I’ll let you in on a little secret. I type my posts well in advance and schedule their posting dates. This particular one was typed in late December 2013. Even then, I anticipated that one thing in last week’s article (which I finished mere seconds before beginning this one) would tick off a few people. The quote from Two Broke Girls. I also assume with all surety that none of the offended bothered to read further. After all, that’s what we tend to do as human beings.
We spend years as children learning to wait our turn, listen to all directions before doing, read through to the end of the sentence, etc. I can only conclude that reading and listening thoroughly before responding is the result of nurture rather than nature.
Yet all of that childhood learning comes undone as we grow older. We snap to judgment before facts are in, we assume we know a whole story from a mere rumor, and we stop reading and listening after the first slight point where we think we know what is being expressed. This may be due to the constant state of rush we feel we are under in the adult world. I could also be that we are used to politicians, bosses, and other orators taking advantage of the next word to conceal the real meaning, to be passive-aggressive, or simply to waffle on an issue.
We are conditioned to believe that the next words will be used to confuse the point. This way of thinking does help us in some cases, but harms us in many others. We will often take offense where none exists to be taken, miss out on opportunities, take the wrong action, or assume guilt from the innocent.
Additionally, when we do read through, we don’t think through. Take for example a phrase used by conservatives in the USA to express their disagreement with the tendencies of liberal policies to create dependence on governmental programs or to use government to take over things that were once the domain of private interests. The slogan is as follows, “If you believe your government can take care of you, look to the American Indian.” Now I saw this typed in white letters on a dark gray background and posted as a picture on Facebook. The first comment below it displayed the type of ignorance of which I speak. There are ways to disagree intelligently, but not the way this person did. The accused the poster of being racist, went on and on about how Native American tribes aren’t lazy, etc. I ask you, where does the original post accuse Native American tribes of sloth? It doesn’t. It makes the point that the US government has had a history of breaking its own treaties with the Native American tribes. If anything, it paints a picture of the US government as being untrustworthy. That is the only point the poster was trying to make.
Now I don’t really care if you agree with the example or not. The point I’m making is this: read all the way through and don’t read in to things more than what is really there. Read through and thoroughly.