Civil dialogue aids solution
Friday, June 3, 2011
The primary purpose of this letter is to express my deep appreciation to Steven Brown for his response to my letter of May 10.
While we seemed to have had a different approach as to how to deal with crime in our community, he set forth a wonderful example of how to disagree without being disagreeable. Thank you, Mr. Brown for your courtesy and kind words toward me. The value of civil dialogue is that it gives us a better chance to learn from each other. In addition it may inspire others to put aside anger and present different perspectives that may give us new ways to solve common problems.
As for me personally, I have long been concerned by what I see as a prevalence of ugly speech that too often becomes “hate speech” in our society. I cannot claim to be free of guilt in this matter, but I do make a concerted effort to give some thought before I speak. There is an old saying that “one should count to ten before taking action.” In my case I almost always have to count to at least a hundred and sometimes much beyond that. My advice to myself is to just keep trying and maybe I’ll get better at it.
Anyway, again I say “thank you” Mr. Brown for your good example of how to disagree without being disagreeable.