“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
I don’t know if I can believe that this is true, but someone somewhere said that Buddha said that. While I am all about giving credit where it is due, if I’m too concerned about finding the true source of that quote that I don’t share the message, then I’m missing out on an opportunity to create what I believe to be a positive and thought-provoking idea.
The danger with being so jaded by our current search for truth and integrity as is being modeled by our government is that we become cynical and resigned as a nation. We might begin to believe that our opinions don’t matter and that there is no use in speaking our own truth because no one will believe it or accept it or even want to listen to it. We begin to believe that our voices need to be louder and more forceful in order to be taken seriously.
While it’s important to speak up and to share our thoughts and our opinions in order to get clearer about what really resonates with each of us, if we get caught up in the hype and the circus-like atmosphere of fearmongering and mudslinging, are we really giving voice to another perspective?
Back in the ’70s and ’80s there was a classic commercial about the brokerage firm E.F. Hutton. Here’s an example:
For E.F. Hutton, it wasn’t the loudest voice that “won,” it was the reputation and the “secret” that people wanted to hear.
What are you noticing in your circles? Are people having to fight to be heard? Are there loud voices trying to convince people of their truth? Might there be another way to invite dialogue?
If you’re on purpose about your communication in a way that doesn’t turn people off, but that invites people in, you’ll notice that there is less divisiveness and more interest. It might not be as fast or as loud, but it might just create a relationship that will last beyond the hype.
I know I’m willing to try.