I'm on a collision course with everyone around me; well, everyone that is that doesn't share my opinions. I don't stoop to disagreeing publicly, there's no fisticuffs, swung handbags, shoving hands or pointing fingers, or coarsely thrown words. No, I keep silent, and only air them to the few I know that are in accord with me or else I argue with non-present broadcasters i.e. the radio, the TV in the relative safety of my home, which being at the end of a corridor means my many-sided debates remain unknown.
a voice but I don't use it for fear of repercussions. I don't want a
slanging match with anyone nor do I wish to provoke a jabbing finger.
I find that kind of behaviour aggressive and unnecessary. I'm not
keen on any overly public displays of hostility, vulnerability or
passion, although there are situations where I accept they might be
unavoidable. At their peak, emotions can be hard to control. But for
most there's a time and a place...which understandably for each of us
will be different, depending on whether we're comfortable or
ill-at-ease. Spontaneous reactions, I grant you, are impossible to
factor, and can be effusive: amusing to see, yet feature very highly
on the embarrassment scale. Your idiotic burbling often realised only
much later, despite the red, laughing or mortified faces around you
at the time, when your lively enthusiasm for whatever it was has
died. Circumstances, whenever, wherever, however they arise, can
prove obstinate, they won't always play how you'd like them to so
that when they refuse to be directed you find you're just a passenger
at the mercy of your own improvised reactions.
you say can be misconstrued, or interpreted in such a way to cause
offence. To someone, somewhere. A new and unintended slant given to
your words, be it a flippant remark, a thought-through comment or a
written speech. The use of a single word can transform a civilised
discussion into a vehement dispute, and it might not even be a noun
or verb that is usually thought of as insulting. But once the
collision has occurred it's hard to withdraw without a fight or an
of speech, yet we seem less able to tolerate differences of opinion,
feeling it rather too personally if someone happens not to agree with
our view, which of course means we collide. Again and again and
again. Figure of speech also comes under attack, regardless of the
speaker's cultural background, since the speaker should have the
sense to know such language is objectionable, voiced or printed. But
how can any of us know that when the parameters constantly shift? A
term that was benign yesterday is considered derogatory the next.
evolve: take on different uses, different meanings, which is
precisely what makes language so rich. The use of one word over
another could be a conditioned response or in your native tongue have
a different meaning to someone than how you choose to use it.
Over-sensitivity is not forward-thinking, nor is ventilating your
grievances or exposing your every thought, as despite assurances that
these are symbolic of a democratic society they often cause trouble.
The thinker who dared to voice their thoughts aloud is bombarded with
unpleasant messages or hounded, whereas the offended, even if they
are not the sort to bully, still adds to the moral outrage making
such actions perpetrated by others justifiable.
get steamed up, riled, incensed by something another has said or done
because we're all different and that's human nature. End of.
Over-sharing leads to over-sensitivity, and over-sensitivity often
leads to censorship or forces those more extreme underground. Freedom
of speech is generous in that it celebrates diversity yet enables
conflict to peaceably co-exist but not prevail. It does not mean to
voice your thoughts irresponsibly or to browbeat others to your
*Picture Credit: Rodin's Thinker, Edvard Munch