I know that it appears that I haven't blogged since last Saturday, but I've been doing quite a lot of "almost blogging." I've written several drafts, full of wit and pith, but with every almost-post, I came to the conclusion that it was too critical or could easily be misinterpreted.
Maybe I'm more aware than most of the potentially disastrous effects of a misstep in communication. Pastor's daughters grow up with a higher than average amount of pressure on our words and actions, and I am not someone with a sixth sense of what is appropriate and what is not. I have had to learn the difference between outside thoughts and inside thoughts, a lesson that most people seem to grasp naturally.
I know that there are many people who hold to the philosophy that the best thing to do is say what is on your mind without concern to those who are offended. I have a couple of problems with this idea. First, communication is a two step process. The communicator expresses a thought, and then the receiver interprets. To ignore the second part of the equation is foolish because you will never be able to fully connect with others without ensuring that the interpretation is consistent with the thought you wish to express. The second problem that I have with the "just get it all out" plan is that we all represent our ideologies to the world. I represent Christ, my husband, women as a whole, my parents, and my church when I express my thoughts. It's just, plain foolish to ignore the responsibility that I have to those whom I represent.
On the other end of the spectrum is the belief that you should never offend anyone. I have just as big of an issue with this philosophy as I do with the first. It seems like some people like to get their feelings hurt, and they spend their whole lives looking for the opportunity to be offended. It isn't everyone else's job to coddle them in their over-sensitivity. There's also the issue that there are times when the truth must be spoken, even though it is offensive. There are more than a few situations in which healing can only grow from initial hurt.
So here I dwell on the median between the ditches of complete insensitivity and oversensitivity, guarding each word as if it could be my last. There are times when the only right thing to say is nothing, and the only opinion that needs to be expressed is the opinion that not every opinion should be expressed.
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