Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are You Listening to the Silence?

My ambition is not conspiracy but doesn’t it make you wonder: what are opinion leaders, reporters and so called experts not saying in today’s cultural debates and everyday life happenings? And don’t you get a wee bit curious? Are we being duped and morphed subliminally as a culture and a people, allowing ourselves to be directed where the talking heads want us to go?

In communication you learn that one of the best forms of the art is listening. One learns much, on many fronts, when one listens. What is purposefully not being addressed? What is happening behind closed doors, behind the scenes, and underground? What is the foundation for their philosophy? The concrete evidence to their claims? The proof that what they defend is actually true?

One of our greatest tools in this hour of our culture is objective listening. No media source and no individual has the whole story correct and we must move from simply being consumers to veterans of the truth.

How did the reporters come to the news worthy conclusion? Why are they asking those questions and not another? How are they framing the issue? And what are other news sources talking about regarding the news item? Are they telling the whole story? Because, that could change everything!

We must be wary even of our friends and family who claim to know the facts of the story. It’s safe to bet that the majority of us have peers that share info iwth us out of pure intentions, simply hoping to pass along credible and note-worthy news to you. So therefore, it’s very possible that they too have been duped.

As news consumers, too often we unknowingly play the role of a small child. We are captured by the drama coming from the voices behind the screens, we respond accordingly to the tone of their voice and the more a story is repeated the higher importance it plays on our register of ‘latest news of importance’. We become participants of the pop star drama, be it on liberal or conservative news talk shows. We hear one sound bite repeated multiple ways and that is the only validation most of us need for us to embrace it as gospel truth and worthy of repeating.

Why do I write so frank and detailed on this subject? Because I too struggle with this monster. But I am convicted and motivated to re-examine my sources, change the strategy for which I seek news and hesitate a moment longer as I listen to see if I am missing something, before I declare it truth.

But we must be dutiful citizens and do better. We must rip back the curtains of group-think and no longer allow ourselves to be manipulated towards another’s purpose.

Caution my friends: not only is my peer group a sound bite generation but this question must be addressed as a culture - are we a sound bite culture? Is it possible we are responding to a story that was reported out of context, with subliminal details and a political taint?

Listen to the silence. It might be the most important act you will take, in your applauded effort to obtain the current happenings of our day. I beseech you to ask the questions, obtain the real and balanced truth, understand the context, consult those who are off the screen that can offer historical context and perspective and then spread the real truth. Make the reporters start questioning their own stories as they realize perhaps they too have jumped to conclusions a ee bit fast.

America has hidden issues, agendas, and brilliant revelations (not all negative but positive too!) that are yearning to be discovered and exposed. And you might be the person to reveal the truth.