Archive for January, 2009

Is Being Warm a Cooling Trend?

The basics of decency and civility seem to have left mainstream vernacular, as conversational ability is becoming a long-lost art. The advent of texting and instant messaging, coupled with a society that is always on the move, has caused a chasm that seems to be widening. Falling into this chasm of political correctness is the much-proven ability of warmth and cordiality. No longer is a smile reciprocated with a head nod that indicates acknowledgment of your own gesture with one that says I see your niceness and I raise you my own niceness. It seems that in the high-stakes game of poker we call our lives, the ante has all but been changed and the only ones who want to play are those that know there are no rules and anything goes.
Dr. Adrian Rogers, a noted preacher, once said that for man to fully understand the ability of decency he should move from frivolous and factual narratives to ones that evoke feeling and fellowship. The frivolous and factual commentaries he was talking about are the often selfish monologues that are one-sided and almost always posited just to get to the next act. Communication with a teenager who answers with grunts and monosyllabic responses is a classic example of the frivolous. Sometimes the factual exchanges go beyond the basics, while seeming to be happy and logical but never emotional. We have been sold the wrong bill of goods in a world with so much pain.
Emotional investment in your communication with others is where relationships blossom and true feelings are experienced. Sometimes having an opinion and feeling strongly enough about it to share it and defend it is called activism. Far from this myth is the reality that people who are passionate about their motives are actually more secure in all they do. As a public speaker, I have been advised many times to keep the matters pertaining to my feelings, faith and fellowship on ice so that I don’t rock the boat. I bet enough others have already sold out to that notion, because as we look at where we are as a free people, most of what we believe to be wrong is actually explained as progress. You cannot expect to melt the confused opinions of mediocrity and dependence if you don’t do so with feelings of warmth that say you care about what happens on your watch. As a professional, a parent, a partner or a proprietor, make a decision this week to have faith in your feelings and seek to grow in fellowship with the ones with whom you communicate. Let it be said of you as it was of Noah Webster. “He taught many to read but not one to sin.” That is a fitting statement of warmth that will change everything.

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