Lately I have found myself frustrated by the propensity of people who feel the need to speak their mind on everything. I am not trying to sound elitist. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; but some opinions are better kept to themselves. Ill-informed opinions or opinions that spring from deep-seated prejudices or opinions that come from a closed mind sometimes do more damage than good. Misinformation may be a valid tactic in times of war but they create war in a society that is already badly divided. Ignorance may be bliss, but ignorance shared as if it were well-established truth is cancerous to a free society.
I remember an old cliche that actually has some merit. “Be sure your mind is in motion before your mouth is in gear.” In this day of Twitter and Facebook and talk radio and texting, ignorance when expressed as truth can become viral with damaging effects far beyond anyone’s anticipation.
I am not proposing we create laws against this. Freedom of speech is a fundamental and necessary right in a free society. But discernment and understanding, self-restraint and constructive critiquing are skills that too people possess. The Bible says, “Speak the truth in love.” I would add, if love of your neighbor and your nation are not truly your motive for speaking — then please shut up! (I pray my motive for saying what I just said was indeed love instead of the frustration that I described in the opening line of this post.)
Normally as a blogger I have a lot to say. But since I have nothing else really to reflect on, then in the spirit of my own published counsel, I will now shut up.