As we start the month of February, I am reminded of the challenges people have struggled with in our country just for the right to be heard, and acknowledged. It is a primary tenet of the freedoms we hold so dear; and when it is arbitrarily suppressed, it is a detriment to us all. Oral tradition has been a main source of information preservation over the stretch of human history. It has guided people through times of uncertainty; taught untold generations of farmers, fishermen, hunters and warriors; and held communities together in the face of famine, fire, flood, and plague. Oral tradition is made manifest by conversation.
This legacy of human cooperation helped to insure our survival on this planet. Beyond that, is has given us the means to consider and chart, our future; in advance. As our ability to pool our collective imaginings has combined to give us a competitive advantage over all other life on this world; the essence of this advantage, is the power of the multiplying effect of our collaboration. Conversation, in my view, is a tool which can enhance all other endeavors; and binds people together with a ready set of conventions, which facilitate their understanding each other. And when people work in unison to solve problems, or overcome obstacles; there is little they cannot accomplish.
However, history has shown us that words are not always used to their best effect; and words are sometimes used to undermine, or destroy, the hopes, and efforts of others. When words are used to advance these purposes, it tends to have the effect of generating animosity, and mistrust, among people; which serves to drive them apart. Human beings at odds with one another, disrupts and dilutes the potential advantage of our combined knowledge. And when words are advanced which suggest a given individual is unnecessary, or undesirable, for some reason; it serves to undermine the collaborative advantage we rely on.
After it has been established that a person is unneeded, it is not much more difficult to expand the list of people so selected, without limit. Each act along that path further erodes our combined strength, and works to the active detriment of everyone; although the pursuit of short-term advantage, may blind some to that reality. I have observed that when people immerse themselves in a set of beliefs, and thoughts which are designed to hurt others; there is often a reciprocal effect. Ideas shape the way we see the world around us. Negative ideas tend to support a negative view of the world we see.
Which is why I urge that care be taken when a person is choosing which ideas they will decide to broadcast, or promote. The careless use of words, without due consideration of how those words may be received, is an open invitation to discord; and in general, does not lead to the improvement of anyone. So let us remind ourselves that we don’t know which brain will uncover the next avenue of human development. Unless we are willing to value all people, and more importantly, converse with them, providing opportunities for all voices to be heard; we run the risk of stunting our own growth. I recommend we do better than that.
J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc