What’s going on with the world? Where have all the great communicators gone?
When did we lose the ability to talk with each other? When did we forget how to disagree without being disagreeable?
We are, each of us, born with the innate ability to speak (whether in words or deeds) and to listen (whether with our ears or with our hearts).
But instead of following the inspiring examples of eloquence from giants like Cicero, Maya Angelou, and Gandhi, today’s communication has been reduced to soundbites, emojis, and twitter headlines.
Take this tweet from The Donald!
Mr President, are you telling us that you actually are really smart or just that you are like someone else who is really smart?
This is the so-called Leader of the Free World, the mayor of the shining city on the hill telling us he’s “like, really smart”.
When did ‘like’, ‘you know’ and other disfluencies become normal?
When did we stop communicating?
Nowadays, we speak only to those that agree with us and listen only to those that say what we want to hear.
We live in a post-truth era and fake news is now a real thing.
500 years ago in Africa entertainment came from articulate Griots spinning elaborate stories of Shakespearean complexity.
250 years ago in Europe entertainment came from concertos and symphonies of composers like Mozart and Beethoven.
50 years ago in North America fiction was the great novels like To Kill a Mocking Bird and Catcher in the Rye.
And what do we have today?
Reality TV like ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!’
We’ve dumbed down so much we now celebrate stupidity.
More people vote in X Factor competitions than they do for government elections.
But is it any surprise? Why would you vote when today’s politicians are either bland, bumbling or pure bullshit artists?!?
Social media gives us the illusion of communication.
But social media friends that you never meet are not real friends.
A facebook like is not proof of your value, only your popularity in that moment.
If pictures used to say a thousand words, today’s Instagram selfies say only three: Me! Me! Me!