There is no subject the Intramuralist feels a need to steer clear of. I believe that any issue, hard as it is, can be discussed well (meaning solution kept in mind) as long as we are always respectful of those who disagree with our assessment or approach. We need to listen. We need to consider and sincerely weigh what another is saying — as opposed to merely utilizing the time in which another is speaking to think of what we will say next.
Truth is, no less, there are times when such is still exhausting. There’s too much pouncing on opinion. And one person’s commitment to respectful dialogue may not be matched by another. Also unfortunately, social media has only magnified the disrespect. In a forum that otherwise looks like opportunity for a respectful give-and-take, sometimes the respect is severely lacking.
There’s too much “I’m-mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-any-more” combined with “so-if-you-are-really-my-friend-you-can-handle-it”… combine that with the “don’t-wait—you’ll-soon-realize-I’m-the-right-one”… and then we begin questioning who our friends actually are. It’s a sad reality some days. Too many days.
So yes, while I am a full, firm believer in respectful dialogue, sometimes it’s challenging when witnessing all the disrespectful communication otherwise intelligent people justify.
Sometimes, some things are more fun to discuss… like “Seinfeld,” for example. Loyal viewers will never forget “The Pitch” episode, which first aired in September of 1992, delivering an infamous exchange between comedian Jerry Seinfeld and the slow-witted, often neurotic George Costanza. Pitching a sit-com to NBC, part of the exchange went as follows:
Jerry: “You want to go with me to NBC?”
George: “Yeah. I think we really go something here.”
Jerry: “What do we got?”
George: “An idea.”
Jerry: “What idea?”
George: “An idea for the show.”
Jerry: “I still don’t know what the idea is.”
George: “It’s about nothing.”
George: “Everybody’s doing something; we’ll do nothing.”
Jerry: “So, we go into NBC, we tell them we’ve got an idea for a show about nothing.”
Jerry: “They say, ‘What’s your show about?’ I say, ‘Nothing.’ “
George: “There you go.”
Hence, with all the infighting, arrogance, and social media disgraces — sometimes actually talking about so-called “nothing” prompts a grin previously absent from my day.
Respectfully… with still a little tongue in that cheek…