Everybody Talks Too Much
We humans are a unique species, set apart from all other mammals on this earth. What is the main distinction, you may ask? Some say it is our superior intelligence, our ability to talk, or the fact that we have opposable thumbs (monkeys don’t actually count). I believe what truly sets us apart is our ability to communicate. We absolutely love to talk: about ourselves, our dreams, our lives and what is important to us. Another thing we love to talk about, more than anything else, is other people, and their dreams, hopes, and lives.
I believe that part of our human nature is our need to communicate with others. So much so that sometimes, when we have nothing interesting enough to say about ourselves, we choose to talk about other people and their problems and successes, in order to bond. This aspect of our craving to communicate is quite ridiculous. The fact that we are so boring and uninteresting that we feel the need to speak about others is just sad. This is something everyone is guilty of — no matter how much one may deny it.
As Jews, we have a concept of hilchot lashon hara, laws pertaining to speaking about other people, which are ingrained in our minds from a young age. But if speaking badly about someone is what qualifies as lashon hara, what if I am just telling an interesting story about a random person you don’t even know? Sorry to burst your bubble, but that does not make it an acceptable topic of conversation; it still falls into the category of lashon hara. We talk, we converse, and we don’t really think about talking about others; because it is public knowledge, or the person won’t care if people know something about them. Sorry, but no. Being social and having relationships should not be based on people not in the relationship!
In addition to our love of talking about other people, we tend to speak about how we get offended. By offended, I am referring to one taking a simple statement from a third party as a personal attack on his or her own beliefs and rights.
In fact, we speak so much about our problems with society and things other people have said to us; I have come to the conclusion that people actually like to be offended. We want someone to anger us, maybe because, once again, we are looking for something to talk about. Everything is a competition in this regard — who has more of a right to be offended by something someone wrote on the internet? Especially when that statement was obviously directed at a singular person to make them feel bad about themselves?
This mentality is detrimental to society as a whole as well as the individual. News flash: the world is not out to get you and everything is not always about you.
How we get offended shows how strong or weak our pride really can be. An easy example of the fragile ego of man is with politics. No matter what you think or what you believe and however many facts you have to prove your opinion, there will always be people who do not agree with you. Every person has their own beliefs and opinions, with facts to back themselves up as well. When two people have a conversation it is then possible that from the very start, neither are listening to a word the other person is saying; they are only hearing themselves. This conversation ends when two people offended and upset because they didn’t convince someone else that they were right. They attacked with their own ideas and were defensive of them as well.
We love hearing ourselves speak, but often don’t give half a heart when it comes to hearing someone who disagrees with us. Next time someone says something that you may not agree with, try to see it — not as a personal attack — but rather as their own opinion which may not be the same as yours. We should be better by recognizing our own self-worth as well as the worth of those around us. This is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it is necessary. There is so much hate and anger in our world and we, as individuals, decide if we join the hate, or create a healthy and happy environment for us and everyone around us. We have been given an incredible power to speak and think. There are already enough people in the world that abuse that power, so why should we become one of them?
Photo Caption: People argue without listening to both sides.
Photo Credit: www.maxpixel.net