EDITORIAL: Empty vessels make the most noise

Where have all the manners gone?

“Empty vessels make the most noise.” – Plato

Empty vessels make the most noise is a proverb that means those with the least knowledge and least talent are the ones who often speak the loudest and the most.

We all know these types.

They never seem to look for the good in anyone or anything and are often critical, rude and judgemental. They are usually the first to tell you what you’re doing wrong. For your own good of course.

Unfortunately, today’s ease of communication (social media and email) gives them a quick and easy platform – unlike the consequences they would experience in face-to-face interaction.

Sadly, it seems people are ruder today making one wonder ‘where have all the manners gone?’

There’s a lot lost in communication without the benefits of good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction because the majority of communication is non-verbal, the tone of voice, body movements and eye contact. So when people communicate with each other through text, email or social media it’s easier to be rude.

But this begs the question, is social media and email really making people ruder or is it just bringing out one’s true colours?

There are various reasons people are brave enough to be rude online.

Some like the power it gives them because let’s face it, negativity seems to be more popular and gets more attention than being positive.

Some enjoy putting others down. It makes them feel better about themselves.

Some are so self-centred they never think about the person or group they are attacking.

And, as the saying goes, misery loves company so some people find comfort and a sense of belonging with others in negativity.

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Regardless, what is important to remember is that the majority of those who are “brave” enough to be rude online often don’t have the confidence – or courage – to say the same thing to your face.

One UK poll suggests that only 15 per cent of those polled had the confidence to walk into a room where they didn’t know anyone but a whopping 62 per cent felt confident enough to put a profile on a social media networking website.

So the next time someone is rude to you online, or in an email, just remember it’s not you. It’s really not. But rather, it’s a reflection of who that person is because their negativity and rudeness usually stem from their own fears.

That said, have compassion for the negative, empty person, don’t engage and stay positive.

Above all, remember, as Edmund Burke once said, “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”


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