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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Try to understand where others are coming from

When you speak, debate or post on a blog keep in mind that there are others who have screens/filter, life experience, views or even traumas you may not be aware of.

For example being too honest in a discussion about rape, may harm or create a reaction you could easily misinterpret from someone who has been raped or who may be close to someone who has been raped.

On a common gathering topic, if you talk about how celebrities have no right to an opinion or say and continue to harp on how celebrities do not know what they are talking about, be aware that an actor, family member or friend of a celebrity may be in the room. As you now I sit on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild, so I can argue with knowledge and experience on educated, world traveled and intelligent most (but not all) actors and celebrities are. Do not believe media hype.

All professors are not liberal, and even those who have liberal leaning views, may have conservative views on some issues and be middle of the road on most. And professors, like actors, are more likely to be well traveled and educated even if your view of intelligent may be different than theirs.

Attack instead of consider the views of others seems to be a trend that could tear apart our democracy and our civility.  Not acknowledging the validity or experience of another post or another point of view cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

It is why we teach and hope to pass on "critical thinking" in this and other classes.

The truth is not one sided, and not vested in any one person.

Experts in any given field will disagree on most issues, so it is vital we all agree to disagree.

By this point in the term you should have learned not to believe slogans, sound  bites, things repeated too often around the dinner table or office. Do the research and keep your mind open. If you disagree, contribute without attack or confrontation. We have learned about persuasion, the fallacies, demographic differences, screens and filters (Noise), differences in individual experiences, and the importance of being tolerant and open minded.

Above all we should have covered and worked together to understand the experience, point of  view and reasons behind the views of others.

To say that it is OK not to allow people to no have insurances for financial reason, because insurance companies refuse to carry them or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age or physical conditions is not the way to have a discourse. To propose a future and a way to transition to a healthier society would be a positive way to proceed on the same argument. Not everyone has money. Not everyone can afford Whole Foods or have the transportation to go to places that offer healthier eating. Not everyone is literate or speaks English. These are realities that should be acknowledged and not attacked.

One sided or unfeeling attacks t fly in the face of critical thinking.

In Critical Thinking you should put yourself in the others shoes and acknowledge the other side. It does not mean you have to accept any alliterative view, but you do need to know it, acknowledge its value and then use your knowledge in your balanced argumentation to support your points or agendas.  It is a requirement of the course within speeches. It is also something that is key to a democratic society.

I am really surprised that there are a few students who take this as a personal insult or attack to disagree or to have and post an opposing view to their own.

I find it hard to question that perhaps there is a need to protect those who are already sick, were born with the wrong color skin, are the wrong sex or through no fault of their own are poor. But I know there are those who empathy is structured differently or who have a different priority or view of how the universe should work.

I do understand.

However civic public discussion must be two sided, and open to opposing views for it to fit the purpose of this blog, most courses and our need to regain a civil society.

Respect, not inquisitions.

Understanding age and those who are different in any way is part of the process of open critical thinking.

Most courses I teach require this understanding and encourage an open mind, not attack, of others.

I am open to other views, and welcome those different than the ones I state openly on the first day of classes I teach or in my public communications.

I hope that most of you know that the "news and views" in this blog are not all my own. Some are written by others (acknowledged in the post), gleaned from media, presented to be a "devil's advocate" or presented to create two sided discourse (not argumentation), interned to assist in speech topics, content and to provide a platform for applying the concepts of the course (Communication, media and Critical Thinking) in the wider context of society.

For my CSN Com 101 students focus on your persuasive presentation and final. Critical Thinking students, feel free to contribute your ideas and topics, and use this discussion as it relates to the readings.


dulcenea leae com101-4041 said...

Great point! I am one of many who tend to forget about others feelings towards certain discussions and just say what I need to. Definitely need to correct that.

Danielle Scarano 4041 said...

I totally agree. you never know who is in your audience and what they have been through. always need to think before you speak

Alexis Donovan 4041 said...

