Relevance of rhetoric
In today’s society, the political atmosphere is so charged that it is almost impossible to have any sort of discussion about politics. It is unusual to find a setting where one can have this conversation. Social media and chatrooms are out. Restaurants probably aren’t a good idea. And don’t even think about bringing it up in a class — even at BYU. In no place do I find it more imperative for us to understand the importance of rhetoric than at BYU.
Here, we have the mission to “enter to learn, go forth to serve.” This is a BYU-specific goal — serve others. How can we pretend to serve others if we cannot hold a conversation with someone with whom we don’t agree? No rhetorical debate can happen without a safe zone. We need to feel comfortable to converse.
In the last year and a half, we have undergone one of the most, if not the most, negatively charged political campaigns. Most often, it seemed that it was based not on who was the best candidate, but on voting for the one who was the least bad. It was about damage control. “Well, if we have to have a president, it may as well be (insert name) because he/she isn’t as bad as the opposition.” What a terrible idea that is. The election has been over for 16 months now, and still both sides are unable to have a proper conversation. That needs to change.
Chino Hills, California
Think back to a time when your dining experience hasn’t gone as planned. How did you react to the situation? Chances are you took your frustration out on the waiter or waitress when the problem wasn’t really their fault.
The wait staff is the face of the restaurant, but there is a lot more going on behind the scenes — cooks who burn your food, custodians who forget to clean your table and managers who enforce unfair restaurant policies. Clearly the wait staff has no control over such issues and chances are they are trying to make up for them. Despite your wait staff putting on a calm facade, they may be dealing with an inner storm.
You may have experienced a day when you slept through your alarm, received unfortunate news from your family or you just realized you don’t have enough money to pay rent this month. Your wait staff could be experiencing this nightmare today. On top of that, they have a customer expecting perfection in areas they can’t control. It’s no wonder they want to spit in your food when having to deal with your childish behavior. Next time you are out to dinner and having a less-than-optimal experience, remember that your wait staff is human too. You never know what is going on behind the scenes. Be patient. Be kind. Be understanding.
People can base their whole opinion on a first impression, but first impressions should only be the foundation on which judgment is made. We have become so reliant on our need to receive information at the touch of a fingertip that it has transferred to the way we socially interact with others. We make snap judgments about those around us and believe we know everything about them, by just a few details seen by the eye. This is more of a curse than a blessing as we prematurely judge others rather than discovering their true selves.
Sick of it
We all lead busy lives with obligations in school, work and a number of other things. The last thing we need is to get sick,
stay home and fall behind. But we need to stay home when these things happen! When we are sick and do not stay home, we tend to perform poorly in work environments, we are potentially contagious to others and we can be a distraction. When we are sick, there is no way to avoid the symptoms that come with whatever illness we are fighting. Our bodies are so exhausted fighting off the invasion that we cannot physically focus on the task at hand, whether that be at work, school or elsewhere.
This can greatly affect our own performance, and our symptomatology can cause our illness to spread to others. Coughing, sneezing and runny noses are all annoying to see and hear. When we come to work, school or any other high-demand environment, those symptoms are distracting and disgusting. Coworkers and fellow students will try to avoid us at all cost in hopes of evading whatever bug has infected us.
The solution to this is simple — stay home! Your friends and coworkers will thank you and your body will too. To those who come to work and school ill, we are sick of it!
—Dallin DuFort, Roseville, California
—Aubree Vargha, Anaheim, California
—Calen Johnson, Westpoint, Utah