Filters

drip coffee filterFilters help us relate to other people. When we see someone with their hair messed up (and not on purpose), do we tell them about their problem or keep it to ourselves? Do we share our political views without considering the majority perspective of those in the room? When we see something wrong, do we speak up and fight for what we feel is right?

Everyone falls somewhere on the scale of having a weak filter (readily saying what’s on our minds) to having a powerful filter (rarely saying anything). And it’s good that both types exist. If confronting people didn’t exist, nothing would ever get done. (And there would be a lot of mismatched outfits). If sensitive types didn’t exist, there would be a lot more wars.

I am glad for the diversity of creation.

Special thanks to my brother Bill. Our brief discussion of filters during his recent visit spurred this post.

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3 Replies to “Filters”

  1. I think back frequently to what I was like in high school and college, or even 10–15 years ago. I seem to have fewer strong opinions now, and am much less eager to voice them. My wife, on the other hand, has no problem with telling relatives and friends what is wrong with their lives and suggesting better courses of action.

  2. I am a weak filter. But I don’t use the word weak, I would say that I am direct and honest. Over time I have found that less people tolerate that quality. “Kindness” (not my definition) is trotted out as poster child for “if you can’t say something nice…” I disagree. I believe people NEED to hear more than they often do. I try often to say these things nicely and kindly, but often people just don’t hear them. I know I have needed to hear things and even if it hurt at the time, later I was glad to have heard it. 

    Like it or not (and I think most people don’t like it), we are changed by what others say to us, and say about us. Maybe it doesn’t change our actions or who we are, but it changes the status quo. And for those who fear risk and change, I think they are less likely to say things… more like to filter.

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