom the listeners hold in open or secret contempt. I call it the tripwired mind.

Now in a day of such grand tolerance, you would think that we’d also find civility and open, honest communication about the issues that divide us… but you would be wrong. One of the reasons for this seeming contradiction is that tolerance is not actually a virtue for most… it is a buzzword… a buzzword whose definition bears no resemblance to its traditional sense in places like say, the dictionary.

Tolerance has come to mean, “Never declaring anything that anyone else does as WRONG… except for saying things are wrong… that would be wrong.”

This is confusing, because in my day, way back when hippies roamed the earth, I was taught that tolerance began at disagreement; it didn’t end there. It said, “I think you are wrong, but I’m willing to seek some measure of peace between us… just don’t get too close or try to date my daughter.”

What we have today is an emotionally violent attempt (sometimes more than emotionally) by some to take over the entire public conversation with a single narrative over any given subject… the politically correct version of acceptable dialogue on any topic. There are bullet words meant to silence some from even attempting to participate in the discussion—Racist, Sexist, Misogynist, Patriarchal, Extremist, Old Fashioned, Homophobic, Intolerant, White Privilege, etc.

Now before you start complaining, know that it won’t do you any good to prove through reasoned discussion either your point or that it is the very person hurling these accusations who is guilty of them, because they stopped listening the second the wrong kind of person tried to enter the discussion by actually uttering a syllable. You hit a tripwire in their mind setting off an explosion that is accompanied by a monologue scripted by the all evasive “they” as in “they say” whose opinions are THE opinions to have… anyone whose anyone has them you know.

  • Michael Hyatt writes a blog post detailing 4 pieces of advice he gave his daughters about modesty. He was immediately accused of “defending rape.”
  • Recently, a professor suggests that a wife who abandons her husband sexually shares some responsibility if he strays. He is accused by a blogger of “excusing male infidelity.”
  • When I defended this professor’s statement, I was attacked viciously (I haven’t been called so many names since grade school) and told later by one attacker that it was my own fault because I referenced the blogger as “young” and so anything else I said was lost.
  • If you recognize that there are dynamics involved in a variety of situations which wisdom can help address successfully, you are accused of “blaming the victim.”
  • If you suggest in any way that you believe that there is a normative norm, a preferred pattern for life, you will be accused of hating or marginalizing those who for one reason or another don’t fit neatly within that pattern.
  • Matt Walsh published a blog praising his wife’s dedication to the care of their twins and he was internationally attacked as demeaning women who don’t stay home with their families and was told by one nationally syndicated feminist that men have no right to speak on any issue involving women… ever.

These hit carefully laid tripwires in some people’s minds and it no longer mattered what they were trying to say… they were blasted away with the monologue of the day.

I have been told on more than a few occasions that whites are not allowed to opine on race issues… once by a 2nd generation Korean American who hated African Americans and regularly used the N-word. He said he was a minority and could say whatever he wanted.

When I raise questions about common medical practices, I am called a paranoid freak, a fear-monger, and a fool. There is no room to question the motives of corporations making billions on certain products even if everything about the way they are tested and marketed falls well short of what may be deemed proper scientific investigation… even if they have a long history of marketing dangerous products.

Our illustrious leader announces in one of his first national addresses that parents are not part of the solution to any of our social issues; they are the problem; emerging generations will need to set them straight on all points of discussion.

If you don’t support government solutions for every problem you are a racist who hates the poor.

Being a good communicator is not limited to well crafted public speaking. It is also about being a good listener. If your mind is tripwired to explode with a monologue every time the wrong person says the wrong word to you, you will never rise even to the level of a tolerable communicator.

The first step to understanding is to want to understand, and for that you have to shut up and really listen, trying to figure out what a person is trying to say, giving benefit of the doubt until all is heard.

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