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No Matter The Messenger, the Value Is In the Message

August 21, 2015
Joseph T. Pelt - Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

It is a well-known and almost instinctive response to attack the messenger when one feels that the message being delivered is incorrect, unwanted or unfair. Why? Isn't free thought the first step of learning and honing an idea, even if someone's idea is not what you feel is the best? Isn't it better for society, for people to feel free to express themselves so we have varied points of view, which in turn will give us a greater understanding of the problem as a whole?

Tip O'Neal once said that "All politics are local." That perception stretches beyond just politics, but our way of thinking as well. All opinions, ideas, understandings can only be formed or derived from our personal cause and effect, thus making our ideas local within our own perception. To deny the messenger the freedom of thought and expression denies us from learning outside our local reality. As Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." By no means does this suggest you have to accept the message, but always allow the messenger the freedom to speak it. But because of this most disturbing tendency to personalize everything, a healthy and constructive debate about the issue involved, about objective facts and possible solutions to difficult problems, rarely occurs.

Then there is the other side of the coin: Those who attack the messenger, no matter the message. This may prove to be psychologically satisfying, but it does nothing to deal with the realities of any problem that you are looking to find a solution for. Actually, it has the opposite effect. When we concentrate on the messenger it will ultimately result in time-wasting procrastination from dealing with the issue at hand.

One needs not like, admire or even respect the messenger in order to take the message at face value and look for its true validity. The messenger is completely peripheral to the veracity and acuteness of the message itself.

In today's political environment we are so consumed by the moniker after a person's name whether it be Republican, Democrat or Independent or whether the person is White, Black or Hispanic, than we are the message being conveyed.

I understand that this country is run by the politics of the day. I also understand that politics in this country is a rough game; it is a game that not only do you have to think a certain way, but you have to think it the way that is acceptable to whomever is being acknowledged as "the oppressed of the week"! The political correctness that permeates our society clouds the message to such a disagree that no problem can ever be solved in a timely, efficient manner. We are too worried about offending someone or some group that we end up making excuses for the problem rather than making an efficient, timely, doable plan of action.

It is easier for someone who doesn't like a particular message to accuse the bearer of it as being a "hater", "racist", "sexist", "homophobic" or whatever perceived slight is being felt by whomever is feeling it. There are some that would rather wallow in victimhood with a "Woe is me" attitude than to rise above their circumstances and win on their terms.

It is up to each and every one of us to sing the virtues of ignoring who the messengers are and listen to the message. The current social and economic situation of this country is no longer tenable. There is a limit as to how many generations can consecutively be raised with higher taxes, higher debt, no hope and, in some cases, a self-imposed poverty without there being a total breakdown in our society.

I am quite certain that most of us desire that this cycle of victimhood, unemployment, taxes, debt and dependency be broken. To this, we have to understand it is past time to deal with the message and just ignore the messengers completely and finally.

But as long as we are more concerned with the messenger than we are with the message, with the person and not with the real issue, we have lost and will continue to lose. History teaches, if nothing else, that the message eventually must be addressed no matter who the messenger may be or society itself will perish.

In this life it is my desire to be on the path of a wisdom that will allow me to listen and hear those messengers who I may fundamentally disagree with, so that I can improve and create a better tomorrow for myself and my loved ones. I welcome all to take that path with me.

 
 

 

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