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Thread: Mr. Moderator, I move you, Sir, to terminate uncivility

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  1. #1
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    Default Mr. Moderator, I move you, Sir, to terminate uncivility

    There has been so much press in recent months about bullying. Cyber-bullying, suicides, our schools. We want our kids to treat each other with compassion and civility. Our kids don't need to be friends with everyone else, but they do need to treat everyone else with respect, and be civil.

    Who are their role models? Who helps set the tone for whether this behavior is OK? WE DO! Kids learn this stuff from the world around them, and from adults. We help them understand what sort of behavior is OK, what is acceptable and what is not.

    I call upon us all to band together, to reach across the aisle and let our neighbors know that it is OK to disagree, but that we cannot be disagreeable.

    Last night, on the first standing count, Alan Reiss and I jokingly stared each other down. I voted one way (the right way :-), he voted the other. We can take opposite sides and still treat each other with respect. I hope that those around him (and me) knew that we were joking when we gestured to each other, "I am watching you." To us, this was funny, because we both know that it is OK to disagree, it doesn't mean that we can't get along. I don't even remember which vote this was, and it doesn't matter.

    I found this post on another discussion forum:

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone on another forum
    I, too wouldn't be surprised if they (the School Committee and SOS) fight it (Article 6).

    If they do, 'the people' should have a good look around the room and stare down the ones fighting it the same way they usually stare down anyone who should have the gall to vote against their favorite bills. (hopefully, the Electronic Voting article should put an end to this intimidation in the near future)
    Can we all agree together to stand up and say "NO!". We are not going to have a good look around the room and stare anyone down for the way they vote on ANYthing. And if anyone out there wants to be a bully on any of these articles, the rest of us will stand up for the victim (even if we disagree with their vote) and say to that bully, "That bullying is not welcome here. We are a community of neighbors, and we will not treat each other this way."

    I mean really -- how can someone be for Electronic Voting for privacy and simultaneously for staring down people who disagree with them? It's completely nonsensical. And if you think it's wrong for someone else to do it, then why, for pete's sake, would you do it yourself?

    Personally, I have had (more than) enough of the lack of civility. I have had enough of people thinking they have to take sides. I have had enough of people who think that those who disagree with them are the enemy. This is the end. I've had enough and I'm not going to take it anymore.

    I don't want to see anymore personal attacks of any kind on this Discussion Forum. Stick to the issues. Talk about stuff that matters. There will be no bullying here. If you have something to say, think of the nicest possible way to say it. Take an extra minute to think how it might be misconstrued. But then when you read someone else's post, ask yourself if you've read it in the most positive light, or whether you're trying to read the worst possible intent. Before you hit the Post button, ask yourself what you would say if you saw your child about to make the same post.

    I'm angry, but I'm calm, too. This is a new day. Don't bully me. Don't bully anyone else. Or you are not welcome here. And I expect EVERYONE to stand up for the victims. And then I expect no more victims, because we will all have grown up.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 05-14-2010 at 09:39 AM. Reason: typo - changed possible -> positive

  2. #2
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    Default I hear you loud and clear

    And I couldn't agree more. I enjoy hearing different opinions. Sometimes they strenghten my opinions sometimes they change them. Nobody is ever ALL right or ALL wrong. Black and white thinking is what makes "discussions" go nuclear. I'm all about the shades of gray; and there are many.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Price; 05-14-2010 at 04:47 PM. Reason: repeated words

  3. #3
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    Default Agreed.

    Kim,

    I agree wholeheartedly.
    It would be nice of course if that “reaching across the aisle” would begin with those who started this uncivility in the first place. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones who, in years past, would glare and stare, snicker and point at those voting against their wishes. The ones who would go up and chew people out for having the “wrong” candidate’s sign on their lawn, the ones who would steal other peoples’ lawn signs, the ones who lied about and spun beyond recognition what the other side’s message was, the ones who tried to get the other candidate fired from his day job, the ones who made robocalls insinuating false allegations in order to get their guy elected.

    Kim, I agree.
    Even if they are not the first to try to make amends or even if they never find it in their hearts to apologize, we all should try to come together and behave like grownups, have respect for one another and go on from here.

    We need look no further than Beth Butler and Shawn Kinney to see how two sides of an issue can behave towards one another with respect and dignity. They have set an example that we can all follow.

