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please, don't shout

hello and welcome to this glorious friday, october 2nd. today is a rare and precious day that will never come again. if you have something that you need to say, please, don’t shout.

each thursday evening at 7:00 pm (pdt), a dedicated community of lovely people join me in group meditation. before we begin, i ask the participants if they’d like to share a recent joy or concern. what is shared during this time often becomes the topic for a post-meditation discussion. what was shared last evening by one who i consider to be a dear friend has become the inspiration for this week’s mindfulness support – lamentingly, “i’m so tired of all the shouting.” this is for you, n. thank you for your passion.

driven by certainty and justified indignation, divisiveness continues to rip this country (and world) apart. everyone wants to be heard. unfortunately, with all the shouting, so many have stopped listening. as it has been recently seen in globally televised events, social media, news and in protest, many have resorted to shouting. shouting doesn’t make one heard. in fact, the more we yell and holler, the less is heard. yet, here we are – shouting.

please, don’t shout.

there are times when a thunderous yell is appropriate: a distracted child wandering towards a busy street, for instance. in most cases, however, shouting is detrimental to true communication. in this destructive way, shouting isn’t isolated to thunderous speech. when we criticize others and their beliefs, we are loudly telling them that their opinions don’t matter – that they don’t matter. like us, they want to be heard. and valued.

please, don’t shout.

another form of shouting is defensiveness. when defensive, we’re sending a booming message that we don’t care about another’s view. with crossed arms and a furrowed brow, we quit listening long before the other has stopped talking. often, appalled by what we hear, we vociferously interrupt the speaker to get our point across. after being interrupted, who is going to actually listen to what you have to say? there are those who believe that defensiveness is the first act of war.

please, don’t shout.

in raising ourselves to a position of superiority, we raise our voice. contempt is likely one of the most destructive forms of shouting. with the belief that we are right, and they are wrong, we don’t genuinely listen. when contemptuous, we hover over and holler down to them – as if we’re not only right, but we’re also superior. not being heard is hurtful enough. made to feel inferior is worse.

please, don’t shout.

there is a silent form of shouting, called stonewalling. in the deafening silence of evasion, we’re communicating that they’re not even worth listening to. disrespecting someone by turning away, avoiding eye contact, unfriending on social media, refusing to acknowledge their point of view, is a sure way to spoil a later opportunity to communicate. this is not to be confused with setting and maintaining boundaries. to construct healthy boundaries is an effective and compassionate form of communication which doesn’t involve shouting.

and yes, writing in CAPS is shouting.

please, don’t shout.

i understand and recognize that there are serious infractions towards life currently happening on this precious planet. These injustices require our immediate attention, and action. getting angry, while being an appropriate response, does little to remedy the issue. though there may be occasions when angerous shouting results in positive outcomes, these instances are rare. hate, anger, and shouting beget hate, anger, and shouting. because anger will inevitably result in some form of shouting, we must work diligently to transform our anger and hatred to something that will foster positive change – silent listening, compassion, care and equal concern for others. remember: “silent” and “listen” utilize the very same letters.

please, don’t shout. instead, get quiet, get curious, and listen.

i love you and there isn’t anything that you can do about it.

whispering softly,

dan

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Dan Piquette

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