My Sound, Your Sound

My noise is not your noise.

~Jeff Turner

One of the most wonderful things about this country is our freedom of speech. We are able, with limited restrictions, to have, hold, change and voice our own personal ideas about almost anything. This is good for me. I love to converse, I love to learn, and I love to converse about the things I learn. An open and well connected source of conversation thrives in this circumstance.

One of the most abused things in this country is our freedom of speech. We are able, with limited restrictions, to defame, discourage, tear down and belittle the personal ideas of almost anybody. This is not good for me. I love people, I love ideas and I love people with ideas. A hostile environment of ugly and ill will kills all of these things.

In my observation, the root of the latter comes from a personal respect issue – while we are allowed to take things much more personally, we do not feel obligated to offer any other persons a modicum of respect. Even as I read that back, I know it sounds hard and have attempted to put it a different way. In truth, I am inclined to put it in the “it is what it is” pile and move along.

The reality is we all have different ideas, beliefs, priorities, backgrounds, preferences, passions, peeves, etc. More than the idea that we are not all ever going to completely agree is the truth that we all shouldn’t. I love coastal, southern Georgia for a myriad of reasons. I am super stoked that some folks prefer colder, warmer, western, eastern, northern, southern locations. I like my space and, as much as I love people, we won’t all fit here. We are supposed to be different. We are supposed to find appeal and wonder in different things – think of all the wonderful things we would lose or miss if we were all covering the same ground in the same way.

Today, I encourage you to embrace the uniqueness that is you. Know that those things that are noise to others does not make it any less valuable as sound to you. In turn, respect the sound of others, even when it hits your ears as noise. I am obviously not saying we have to agree, condone or even like. We are even capable of removing ourselves from the clash respectfully. But, more often than not, when two different people with different everything, come face to face in mutual respect, real conversation happens – and the noise becomes a sound that can teach, heal and reconcile.

Hat Tip to Jeff Turner

Today’s quote from Jeff Turner was found while reading his new series “Listening as a Strategy.” It’s great, non fluff stuff. Not a bad idea to check it out.

Featured Photo from Funkor Child Art Center ~ Artists are Sara 10, Zehra 12, and Ayla 11


  1. April, I’m honored.

    My two cents: Mutual respect often isn’t, unfortunately. It means respecting everyone’s perspective and point of view, ESPECIALLY when it is different from your own. I think where we get off track is in thinking that respecting is the same as agreeing. Respecting is not the same as agreeing. You can hold on to your own views while still respecting those of others. Mutual respect means that we treat everyone with dignity – all the time – not just when we are in a good mood, or when things are going our way, or when we agree with them.

  2. Michael Price says:

    I often think back to the advice I have given my children over the years. Respect is a tough issue these days. I often refer the years my kids went through k-12 as the “age of entitlement”. They were taught by the larger portion of their educators that they were entitled to things that, in reality, they were not. As parents Laurie and I had to struggle with issues and re-educate them in a manner more steeped in reality. That applied to the more important intangibles of life as much as it did things like higher education, good paying jobs etc. It is important to teach our young that just because they are free to say whatever they feel, they are not entitled to do it in a way that shows disrespect or complete intolerance of an opposing view or authority, no matter how strongly they may feel about it. I believe that is a fact lost on contemporary society. It would appear we have mortgaged the most important piece of real estate in the world. It’s that place where good things get done. The “common ground”. It’s that place where common sense used to live but evidently got tired of the neighborhood.

  3. Jeff, I am glad ~ I told you – your post hit a cool spot.
    You are right in that mutual respect is the act of treat each person with dignity. In areas of ration disagreement, this form of missed behavior pains me as it creates bigger issues that those originally created by the ideal differentiation.

    And while I also agree that some folks confuse having respect with having to agree, that there are others who confuse having mutual respect with I will allow a free pass on your inhumane ideas. While I will say that most people deserve mutual respect and understanding, I will not allow that belief to hold me hostage to those who seek to do injustice to the just of the world.

  4. Michael,

    Reminds me of something my Momma always says ~ “You can say anything you want as long as you remember who you are saying it to.”

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