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A Call To Civility

As neighbors and citizens, let's refocus on being civil to one another.

Many of you know me from my Disney travel blog.  Today, however, I am writing as a concerned citizen of Rochester Hills.  Since I started blogging on the Rochester Patch about a month ago, I’ve become increasingly distressed by the way we as a community are interacting with each other on this site.  We are all neighbors, yet we are treating each other like trash. Over and over again, in the "comments section" of various blogs and articles, people are being insensitive and downright cruel to each other.   I’ve observed this animosity extending even to the most benign topics, like downtown eateries and vacation destinations.

Perhaps I am just an idealist, but I simply cannot comprehend the disdain and blatant disregard for other people's feelings that is being continuously spewed in these comments.  As neighbors and fellow human beings, we should be supportive and respectful of each other.   The exchange of ideas is crucial in any community; however, we can and should disagree without being hateful and insulting.    

This site provides a unique opportunity for citizens to share their expertise, opinions, and stories.  When we treat each other so abhorrently, however, we defeat this purpose entirely.  I think it is important to remember that we are all people with feelings.  We are parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, college students, police officers, firefighters, and small business owners. We all have families and friends who we love and who love us in return.  We all are somebody’s wife, husband, daughter, son, mother, father, aunt, uncle, or friend.  Rochester-Rochester Hills is an amazing area in which to live. Let's do it justice.  Let’s be role models for our children.  Let’s commit to being civil to one another, let’s stand up to those who refuse, and let’s live up to the meaning of the words "neighbor" and "citizen”. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Scot Beaton December 07, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Daryl... don't have a clue were you are coming from you have my permission to post these alleged hateful emails I sent you. Also when you have time post the email I sent you where I complimented you on your writing skills.
Daryl Patrishkoff December 07, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Kristin, I must say you and the Patch have always been more than fair and balanced in handling the many comments and blogs that take place on this site. We appreciate your diligence in keeping this open for all to comment. I also have seen you close down some threads because they just turn nasty, I agreed with all of those actions. An observation I have made, I have drawn a conclusion, but maybe I am wrong. When I see a single name, like "Bertram" that commented on my post earlier, I click the name and there is only one comment they have made. I draw the conclusion that someone just made that up to hide behind this false name and make a comment. Then we will not see them again, so it was a onetime hit, a hidden agenda by someone who is trying to discredit others with the sense of many. I have seen this dynamic many times in the last year. I find that odd, any insight? I do agree many others with one name and no profiles, like "doug", are civil and add meaningful comments. Many others do not, and the Patch has the right policy of keeping it open. I personally will ask some to come out of hiding if they just attack, but that is my approach.
Scot Beaton December 07, 2012 at 02:36 PM
"stop emailing me with hate emails with plenty of false accusations" Daryl Patrishkoff Daryl... don't have a clue were you are coming from you have my permission to post these alleged hateful emails I sent you. Also when you have time post the email I sent you where I complimented you on your writing skills. Still waiting... false accusations with a fellow Rochester Hills resident is not a good thing if you are at all interested in retaining any credibility... if you know what I mean.
Meredith McCutcheon December 07, 2012 at 03:02 PM
This is my last comment on this topic, as I am not interested in engaging in a battle over semantics. It is exhausting and defeats the whole purpose of this post. To reiterate, I honestly believe that we should exchange differing ideas and opinions. That's how we learn to see an issue from a different perspective, that's how we grow as a society, and that's how we achieve our goals as a community. However, when this exchange degenerates into a callous "war of words", complete with insults and accusations, it is no longer a true "exchange of ideas." It becomes a verbal fistfight, usually between two or three individuals, that simply muddies the waters for those of us who are trying to have a real conversation about a topic at hand. If others want to join the conversation, they have to sift through countless inflammatory (and frequently off-topic) comments. In my opinion, these types of comments only detract from the topic and should perhaps be part of a personal conversation between the involved individuals. Of course, this is just my opinion. Of course, everyone is entitled to free speech and can post whatever they want. I just think that we've lost sight of how to engage in respectful discourse. It is possible to state an opinion (whatever it is) without being rude and inflammatory. This isn't eternal optimism, nor is it a "kumbaya" moment. It's simply common courtesy. Thanks for everyone who took the time to read my post!
Scot Beaton December 07, 2012 at 03:16 PM
"eternal optimist" 1. A person who never ceases to give up hope in something they believe. 2. A person who will continue to believe in something or a positive outcome till the end of time. Meredith -- now I'm confused I was posting a compliment something I thought you are well deserved. Happy Holidays

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