Just a note while I ruminate on issues important to the future of Judaism.
I was reading a friend’s blog recently and someone had posted a comment, “chill baby baby chill baby baby chill.” This friend had written a passionate, but well reasoned, post on human rights violations. I would say she was justifiably upset at her perception of widespread indifference to hate crimes. In response, I would like to offer the following public service announcement:
When you come across a person who appears incensed, passionate, or upset, please refrain from telling them to “chill” (or any other manifestation of “calm down”). If a person is validly upset about something, telling them to chill will undoubtedly make them angrier. If they are being irrational, it will have the same effect. In the former situation, a more productive response would be to inquire why they are so incensed. If appropriate, you may suggest that they contextualize the issue, if your purpose is to help them calm down. Alternatively, you could aid them in addressing their concerns, which would also have the effect of calming them down. If they are being irrational, leave them be until they have calmed down naturally or show them evidence that they are being irrational. “Chill” does nothing to aid a discussion of the issues at hand. So please, refrain