Friday, November 11, 2016

Do Not Feed The Flame

There is a certain part me that, in response to the election, feels like the adults are in charge again.

It is the same sort of feeling when one takes charge of one's own life - the sense of moving forward again, of purpose, of doing things that mean forward progress to get things done.

Obviously a large portion of the populace is not seeing it this way.  Their response - walkouts, protests, burning and violence - remind me of nothing more (and nothing less) than the tantrums thrown by a toddler who has not gotten their way.

The real question, of course, is how to respond to this.

I have change my philosophy on this. Originally (and possibly when Na Clann were growing up) I tried to reason with them, to explain, to justify.  But this (as you might imagine) was not always successful.  Why?  Because I was paying attention to the behavior.

Here is the reality, at least how I see it from my point of view:  this is occurring because it is believed that this will get attention, that others will stop and take notice and try and assuage the feelings and  perhaps even validate them.  The screaming, as with a child, is to get noticed.

So my advice to all of us is wherever possible,  deny it the attention it craves and get on with work that needs to get done.

Ignore it.  Do not engage.  Do not debate - I have come to understand that for a certain group of people, the word "debate" simply means a monologue in which they can overrun and devalue your thinking.  Win on the power of results, not the power of tantrums.

Where people try to argue, walk away.  If it means for a time pulling back from relationships or even moving on from them, so be it.  Simply put, to engage means to enable the behavior.  Do not enable this behavior any more than you would enable the behavior of a substance abuser or abusive spouse.

Here is the funny thing:  this sort of tantrum-like rage cannot sustain itself forever.  It has to have something to feed on (that fuel-flame-oxygen combination you all remember from basic safety).  The flame comes from within them, but the oxygen (attention) and the fuel (events) can be denied them.  And like flames, denied these it will eventually gutter and flame.

There is a lot of important things that need doing here. right now.  Frankly, the least we should all have time for is to feed the tantrumic explosions of child-like rage.


  1. I just laugh at them and tell them to get over themselves.....then I walk away.

    1. As I wrote above, I think I used to think that conversation and reasoning would be effective. Sadly, I cannot see this being an effective strategy going forward. More laughter may be in my future...

  2. I have reservations TB. While some of this is just childish behaviour... some of it is really nasty and vile. It has devolved into violence in some areas. Somebody is going to get shot before this is over.

    1. Some of it is Glen - anarchist, if you will. And I believe there are have already been some injuries and at least 1 shooting (in Portland, OR). Perhaps the needle I should have threaded is that I want to deny them the attention (because without attention, these things melt away). But you are correct in that if it continues in a violent and riotious fashion, it will need to end.


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