It seems like I am seeing more of those warning notices lately reminding people that they must confine their comments to civil and respectful discourse.
It seems infinitely sad that we should need notices like this.
Why should people have to be told to act like decent human beings?
Perhaps I’m more sensitive about this because we are approaching Christmas.
On the one hand, we are hearing messages about peace on earth and good will toward men.
On the other hand, we are exposed to a seemingly endless stream of the opposite kinds of message.
Warm, fuzzy concepts like good will toward men seem hollow when they are followed by abuse and disparaging comments.
Actions mean more than words.
It is sad that people feel compelled to post these warnings, but not surprising. It seems to have become acceptable and commonplace for so-called leaders at the highest levels to engage in hatespeak.
Vile messages of loathing and division are rampant.
Instead of engaging in thoughtful, reasonable exchanges of ideas, some people seem to think it’s OK to attack the person, rather than having a meaningful discussion of the issue, any time someone disagrees with them.
I’d like to believe it is just a small percentage of the population that acts this way, but if we fail to stand up and say this kind of behavior is unacceptable, we are implicitly condoning it.
If the bullies and haters are allowed to go unchecked, they will become emboldened to be even more spiteful in the future.
This is also a poor example to set for young people.
We shouldn’t need a sign or a warning to remind us to act like decent people.
That’s worth remembering. Respect and understanding are gifts we can give one another at any time of the year. They don’t cost anything, and we don’t have to go to the mall or shop on Amazon to get them.