Friday, October 18, 2013
Sarcasm Extinguishes Creativity In Children
Please Leave Your Sarcasm At The Door
Sarcasm, like bullying, is about power, which is really about weakness covered up, which is really about insecurity. The response it draws, however, is fear; fear to speak up, fear to suggest, fear to offer, because sarcasm chooses to cut and splay rather than to hold gently and encourage. Sarcasm laughs at, points at, and mocks with its words cunningly crafted and delivered as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sarcasm scoffs at trust and faith and hopefulness and promise because perhaps somewhere deep down, sarcasm comes from a place of distrust, disillusionment, and maybe a pinch of anger and resentment; most probably a very sad soul. Sarcasm seeks to evoke laughter and a false levity at the expense of genuine-ness and pure delight. Sarcasm is not a friend of creativity in children, for instead of liberating the wonder-filled spirit of free and imaginative play, its ridiculing and overbearing nature crushes creativity and buries it under a pile of shame and embarrassment. We nervously laugh along with the sarcastic comment so that we can avoid being the wounded spirit laughed at. The target. The brunt. The loser. I have seen sarcastic teachers at work in their classrooms methodically dismantling student self-esteems with their well-chosen knife-like words all under the guise, the pathetic guise, of some sort of demented humor. It nauseates me to observe this insidious possibility thrasher which drives the creative spirit to retreat. It’s not intelligent, and it’s not clever regardless of what the world may say. It is demeaning, however, and needs to be recognized as the menacing bully that it is. If we truly long to establish classrooms where creativity and imagination are welcome and thriving, we must sweep out from every corner every trace of sarcasm’s poison.