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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Overused Outrage

In the story, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, we see the simple moral that continuously crying out soon causes your cry to lose its luster. As in the story; at the very moment you have a sincere need for help and reason to cry out, people do not listen.

I believe this has occurred with the “overused outrage” being perpetrated on everyone at this moment in time.

From the cry of racism to the claims being made regarding wealth and privilege, the outrage has begun to lose its intended effect. The legitimacy regarding these and other concerns are being affected by the constant cry which is being shouted from every direction.

This tendency to go too far to be seen and heard is leading many to becoming unable to see or unwilling to listen. Perhaps a better way would be to thoughtfully present your concerns and allow others an opportunity to contemplate them and consider their validity.

Regardless, there is no denying, the louder the noise and the longer it drones on, the less likely it is to be heard.

You would think if someone would just consider the moral from a childhood story such as the one mentioned, they would see the flaw in this approach.

I am not trying to suggest there are not legitimate concerns people are facing and dealing with every day. I am simply expressing the reality constantly shouting incoherently about the issues you believe are important, does not make them important to others.

The only way to enlist others to share your view is by giving them an opportunity to compare that view to their own. Here is where common ground can be found, and here is where consideration can be given.

So, as the noise continues and the voices grow louder, we must ask ourselves; if we are the ones shouting, is anyone listening or if we are the ones being shouted at, do we care enough to listen?

If we are not careful, our ability to care for others can be lost in the “overused outrage” of someone demanding we care.

Proverbs 16:21, “The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness”.

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