Some of the world’s most interesting people
have the least opportunity to say what they think.
I thought I should let that thought stand alone, for awhile, to settle in. By this thought, I mean that, often in the modern world, the people we empower with a public voice, are not the most interesting, or the most intelligent of people...yet they are the ones we end up listening to, in all their vapidity. The whole situation strikes me as particularly dim, for what it does to the level of public discourse. In particular, I think of all the missed opportunities we all, as a society, have to learn from those who would be most interesting to listen to.
In our world, it is often the celebrity that is heard above all voices. Yet, what makes a celebrity? Is it intelligence? Often not. Is it genius? Almost certainly not. Is it taste? Questionable. Is it insight? Hardly. Why then do we listen to celebrities? Because they are the ones who get to speak their "thoughts" to us.
I have quite a lot to say, on many things. I also have a lot to say that I have never had the chance to say - because it hasn't been permitted in public - it hasn't been given the nod, to be published. Yet, my reach is small. I have a blog and I have intermittent newspaper articles in one South East Asian country. My thoughts do not have global reach. Yet, I can't help but feel that not a few of those thoughts are more worthy of such reach, than the words of many celebrities, in this world. They speak, and all the world hears...yet what they say, is hardly ever worth the utterance.
It is strange, how a public voice is accorded. It is not done on merit. It is done almost magically. The person who ends up with the loudest public voice, is not the one whose thoughts are of most worth - but whose PERSONALITY, attracts most interest, or, indeed, who is just damn good looking. (Which is, of course, the only thing some celebrities offer).
I would like to see a world in which the most interesting people, the ones whose thoughts are measured carefully and crafted well, are also the ones we most tend to hear and listen to. That is not our present world. We live in a world in which the trivial receives most attention and the profound is often ignored. That is not a healthy world. It is a world in which the Mind of Man, is slowly dying, as a corporate entity - the group of us all, thinking.
I invite you to consider who it is, you hear in public. Notice that often the quality of the mind, does not match the quality of the opportunity. Too often mediocre minds, have a great opportunity to speak - and brilliant minds have too little a chance to be heard.
Of course, most people don't even realize how often the best of Man, get few opportunities to be considered, by the public. The masses are too busy hearing out, those they should not bother to hear at all.
Perhaps, in a way, it is the choice of the public. Perhaps the public prefers to listen to people like the average person. Perhaps they don't want to hear, ever, what the best of thinkers, have to say. Perhaps such thoughts are regarded as unacceptable, or perhaps incomprehensible, in some way. Even so, there should not be a relative silence, by those most able to speak. Their thoughts should be part of the public discourse; their views should have the chance to be heard.
We all lose out when it is not the best of us, who are given the chance to speak. We lose nothing, if mediocrities were to be silenced, instead. However, I doubt they ever will be. The mediocre, shall dominate the media, forevermore. In the meantime, the profound shall watch from the sidelines, knowing all, telling none, for want of the opportunity to do so.
If we want a better world, all we have to do, as a mass, is to listen to the quieter voices, who have much more to say, than we have ever given them the chance to do so.
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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Labels: celebrity commentary, genius and society, genius and solitude, having a public voice, intelligentsia, listen to the ones who do not speak, public discourse, the quieter ones are often the brighter