The value of civility

4 04 2009

Honor and civility have their place in this dog-eat-dog world we live in. I firmly believe that you must keep your head high no matter what, and you can’t stoop to any level. Sometimes it’s hard to live up to this ideal, but you have to try. Conflict is a chance for communication and greater understanding.

People on the Internet, and in many facets of society, often fail to realize that others are just like them. Some are just trolls. But in many cases, a would-be enemy can be turned into a friend.

Case in point, a few days ago, I received a heated comment on one of my flickr images expressing offense and disappointment at the title. My first urge was to retaliate. How dare he? Upon closer examination, it seemed that the person was probably reaching out (in their own way). As much as I wanted to give this person a piece of my mind, I decided to change the title and then initiate a conversation with this fellow. I think now that I have made a new friend.

This was a strangely profound experience for me, however miniscule in the scheme of things.  I wish more people would just calm down and take a second to listen to each other, and that goes for myself too. Indeed, by being understanding and assertive, we can turn enemies into friends and the opposition into allies. This is not to paint a rosy view of the world (as I am extremely well aware of the many inequities this world brings), but only to emphasize that even when it is difficult, the only way we can move forward is together.

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2 responses

11 04 2009
UJ

You made an on-line friend? Probaby a serial killer…
Don’t you watch CSI Atlanta?

On a lighter note G.P. & U.T. have arrived safely back in Wisconsin.

27 04 2009
Nicole

Thanks for the update!

I’m an online friend for some folks. Hmm. Maybe I’m a serial killer too. Or maybe not.

That was creepy.

Glad to hear the update!

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