Civility, opinions, and bad feelings.

Civility, opinions, and bad feelings 

The freedom to express ones opinions is a very important part of a civil society. I have made it clear that I support a yes vote in the Health Centre tax levy referendum. I don't have any trouble with anyone who disagrees, and I will respect their right to their opinion, whether they give me a reason why, or not. What I do have difficulty accepting is when people clearly have an agenda, but refuse to come out and say so. There have been a number of posts which fit into this category, where the writer uses implication to attempt to persuade, instead of an open, honest argument. To say one is not attempting to persuade people to vote one way or another, but to convey information and opinion that clearly leans only in one direction seems a bit disingenuous, in the sense of not being candid.
The other part of the current discourse that I find troubling is when a writer decries disharmony or bad feelings generated in the community by the proposal, and in the same piece says something like "And... if this referendum will not pass - the board of directors of JFC should pay the admin fees for the regional district providing this referendum.", or "Instead, they pronounced it right and just that all islanders should henceforth be made to subscribe to their dream and pay annual dues, so the palace could be kept in style and be made to be grandiose enough to provide the boons the mirage had promised."
It is my opinion that barbs such as these have the effect, intentional or not, of fostering more bad feelings. I am not naming the writers of these quotes. They have already publicly published them, and should certainly recognize their own work. To them, and to us all, I ask that each of us consider carefully our intentions when writing for publication, and then consider if our words are supporting our intent.
Your opinion is valid, and you have every right to express it, or not to. Other people have the same right to disagree. I fail to see why this should lead any of us to become angry with each other, simply because we disagree on an issue, and I do hope that we will all consider the effects, intentional or otherwise, that our words may have on others. I hope that we can all strive to communicate with civility and respect, and, if necessary, agree to disagree.
Tim Peterson 

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