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Letters: Pattern in emotional reaction

Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Having read the letter titled "Zimmerman questions" in the July 17 Readers' Forum, I see a pattern that is indicative of much the nation's current emotional reaction to an immediate situation, but also a general overall reaction to so much of the information we get.

The letter begins with the expression, "There has to be more to the story," which suggests a lack of solid information and a good deal of speculation. That beginning is followed by four citings of, "it seems like" or "it seems to prove" as well as "which insinuates," "people often say" and "it probably would have had to be something racist."

Supporting this, I note that the lead letter in Sunday's Readers' Forum begins with, "Apparently most people do not know much about George Zimmerman." The writer then goes on to point out a number of things that were new information for me, and, I suspect, many others.

My observation is that we draw a lot of conclusions and establish many emotional mindsets based on fragmented accumulations of facts. I am persuaded that we need to be more cautious at every level of receiving information. Imagine the impact if, before responding, we passed the newly acquired information through a filter — a filter which caused us to pause and ask, "Is it possible that there is anything I don't know," before forming an opinion and response. Think what a difference it would make if we all were to default to a use of such a filter before we begin to process the things we hear.

Kendall Ayres

Sandy

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