It’s like the kids’ game, “telephone,” to use a cliché example. If you go by some headlines, tweets, facebook memes and your neighbor’s reaction, you may have missed the truth about the speech given at the end of the Hamilton theater performance, directed to attendee, Vice-President-elect Mike Pence .
But I think this is one of the best things I’ve seen post-election. A first, I just thought the actor’s words were intelligent, well-spoken, respectful. But the more time passes, I think it’s much more than that. THIS is a great example of discourse–both in the way Actor Brandon Dixon delivers his words-and in the way VP-elect Pence responds.
This is the highlight for me–the first glimmer of hope I’ve seen post-election–an example of communication well-done. Watch this if you haven’t actually seen the footage:
Excellent. No accusations, no insults, no name-calling. Just an honest appeal that Pence will listen to their concerns. Everything about the way he addresses the VP-elect is also respectful, and he appeals to his heart and intellect. Bravo.
This is what I do: teach people how to communicate. In many facets of my life, past and present, whether as a writing teacher, public school English teacher, Sunday School teacher, tutor or editor: I’m always trying to teach others how to communicate effectively and respectfully–not just because I believe it is honoring to others and God-honoring to talk to others with respect (even those who haven’t earned it), it’s also advantageous. This is when you stand the best chance of people actually hearing you.
(Facebook is a proving ground for this. When people start slinging insults, well, the usefulness of the poster’s attempt to converse takes a nose-dive. I’ve seen some really fantastic communicators be able to redeem it and something productive happens, but most often, I see the dive descend to the point of no-return, and everyone seems to shut down and leave the “conversation” angry and self-righteous, with starting opinions only further cemented with negative emotions.)
I’ve heard/seen people decry this theater speech, calling it deplorable as they bemoan how “the left” is awful and unrelenting in its protest-but I seriously had to wonder if those critics listened to the speech, both its tone and actual words. For people wanting to make their voices heard, this is spot-on, well-done.
As a teacher, I teach students how to air their grievances with me in a respectful, constructive way. Kids/people need to have an outlet for engaging authority figures and be heard. This is an awesome example.
Not only did Pence say he was “not offended,” I love what he reportedly told his daughter as they experienced this night at the theater, amidst both jeers and cheers: “This is what freedom sounds like.” And as for the speech by Dixon, I’d venture to say, that is what progress sounds like. Imagine how every-day people would understand each other if we all could converse as Dixon and Pence, with respect, using ears to hear, and not getting offended when someone voices an honest concern from their vantage point in life.