|on rhetorical change|
February 20, 2017
The following words are coming out of my mouth frequently,
'We have to change the conversation.'
And I mean in all kinds of situations:
There's the whole political spectrum which may have been the impetus for this theme.
Slacking student, wherein I counseled to change the conversation you are having with yourself...
The textbook I am using for class is "They Say I Say" and most of the readings and assignments are couched in having a conversation (which all writing is anyway, a conversation with the audience...known or not). So there's this whole notion of the kinds and types of conversations which are occurring. And on Friday, when we were discussing a rather fiery response by bell hooks to Sheryl Sandburg's "Lean In," we talked about changing the conversation to being more inclusive and intersectional.
A conversation with #1 about his life plan requires a deep conversation to change attitudes and feelings with Jess.
And last evening in a discussion with JT we talked about a variety of topics including his new pursuit wherein the conversations in that space need not only to happen but change as well.
I suppose it would behoove us all to say that having a conversation requires deep listening and critical thinking especially is change is to occur. My paternal grandmother, rest her soul, used to say, "The good lord gave you TWO ears and ONE mouth, so's you can listen twice as much as you talk." Oh, Grandma, from your place on high can you tell those Washington buffoons the very same?
And, studies have shown we listen to respond not to understand. I'm not a communication major, but written conversations are just as powerful as the spoken kind, but we need to understand the rhetoric aka the REASONS people are speaking/writing; are they appealing to you logically with facts, data, and charts/statistics, are they coming at you from or with some kind of authority or inherent credibility? Or is the message one fraught with emotion because any way it comes, always there's a NEED to communicate. Hence the listening for understanding.
Once we understand, we can change the conversations and a whole host of situations, issues, and thinking. Let's get to it.