    And you’re right. It is a new day in Wayland. Things are changing for the better.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Kim,

    It would be nice of course if that “reaching across the aisle” would begin with those who started this uncivility in the first place. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones who, in years past, would glare and stare, snicker and point at those voting against their wishes. The ones who would go up and chew people out for having the “wrong” candidate’s sign on their lawn, the ones who would steal other peoples’ lawn signs, the ones who lied about and spun beyond recognition what the other side’s message was, the ones who tried to get the other candidate fired from his day job, the ones who made robocalls insinuating false allegations in order to get their guy elected.
    John, I mostly agree with you. But I would like to forgo the fingerpointing. John, the allegations you mention are some of many. The finger-pointing can go in every direction, it can be at you, or me or any of a hundred or thousand other people in town. Let's not wait for the other guy to do the right thing, whoever that "other guy" is. YOU do the right thing. That's how it starts. It doesn't start with, "Yeah, nice idea, I'll do it when they do it." So, I'm not worried about who it begins with. It would be nice if it began with YOU. And YOU, and you (I'm pointing my finger all over the place). And me.

    Let me give you an example. My daughter thinks my son is mean to her sometimes and that's her excuse for why she's mean to him. That's not how he sees it. She's at fault, she's always mean, and why should he be nice to her? Sorry if it sounds a little immature, but they are kids. I tell them, "I don't care if he/she isn't being nice to you. I want you to be nice anyway. You'd be amazed how that might turn things around. You start being nice, he/she won't have any reason not to be nice, and you'll start being nice to each other. All it takes is one of you to break the circle." Well, to be honest, that hasn't exactly worked 100% yet, but it doesn't stop me from trying.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 05-14-2010 at 01:07 PM. Reason: Edits after talking with John

  5. #5
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    Default

    I would like to thank John Flaherty for reaching out and picking up the phone to talk with someone who had said they disagreed with him (that would be me). While we obviously don't agree on everything, or see things the same way, we can have a constructive conversation and start down the path... Thanks John.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2008
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    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
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    Thumbs up Shoulder to Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Last night, on the first standing count, Alan Reiss and I jokingly stared each other down. I voted one way (the right way :-), he voted the other. We can take opposite sides and still treat each other with respect. I hope that those around him (and me) knew that we were joking when we gestured to each other, "I am watching you." To us, this was funny, because we both know that it is OK to disagree, it doesn't mean that we can't get along.
    Kim that was funny moment. I especially liked that "Meet the Fockers" two finger eyeball to eyeball gesture that we did... then that 'circle of trust' stuff ... cracked me up.

    We have spoken on the phone about the issue of privacy in terms of voting. In speaking to many people I see a spectrum of opinion on this and it varies from:
    "I don't care who the hell sees me vote" to "If you can't stand up and vote then you don't deserve to vote" to "I'm really uncomfortable voting in public" to "I don't go to town meeting because I don't have my privacy"

    What are the percentages? Well, my observation from weeks of talkng to people at the landfill on this very subject is that a disproportionately large piece of the population wants their voting privacy.

    By the way, I'm included. No matter how much of a big mouth you think I may have.. I don't feel comfortable showing my private citizen vote (and I say that because when you are in office your vote is a stated position on the record). I would prefer my privacy at town meeting just like I have at the polls.

    My work on electronic voting is partly due to that but its also the speed, accuracy and efficiency that it will bring to New England Town Meeting...

    My advice to you Kim about your very reasonable and well put plea for civility is to make rules that are clear and enforce those rules quickly and evenhandedly....
    Not to say that you won't or wouldn't.... but this thread seems to be the beginning of a new. So its a good pep talk huh?
    I want to stand shoulder to shoulder with you on your plea and I'm going to redouble my efforts to live by them too.

    You do have one great advantage. You personally take the time (and I mean incredible time) to moderate this discussion forum which is non anonymous.
    Non anonymous will work in our favor since we won't have drive by postings which are shielded by metal, glass and rubber and accelerate faster than you can identify the poster.

    So I have to say that you and I Kim probably have had more disagreements than I have ever had with anybody (except my wife of 26 years - go figure) but you are the most agreeable person I've ever met to disagree with.

    Thanks for doing the moderation... its hard work.

  7. #7
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    Default

    If there's a better thread for this, Kim, please feel free to move it.

    A look back at some of my posts on the Wayland eNews Discussion Forum reveals a lot of passion about our town and the world around us--sometimes too much passion that manifests itself in the form of disrespect. If these posts had no bearing on the contributions of others, we'd all be none the worse (and some of you would be better entertained). But out of a concern that some of my exchanges (and those of others) have led in part to an atmosphere that's discouraged others from participating, I'd like to call a truce and (re-)pledge better online behavior.

    I've given some thought to whether an unannounced behavior change would have sufficed. Over time, people might sense the change, but I'd really rather not wait that long, so in the end I concluded that I should be explicit.

    The DF is a potentially excellent forum if only people would use it--I've posted a number of extra-Wayland threads to get the flow of conversation started in areas that may not be quite as passion-inducing as those focusing on local matters. So, (re-)join the conversation--I'll do my best to make sure that you don't get anything but respect from me.

    Hell hasn't frozen over yet, but its residents are at least thinking a bit about where they stored their long johns.

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