Saturday, October 25, 2008

On Respect

I try hard to keep this a writing blog and don't generally inject my own personal stuff...except for these occasional weekend posts. :)

I just gotta say that people seem different lately. Not sure if it's because Election Day is rapidly approaching, and this election has some seriously charged emotions behind it. Which is great, because that means people are getting involved. And I hope this means everyone will get out and vote.

What concerns me is the manner in which some of these people are speaking. I actually got involved in a couple political discussions, and this is something I NEVER do. My political beliefs are very personal, and, hence, very private. I haven't said (and won't say) who I'm voting for, but I have pointed out a few inconsistencies here and there. They were met with some flippant, even insulting, comments. I politely asked one commenter why she was speaking that way to me, and her answer was "It's a free country and I'll say what I want." She went on to say that she can take what she dishes out, which makes it okay.

Huh? When did it become okay to insult people simply because you can handle insults in return?

I believe in free speech. I will most certainly speak up if I believe something needs to be said. That's partly why I want to be a writer, because I've got something to say. And, because I'm a writer, I've got a really thick skin and can take some pretty heavy insults. But does that mean I should dish it out just because I can take it? I don't think so.

I believe in the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. If I went around insulting others, then, according to this rule, that translates into me wanting them to insult me back. Except I don't. Who does? No one I know. I'm sure the snarky woman doesn't want it either. She can take it, sure, but wanting it is very different.

I don't know...maybe I'm just old-fashioned. Even though I'm not old. :)

13 comments:

C.R. Evers said...

Amen sister! I'm totally on board with you here! I'm constantly thinking of how strange it is that when election day draws near, adults take on the mannerisms and social capabilities of 2nd graders.

I think it's great to stand up for what you believe in and I love that we have a vote, but does that mean the other side is REALLY pure evil?

No matter who is elected somethings will go well, some things will not. Some people will benefit, others will not.

Let's get over ourselves people. Have your opinions, vote. Please vote! But get over yourselves people. We are Americans and we need to stick together w/o the name calling and infantile behavior. I know who I'm going to vote for, but the world will not end . . . they sky will not fall . . . my life will not be ruined if the other candidate is elected. As a matter of fact, I think it's pretty stinking cool that no matter who is elected, there will be a person holding office, whether president or vice president that will be a first in our history. A gender or race that in our grandparents time would have never been a possibililty. I think it's cool to see how far we've come with equality as a nation. Now if we could only act like grown ups in our difference in opinions.

WheW! That rant felt good. Thanks for letting me jump on your wagon! :0)

Angela said...

Politics are difficult for people to stay rational about. Some let their passion for the subject turn personal, probably becuase they feel they are a bit powerless in the big picture, so it's okay to attack people in the discussion, because they are accessible, whereas the politicians creating the mess are not. It doesn't make it okay...it's also why I tend to avoid getting involved in the discussion myself--I just don't have the stomach for it.

CJ Raymer said...

Yes, yes, yes!!!! That's absolutely what happened to me the other day! (Remember when I blogged along this same line?) If people are going to talk politics, why can't they simply state the facts that they want to discuss and debate while sparing us the insults and demeaning comments? I feel that people show their ignorance when they do that. They can't think of anything intelligent to say, so they resort to name-calling and stereo-typing.

I think there is a way to participate in political debate (if we so choose) and keep it mature and civil. (Can you tell that I'm still a bit aggravated?)

I'm done with it. This is why I don't get into it very often. (Even though my hubby thinks I should have a political blog, as well. I just couldn't stomach it on a regular basis.) I feel myself becoming cynical, and I don't like it. XOXO CJ

Jacqui said...

Word up. What intrigues me about the trash talk, is that never in the history of humans has someone persuaded someone else to change his mind by spewing venom.

It's like I tell my second grade students: when you talk meanly about someone else, it only reflects badly on you.

Gottawrite Girl said...

I absolutely agree... election season has turned into Reality TV! Oy!

Tabitha said...

Christy - what a fabulous attitude!! And you're absolutely right. This is an historic race no matter who wins. :)

Angela - I usually avoid political debates too. Still have, for the most part. It just boggles my mind that so many people think it's okay to dish out insults simply because they can take it in return. I don't get it. :)

CJ - your post party inspired my post! :) After reading your post, I started to wonder at the underlying tones a lot of people have. Not everyone, but a lot. Then, this post was born. :)

You're so right that political debates can happen without all those unnecessary and irrelevant insults. And I'm done too, unless I can find someone who I know will remain civil throughout. In other words, a needle in a haystack. :)

Jacqui - so true. It's amazing how everyone seems to forget this. You have great advice for your 2nd grade students. :)

GWG - LOL!!! It sure has, especially with some of the articles and press releases I've seen lately. For most of them, I just sit and stare, thinking "seriously?" :)

Beth Kephart said...

This is a timely and important post. I stand with you! Also private about my views, also longing for a more civil conversation.

Good posting!

Brenda said...

I agree with you 100%...Who I vote for is between me, the pole booth and the Lord...

The other day I was at the grocery store and I overheard these 2 people discussing politics...they were really getting heated and then the one lady said, "All I know is it won't be my fault no matter who wins...I don't vote!" and she walked away... WHAT??!!

I don't understand...why and how can you get so mad/upset about something that you aren't even a part of...what was the purpose of making the scene when you are choosing to not have a real voice in the matter...???

My grandmother always said, "Some people work very hard to be heard, others are just lazy enough to deafen us."

I remember asking what that meant and she said...people who do something about something work hard...people who do nothing about something talk loud. grin...

Kelly said...

I totally agree with you. I usually abstain from such conversations, because so many people cannot debate respectfully. I used to watch The View a lot, but stopped after the ladies were so disrespectful to one another when they disagreed. I don't understand why educated people can't disagree in a kind manner!

Tabitha said...

Beth - thanks! I wish there were more people like you and the others here who were engaging in debates...

Brenda - huh??? Okay, that doesn't make any kind of sense. Not voting is the same as not trying, which could make everything your fault because your vote could have tipped the scales. *sigh* I just don't understand some people...

Kelly - I'm so glad to know that I'm not alone here. Really. I'm glad there are others who don't understand the meanness that comes out these days. You're so right that educated people should be able to disagree in a kind and respectful manner. We should start our own organization: "I Respectfully Disagree," or "People for Respectful Arguments and Debates." :)

Carrie Harris said...

We might be twins. Ditto ditto ditto!!!

beth said...

I love the idea of free debate--but debate does NOT mean demeaning. Discussion is one thing, but outright attacks are another.

And I love it that this blog is focused on writing--I prefer it that way, and strive (mostly) to do the same with mine.

Tabitha said...

Carrie - LOL!! Wonder Twins unite! :)

Beth - so true. :) I love how your blog is a writing blog too. And I also love how you insert little personal things every now and then. :)