I posted an article over at The Local News today written by Jonathan Chait from NYMag. Its truly worth your time to read it.
I struggle with the idea of political correctness. I know that its important to our first amendment rights to be able to say the things we think should be said without the fear of persecution. The problem for me is that some things shouldn’t be said without a filter. I don’t mean that to mean a political correctness filter, but with a compassion filter.
I think the language we use is often times not very compassionate and thusly becomes a reason for the challenges we face in our communications as a society. There are topics that can be incredibly offensive if just said without a filter; BUT, I believe these same topics can be discussed if we realize a need for being a bit delicate and using the compassionate filter in our brains that probably most of us have.
Of course, then you have to ask the question, how can we be compassionate about a topic we may not know anything about? I believe its up to each and every one of us to educate ourselves. If you have a opinion on something, shouldn’t you know what it is you are actually talking about – of which I mean, not what someone has told you to think, but what you have learned to be true through reading and analyzing for yourself.
I, admittedly, have a tough time with some of the humor today; the satire, the blatant snarkiness, and saying things just for the shock value. That said, though I love this generation of kids – they are exactly what my generation hoped to raise. They are absolutely less homophobic, less racist and have many less prejudices than our politically-correct generation did; and they are more informed than we were. I think with a tiny bit of a compassion filter (which I’m sure they will learn to use as they get older), the brashness and the snarkiness will become less of both and instead more productive communication tools they will use towards fixing the social problems of yesterday AND today.