A story from my past here. I was leading the worship service in a nursing home one afternoon. The service took place in a very large common room. There was no sound system for me to use. The best I could hope for was to use my big voice and hope that I could be heard. The service was going quite well. I had finished the sermon. All that was left was the pastoral prayer, a final hymn, and the blessing. I began my pastoral prayer. Tony was a resident at the home. As I was praying, he slowly approached me in his walker. I didn't see him because my eyes were closed in prayer. When he got near me, he said in a loud voice, "Why the hell are you yelling?" I think I jumped four feet in the air. The rest of the worship service went by without a hitch but I don't really remember it- I was still recovering from shock. Three days later I think I managed to jump back into my skin.
Yelling. I don't like it at all. We live in a relatively peaceful household. Oh sure there might be the occasional disagreement but we never raise our voices to one another. It is just so much easier to talk things out quietly and with respect. Yelling never solves anything. It just gets people more upset. Yelling involves belittling another person. Yelling hurts the relationship between people. Some people feel that if they yell louder they win the argument, but in reality no one wins.
There has been too much yelling lately in public. Yelling by demonstrators and anti-demonstrators. People yelling at those who are different. People yelling at those in authority. People yelling at store clerks who are trying to enforce policies about masks and hand sanitization. People yelling at politicians. Everywhere on news and social media are ugly faces contorted with anger yelling at one another.
Where is meaningful dialogue? What of the act of active listening where one listens to the other and then carefully shares with the other person what they have heard in order to make sure they got the correct message? What of the idea of agreeing to disagree? Yes people are going to have different points of view. And that's fine. But we get no matter trying to foist our point of view upon others. Let's stop the yelling and work together. Blessings.