Shamed Into Silence
By Bernadette A. Moyer
“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” Brene Brown
You will never understand unless you are willing to listen! All during this past Presidential campaign I watched and witnessed the direct and not so direct attacks made upon anyone that openly supported Donald Trump. All that did was to drive his supporters into a silent majority of people that were unwilling to risk the attacks by being honest. They never let the opposing side hear their true thoughts and feelings. They were literally shamed into silence.
People and very dear friends came out with loud and open criticism, contempt and even distain for Trump supporters. Often laughing at them and even calling them stupid. While this was going on I thought about teenagers who often find it difficult to be open and honest with adults in their lives. They are exploring life and often doing things that they know their parents won’t like or will openly disapprove of and the end result is kids that are afraid of speaking their truths. They feel shamed into silence.
A few days ago a man was openly berated by a complete stranger who happened to be seated next to him on an airplane. She did not like it that he was “celebrating” our new President Donald Trump. Ultimately she was escorted off the airplane for her behaviors. I don’t think I ever witnessed anything so unattractive in my life as to how she treated him and how it was her way of thinking, period. They were complete strangers. Why did it matter to her that he held a different opinion than the ones that she held?
She was closed off to anyone that didn’t think and believe like she did. Her way of thinking was right and everyone else was deemed wrong. How does this happen? What good comes from the unwillingness to be civil to others that don’t think and act just as we do?
Through this past election cycle I lost some respect for people that I otherwise had a high opinion of and it wasn’t because of the side that they chose or the beliefs that they held, it was simply because when the election didn’t go their way just how unglued they became. It was shocking for me to witness. It seemed to me that it went well beyond being a sore loser. It was as if their way was the only way. Their thinking was the only way to think. Their open inability to accept the outcome and to adjust and adapt made me question who they were.
For many years I had a sense that the “media” was more like all editorial all the time. They seemed to have their own agenda and full of their own opinions. What bothered me most wasn’t even the position that they held but that my sense was they were contributing to what I call “lazy brained” telling everyone how to think and what to think and believe. Trying to do the thinking for others rather than giving them all the facts and allowing them to come to their own thought out conclusions. Lots and lots of manipulation seemed to be taking place.
I personally like hearing both sides of the story and then processing the information and coming to my own conclusion. I wasn’t the least bit surprised when Donald Trump won this past Presidential election. I knew many people and many groups of people that felt as though they were “shamed into silence” that they would be berated and laughed at for having a different idea or opinion of what was being reported in the main stream media.
I’ve always viewed myself as a strong independent woman both personally and professionally. At age 23 when my husband died leaving me with a 2 year daughter to raise I became I am woman hear me roar as I managed being “mom” and a career too. Later in life I held many executive positions as a professional career woman. I never once felt that because I was a woman I wasn’t just as capable as any man. It never occurred to me that I was somehow “lesser” because I was born female.
There is a lot going on today in society that I really don’t understand but I do believe one thing for sure, you will never appreciate another person views when you are unwilling to listen to them or to anyone who doesn’t think and believe just as you do.
And to me a large part of this presidential election outcome has to do with about half of the country feeling as though their voices and opinions didn’t count and largely went unheard.
When we shame people into silence we can’t act surprised, when they finally do speak …
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble