Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Screaming to be Heard

Have you noticed that there seems to be a lot of screaming on TV and radio? Talk radio is often YELL radio. Reality TV becomes SHOUT TV. And some of the commentators on the "news" shows are SCREAMING heads. What's all the noise about?

I was raised in a quiet household. Raised voices among adults was so foreign to me the first time I heard the parents of a friend yell in an arguement, I was convinced they were moving toward a divorce. My parents had their disagreements but rarely in front of us kids. I've worked hard all my life to emulate their calm, quiet approach to discussion, debate and discipline. Not always successfully and certainly not easily.

But throughout my life I've found the quiet approach works, and most often leads to the best results. When I was teaching 4th grade and the class was noisily out of control, I would get real quiet. If I raised my voice it just added to the cacophany without hetting the attention I needed. So I would be silent. First one student would notice. You know the kid who always kept an eye on the teacher to see how she was reacting. That student would bring the mute teacher to a friend's notice who would alert another who shared with another and so on and so forth. Next thing everyone would be quiet wondering what the teacher was up to. The class quickly realized that they were overstepping a boundary, and the quiet would bring them back. Not only did I save my vocal chords, but the children were learning how to bring themselves under control. As the school year continued my students engaged in lively classroom activities without yelling and screaming. They learned to listen to me and to each other. It was a lovely process to watch.

I wish all the screamers in our modern world would practice more silence. Don't assault the audience with your high decible rantings. Take some deep breaths and use your inside voices. From my experience the louder the words, the less meaning they have. Listening is a quiet art. I've yet to hear a good discussion which does not include good listening. Silence is a powerful tool when it is part of a balanced debate. Let's teach our children to tune out the babel of shouters, so they can hear words of wisdom.

Onto a few other things. In the beginning of most posts I'll start showing some of the latest clothes I'm working on.

I apologize for yesterday's poem. The written poem was not posted with the proper stanza or line breaks, an in poetry that makes all the difference since there is a lack of prose punctuation and capitalization. I don't know how to repair the problem.

Nikki is home catching up on her rest and food. Yeah!!!!

Have a good quiet day.

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