When I’m driving around, I’ll tune in to various talk shows. I like to listen to different points of view. Some of these viewpoints are presented with a “hey, here is what I’ve observed, see if you agree” attitude. This approach goes like this: one person talks while another (or others) listen. Then the listener acknowledges what was just said and offers his/her viewpoint. This unique method always involves an exchange of communication back and forth.
Unfortunately there is another method used quite often in talk radio. One person presents a point of view and often before they get it fully communicated, the “listener” cuts them off and tells them they really don’t know what they’re talking about. Our first person now may feel compelled to do the same, as he knows that he is in possession of the only real correct point of view on this subject. So he cuts the other person off and, now slightly louder, restates his position. This escalates and what ensues is a most unenjoyable bickering back and forth between two parties who are certain the other person is an idiot.
This is not relegated to just radio talk show. It happens quite often on television “talk” shows. When people are so sure they hold the only correct viewpoint and they each try to drum the other person out of existence, this is incredibly unpleasant to observe. (I guess if you are agree with one side of the discussion then you may enjoy this type of thing when your side is winning the drumming-out-of-existence battle.)
This kind of talk show spectacle seems to be quite prevalent when politics are involved. If you need to demonstrate the concept of dogma to someone, have them listen to someone from the far left AND someone from the far right. Get two of these folks together in the same room and broadcast their “discussion” on TV or radio and these are times I’d rather have my head in a vice.
When people are so sure they are right and that their views of life are supremely correct, the only new information they are capable of processing is information that aligns and agrees with what they already know. That’s gotta hurt. The potential for real growth in that frame of mind is next to nil. It’s an operating basis that produces upsets on a personal level (between friends, family, etc.) and, on a societal level, causes very bad decisions to be made that can adversely affect a lot of people. In my next post, I’ll give an example of this.
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