BUFF SCOTT, JR.
Improving Our Gift Of
There was a time, probably about 25 years ago, when I dropped out of a public Forum
because I was convinced two of the principal penmen’s inflated wisdom had gone beyond their ability to control and communicate effectively. The symptoms were quite conspicuous, not only to me but to others as well.
I felt their puffed up “wisdom” and inferior communication hampered them from seeing reality and discerning their own doctrinal weaknesses. No, I did not expect them to agree with all of my perspectives, but I did expect them to adopt the possibility that some of theirs were possibly fallacious, “out in left field,” and that their attempt to communicate to others needed to be cultivated. That outlook was lacking on their part.
My thought then was, and had been previously, that a scribe who feels he is inerrant and comes over as one who thinks he is beyond being taught or corrected, is a dangerous “thorn in the flesh” of any dialoguing forum. When I confronted one of the “thorns in the flesh,” he called me a three-letter expletive. When I challenged him about his vocabulary, he responded, “That proves I am free from legalism!”
Why am I sharing this experience? It seems the need to clarify never ends. Ideas, views, issues, and philosophies are not always communicated effectively by those of us who own and share them. This meager venture is to encourage each of us to define our positions clearly and transmit them kindly, professionally, and in such a way that no recipient is offended. However, let me emphasize that it is acceptable to oppose and speak negatively of a system, an arrangement, a scheme, or a program without degrading or speaking evil of those who are innocently caught up in their web.
To rephrase it, many of our ideas and conclusions that backfire can be laid at the feet of poor and ineffective communication. We need to be able to speak clearly and communicate distinctly without degrading, disparaging, or belittling each other. For when we belittle each other, we have lost the case.
My eagerness to pursue the right path finds solace in the maxim that no man is able to appease all of his critics. If my approach to these matters makes for greater understanding and brotherhood, my efforts will not have been wasted. If not, you are no less my brother or sister.