There is a constant hum in America today, as talking heads pontificate 24 hours a day on information that most of us don’t really need to know. The idea of “too much information” has come home to roost in a nation fascinated with hearing their own voices. From Congressmen to preachers, too much talk is never good for anyone!
But, here we are, bombarded daily by the thoughts of individuals who never got to speak their minds before, and now can’t stop talking, even as they embarrass themselves and the people around them. I thought that Aretha Franklin’s family showed amazing sangfroid at her home-going celebration, as one performer and preacher after another, for nearly eight hours, talked and sang!
No funeral should last even half that long! Funerals are meant to comfort the living, while bringing them closure in the loss of a beloved family member. But Ms. Franklin’s funeral seemed to be about the speakers getting their 15 minutes of fame and not about the mourning of the family! There was not even a balance between the comforting of the family and the career enrichment of some of the speakers.
The preacher who delivered the eulogy obviously forgot the meaning of the word. A eulogy is meant to praise the person who died, listing their attributes, accolades, and accomplishments, as well as speaking of the need for people attending the funeral to accept Christ as their Savior before their lives end, too. But, he took the opportunity to give a “state of black America” speech, particularly to disparage black single mothers as incapable of raising their sons to be good men.
I took offense at that statement, for I raised three boys to be great fathers and providers for their families, teaching them that the world did not owe them anything just because they had been born. I instructed my sons to work hard, dream big, and to remember the pain of not having a father and to not inflict that same suffering on their children, if they were blessed to be fathers. I know many black women, who like myself, did not choose single parenting, and their sons can be seen achieving greatness in every field of endeavor in America.
Ms. Franklin’s family found the more than 50-minute eulogy “offensive” and “distasteful” to her as a black woman who raised four sons practically alone. His statements that “black lives do not matter and will not matter” nearly had me going through the television set! I agree that there are problems in black communities that need solving, paramount among them is quality schools and employment opportunities for young blacks, but a funeral is not the place to put forth a negative agenda.
What occurred was a whole lot of talking, but not much comforting. But that seems to be the environment today in which there are absolutely too many ways to get your opinion known, many of them allowing for anonymity. I assume that people think that by using sobriquets to hide their true identity that they are free to denigrate, belittle, deprecate, and humiliate people as much as they want. But, for me, if you cannot say what you want face-to-face, instead of in a cowardly way, then just stay silent.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 states, “There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” We have lost the ability to know when to do which of the two. And Proverbs 17:27-28 reminds us, “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Too much talking has never been good, for it shows that there are some foolish people who think that they are wise, but who should probably keep silent to not prove otherwise.
As I noted in my post yesterday, we need a rest from all the talking, especially the unnecessary talking that must fill a 24-hour, seven-days-a -week news cycle. And we need to be teaching people to operate with balance, knowing when to shut up and when it is okay to speak your two cents.
Fandango prompt is Balance. Ragtag prompt is Sobriquet. Word of the Day Challenge is Pontificate. Word of the Day from MwsR is Sangfroid.