Words are powerful. While they have literal and “dictionary” meanings, they can be used in ways to influence and persuade people. They can be quick “shortcuts” that impede critical thinking. Certainly this is seen in all forms of political dialog. However, it can also be seen in professional and personal settings as well. The use of definitive words like: all, will, usually, etc. are used in situations that are may not be appropriate. Statements like:
Republicans are . . . Democrats are . . . Baptists believe . . . Catholics believe . . .
To disprove any of the statements above, all you need to do is find one Republican or one Democrat who “is not.” Or, one Baptist or one Catholic who “do no believe . . . ” Share your thoughts on the following questions:
What? – do you recognize the problem using definitive words in today’s rhetoric
Why? – can the the use of definitive words be harmful in personal and professional situations
How? – might you become more cognizant of when you or others use them
Share any examples to support your thoughts.
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