One Word that Kills Empathy and Divides People

I stumbled upon something so small and simple that we can all do that can make a big difference.

I was sending out a tweet related to the recent incident with the 12 suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats.  Any such tweet is risky and can drive a twitter storm of angry replies.  I drafted this tweet:

Sending a bomb like device to scare some is awful, but lets not forget the 56 people that die every day from home-made bombs worldwide.

What is the problem with that?  It is factual; I used FBI statistics.  Scaring someone with a bomb like device is unquestionably awful.  56 people dying every day from home-made bombs is awful.  There is certainly nothing fundamentally wrong with that tweet. However, it would have unquestionably been met with a twitter storm of hate.  Why?

But…

The word “but,” is the problem with the tweet.  The word but, to some, would negate any empathy from the statement.  People would say that the statement means there is an implication that the mailing of bombs is okay because they did not kill anyone. Now, that is clearly irrational.  In no way does that tweet actually say that, but that is exactly how some would react and what they would say.

I don’t think it is up to people to word their statements in a way that the so called “snowflakes,” can’t take offense to it.  If people are irrational, and trying hard to find something wrong with everything, they’ll find it.  However, I stumbled upon something so small and simple that we can all do that will help keep all intended empathy and actually help bring people together, verses divide us.

Remove “but” and replace it with “and.”

Sending a bomb like device to scare some is awful, and lets not forget the 56 people that die every day from home-made bombs worldwide.

I removed “but” and replaced it with “and.”  One word, and it makes all the difference.  I tweeted it out and received retweets from both the far left and far right.  I did not receive one negative reply.   The reason?  There is no word to divide us. The “but,” divides us.  The “but” allows for misinterpretation.  The “and” is all-inclusive.

When you catch yourself saying, “but,” pause for a moment.  Try the word, “and,” instead.  See the difference it can make.  “And,” recognizes equally both connected parts of a statement.  “But,” allows for the allocation of percentage of sincerity, empathy or importance to the connected parts of a statement.

Less but.  More and.

 

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