When you told our class that someone did a speech on homosexual relationships i was shocked! I understand that everyone has an opinion but they should do exactly as this blog says- think about the audience members!!

Anonymous said...

The world is a huge place, with people of all different thoughts and experiences. I agree that we should be more conscious of others and try not offend them.

Angelina Gomez
HN 4041

Luisa Galdamez Com 101 Sec HN 4041 said...

totally agree... its hard though to think of someone else before yourself sometimes

Anonymous said...

Definitely a great reinforcing post, about why you should consider your audience and keep the other sides views in mind.

With that in mind though, do not be afraid to think for yourself, even if you are aware the audience might not agree with you. As long as you have a solid basis for your viewpoints and are not attacking anyone or insulting, hate speech etc... Then in my opinion you can't be considered wrong, nor can those who do not agree with your views be considered wrong.

To me it's all about Logic, and both sides may have very good valid logical points. It just comes down to which one you agree with more then, or accomplishes the agenda in the best way / with the least side effects. Bring passion to what you talk about yes, but passion doesn't have to be biased.

Ryan Clift
Com 101-4049

Karen Johnson Com 101-4080 said...

I could not agree with the article more! The article provokes that the basis for a democratic society, which is the one we live in America, (not the party), is for people of every color to have an opportunity to have health-care. Why should this topic be any different that the already implemented government programs such as Medicare, SAMI, state aid, welfare, and SS. I appreciate not every professor is liberal and do consider their knowledge, but to discount those that are not in the upper catagory does not make that opinion very American in my view.

Anonymous said...

Critical thinking, which is probably the most difficult part of this course for me, has become my reason for enjoying this course. Seeing the other side is educational and enlightening. While my initial reaction is to always be argumentative, keeping an open dialogue is becoming more interesting to me.

John Williams
COM 101 Sec 4049

Anonymous said...

so Agree with you, I have a very good friend who's been raped four times, so any time she sees or hears the word rape, it brings tears to her eyes.

Juan Garcia
University of phoenix

Anonymous said...

Just because this was posted on the blog, I am going to come to the conclusion that many people have had posts that are not very nice... or thoughtful... I was probably one of those because I can tend to speak (or type)without thinking...

Nicole BAxter COM 101-4080

Anonymous said...

Montoya @ Phoenix

Being able to be open minded to other opnions or even situations has been extra hard for myself. I learned a very valiable lesson on taking other feelings into considerations.

Anonymous said...

Madison Harper com 101 4044
If this article is telling us to keep our minds open and be open to others ideas then why are the things posted on this blog so close minded and mocks other opinions/ideas? just food for thought...

Astrea Swinson said...

Astrea Swinson (COM 101)
I find this to be very true. many people are close minded and are not completely open to others thoughts, ideas, and feelings but this is just my opinion. I personally believe that we all learn new things everyday and I am always open for a discussion or something that can make me think and interest me.

Anonymous said...

i agree. people speaking should always think of who there audience is thinking about who many be in it and what topics may be ok to talk about not thinking of this will cause you to loose your audience and loose there intrest

Austin Rains
com 101

Anonymous said...

Understanding of another side is the key to a great argument. If you can understand the other side then you can use that to make your side acceptable to that side and resolve the problem. This process is one of those life skills that should but int taught in school.
-Tatiana Bartosic

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post completely. As someone who frequently argues with random people over the internet, you always have to take the other side into account, especially with religious arguments. By knowing your enemy, you can make more accurate points. By respecting your opponent's views, they're more likely to listen to what you have to say. In turn, you're more likely to have a civil, informative discussion or debate rather than, what the internet would call, a flame war with little or no substance other than curse words. Also, as someone who has Medicaid, people born with money attack people living off of government money without even looking at the circumstances of the other side too much. Our population is really lacking in critical thinking this way.

-Danielle Nunez COM 101 M-Th 1:00-3:45 (Not sure how to cite my class section)