How did an oven that was intended to save us time and minimize our effort, morph into a way of being and interacting? It’s a rhetorical question, I know. But watching the reaction and the reaction to the reaction to the Shirley Sherrod debacle is yet another reminder of a very sad truth about our culture: The microwave oven has moved beyond the kitchen and into our psyche and way of being. If it wasn’t official before, it is now…we live in a microwave society.

Unlike an actual microwave, though, that comes with Do and Don’t instructions, we don’t have directives for how to live in a world that is short on patience and long on judgment. Perhaps if we did, we’d recognize that two and half minutes is perfectly fine for heating up food; not so much for evaluating and judging the many facets of human behavior and character and one’s motivation.

I hope we heed this wake-up call. May it prompt us to honestly and candidly talk about the so-called indecorous topics of race, power and money – or, as I call them the “taboo 3.” Each on their own can be sensitive and divisive; this week the concatenation of the “taboo 3” made the week of 19 July 2010 a horrible week for Ms. Sherrod, personally, and a political, emotional and financial volcanic experience for us all.

Share This

Yes, we use cookies.

We use cookies to customize your experience, to improve the content we deliver to you, and sometimes to show you relevant advertising on social networking sites like Facebook or Instagram. Is that cool with you? (Of course, you can decline the tracking, and can continue to visit our website without any data sent to third party services.)