Dixie Darr

Stop Wasting Time

In Learning on June 21, 2017 at 6:47 am

That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back. At my age that means something.
It was the mansplainer (I have a few other names for him, too) in the audience who pissed me off. A woman asked a question, and before the speaker could respond, this middle-aged white guy said, “Before you answer that—-blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” He went on for 3-4 minutes yammering about several different topics and never did ask a question.
When he finally (!) took a breath, I spoke up and told the speaker, “I’d like to hear you answer her question first.”
But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I went to the viewing of a film about the crisis in Syria to educate myself because like most Americans I am woefully ignorant about the Middle East. The film was okay, focusing mostly on the desperate lack of medical care for refugees.

The speaker, who chairs the local chapter of a Syrian American organization was knowledgeable, passionate and completely disorganized. His rambling, stream of consciousness style of speaking lost me about a minute in—and he went on for well over an hour. He described feeling overwhelmed by the “fire hose” of information coming from his parents’ native country and then proceeded to turn the fire hose on us.

To be fair, I did learn something about Syria, so mission accomplished, I guess. When you have that much thrown at you, something’s bound to stick.

The one question I wanted answered, which the woman in the audience asked and I suspect we all wanted to know, was “What can we do to help?”

He had a hard time answering that. First, he said the US military had to get involved and then rambled on for 10-15 minutes veering off into several tangents. Another audience member tried again to focus the speaker on what the 15 or so of us there last night could do, and he finally, FINALLY answered the question. We can educate ourselves (the Syrian American Council is a good resource) and post about it on Facebook. He pointed out that among us we had thousands of Facebook friends, so our little group had more reach and influence than we probably realized.

So there you have it. My first effort to help is simply to implore the speaker to learn how to focus his message into a coherent presentation. People are not as “heartless” as he seems to believe, but he has to do his part, too.


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