I recently came across this article on Huffpost, one of my daily and favorite readings. It caught my attention firstly because it identified so strongly with a lot of my childhood and the person that I am today. Secondly, it surprised me a little to find that the author was Caucasian, not so much that this type of behavior didn’t exist in the Caucasian communities, but it is so much more dominant and outwardly visualized in the Asian communities.
In my family, yelling is never reserved for parties or excitements. In fact, the only form of positive yelling that you will find in my house is probably from me cheering at a Notre Dame game, or screaming from a roller coaster. Even then, I highly doubt that the latter can be considered positive when I’m feeling that I may die from fright at any second as I am moderately acrophobic. Yelling, from my experience, was always associated in a negative form, shame mostly, to spur us children to do better or to “do good”.
It bloody sucks.
There are a few points that I agree with in this article. I believe that yelling comes from a sense of wanting control after losing it elsewhere. It can come after a failure to convince someone to agree or do what we want. Or maybe it’s because Life isn’t going the way that we want it to be controlled, and that makes us incredibly frustrated. The ironic thing is, Life isn’t supposed to be under our control no matter how much we want it to be. That’s why there are accidents and freak deaths as well as natural occurrences such as disastrous earthquakes and tsunamis no?
The second thing that I agree with is how this author attributed a major cause to be the “life clutter” that came with having a busy practice as well as an attachment to mechanics and digitalization. Not only does this take you away from the human part of life, the part that you end up yelling at because you can’t control them like you do your electronic toys, it makes you incredibly dependent on things that really shouldn’t matter. You can always replace your cellphone or your laptop (hopefully you’ve been backing up on your external harddrive). You cannot replace the scars on a soul with fresh uninjured innocent “spirit tissue” after yelling at someone, especially repeatedly. Through an entire childhood. In addition, this is when I throw in the statement that yelling, like a majority of all behaviors and/or communications demonstrated in front of children, is carried on through the next generation. These children will think that it is a perfectly acceptable means of communication to yell at other individuals.
One thing that I like to add is that in this society especially, or in most first-world countries and communities, there is a sense (and almost ridiculous sense) of entitlement. There is this phrase called “first world problems” that seems to be making a presence on the world wide web, and there may even be a hashtag on Twitter for it. I find it incredibly ironic that people are using it as a reason to vent and complain as opposed to seeing it for what it really is, a first world problem, and making the most of it. This same sense of “entitlement” is almost ridiculously paired with the yelling that goes on in our society. Sure, people in Africa yell too, but a lot of them are starving. I would like to think that yelling and fighting for a handful of rice so that your family will not die can be excused in this sense. Yelling at a sales customer because you cannot get your hands on a $500 X-box though, with profanities mind you, not so much.
While there will be many more people who will shun this writer, I would like to think that if we can reach just one or two people who will change and stop yelling (over time of course), that will be enough. In it’s own way, that one “drop” can potentially turn into a ripple, which can then turn into a wave and make additional waves across a very large sea.
Happy continuing 2014.