At a time when soundbites and dumbed down messages are the norm, taking shortcuts becomes very tempting. Rather than look deeper, you might settle for skimming the surface. Rather than present a nuanced view, you might find it easier to provide a less accurate narrative. But there’s always a choice — the choice of a better discourse.
“But, everyone’s doing it!” will be the common argument. There’s the feeling that everyone’s dumbing everything down and if you don’t, you lose. The problem is undeniably systemic; in the media, in politics, in business, in academia and even in the family.
The researcher pressured to offer one root cause when she knows there are several. The parent opting for the easy path of imposing their ‘adult view’ rather than acknowledging that things are rarely black and white. The consultant tempted to produce a partial, but easy to sell plan, rather than a holistic solution.
No one is immune from being drawn in, but with a bit of courage, perhaps we can choose for ourselves.
Choosing a better discourse
Perhaps, there comes a moment when you need to decide what you are for. Are you for a discourse that is based on looking deeper and asking the difficult questions? Or, are you for something else that is based on the short-termism of a quick win. And, what if a more genuine discourse is really a win for everyone, because it enables us to connect and understand each other better. Because it allows us to embrace our inherent creativity in dealing with the challenges of our time.
Perhaps, things do not need to be dumbed down or reduced to catchy soundbites. Perhaps, we can expect more from each other. But, that requires us to each take responsibility — to make a choice to opt for a better discourse. One that is based on meaning, deeper understanding and a desire to make the best of each other.
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