The Art Of Confrontation
Let me say upfront – I never developed this skill. Not only don’t I have any talent for confrontation, I have so studiously avoided it that I think I show some real ability in this area. It’s somewhat ironic that frequent moments in my career required that I confront people, my passionate belief in my professional purpose fueled my provocative challenges at times and it’s hard to get through the adolescences of three boys without having to go toe-to-toe every once in awhile. But, I have never sought out such exchanges preferring more peaceful resolutions (which admittedly took longer and arguably required more patience). This wasn’t because I’m such a great person – honestly, it’s because I really can’t stand vitriol and words spoken with such hostility that do-overs are impossible.
But boy oh boy, this weekend I wanted to rush Limbaugh. Literally. I wanted to rush the guy and wither him with my superior vocabulary and make him cower in fear of the scorching venom that would drip from my fangs. Oh, and I wasn’t planning on providing any anti-toxin either. I am not going to write about my political persuasions – I’ll leave that to people to the left and right of me who write more capably. I do think the guy should be fired, and in the interest of equity – feel similarly about any shock jock who delights in the extreme denigration of others. With all the devastation and heartache that is evidenced in the news, my palpable reaction to his idiotic cruelty was off the charts.
The kids were over for brunch yesterday and my son provided the voice of reason. He’s a very smart guy, and perhaps a little more absolute in his perspective than I. Typically he is more inclined to opine and do so with confidence and bravado. Although one of us leans more to the left and the other more to the right, we respect each other enough to know where our buttons are and we leave them alone. I was the one who raised the topic, unable to shake my disgust with the Limbaugh narrative. We agreed that regardless of one’s political beliefs, there’s too much hyperbole, blustering b.s. and not enough substantive discourse for informed decisions to be reached. And for reasons which defy me, if there is nothing sensational to discuss, we will create it.
And I admit – when I’m standing in line at the supermarket I look at the cover of the National Enquirer, though I can’t bear to pick it up (although I was once tempted as a kid, when the cover story was about Martians landing on earth and they had these grainy black and white pictures of extra-terrestrials). As I’ve written before, I guess I avoid situations and discussions that reflect the worst of our human nature. It assaults my senses. But then again, I’m clearly part of a minority. Full disclosure – I’ve never watched reality TV either – maybe it is more than the real deal…maybe it is sensational.