Jaywalking: Fireside chats

John Walker
Opinion editor

It should come as no surprise to say I love to write. And in loving to write there is the equal love to read as well. Writing is the very best form of communication our species has ever developed.

Along with the spoken language there are probably no better attributes. In the past few years though I have seen an increase in the inability of people to communicate through our traditional means. Whenever conflict arises there is no reason for us to forget these concepts, whether it is on a micro or macro level.

Unfortunately my generation has decided the best way to deal with conflict is to allow a complete breakdown in communication. Whenever someone takes a misstep or speaks their mind they become cut off. I used to think this phenomena was unique to Republicans, but as it turns out that is not the case.

There will always be people we disagree with and certainly there will be those you wish you had never met. At the point we realize this we should take full advantage of the situation and talk to this person. The only way to deal with an unbearable personality is to try and understand it. Everyone is the way they are for reasons which will never be understood. The life experiences of those around us are beyond even our most empathetic tendencies. We take the time to understand our closest friends but never our most hated enemies.

This is certainly true in international conflict. How much did the American public understand the Middle East before we started two wars there? Certainly not nearly so much as when we started to regret those wars. Even here on campus I have found a rewarding aspect of college to be so close to so many who disagree.

Many of the contacts I have made over the past five years are with students and faculty who I have nothing in common with. But the respect and courtesy I afford them is returned just as often. There are times when I am on the brink of imploding because of this practice, which is why patience is so important. Above all else we must learn to be patient with one another.

This practice is becoming increasingly harder in a world where every other person has ADHD and technology is our fastest growing medium. This lack of discipline is affecting our ability to walk in any other person’s shoes and listen to their story. If this cannot be mended we will soon reach a point in our social structure that could resemble the Victorian Era. All this does is create a divided structure of what is and is not acceptable within society.

The best way to curb this possibility is to follow the prescribed method from above. After all, this is the first step to making a better world.

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