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Can’t Respect Others and Trash Talk at the Same Time

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Recently a man came to my door canvassing for a local politician who is running for state assembly. He spoke for a few minutes about the candidate’s qualifications and handed me a flyer. He asked if he could tell his candidate that he has my vote. I told him I wanted to investigate the man further, to do my own research, so I can make the most informed decision. He then began to bad mouth his candidate’s opponent. At that point I politely but firmly said, “Thank you for stopping by but I believe one of the most important things we must all work toward, whether it is in politics or in everyday life, is to deal with our differences by responsibly striving to reach common ground through behaving in courteous and respectful ways rather than stooping to tearing one another down.”

We are doing ourselves and our society a great disservice by allowing trash-talking as normal with the egocentric rationalizations of ‘everyone is doing it or this is just the way things are done.  It does not feel good to be on the receiving end of or to listen to it, and it causes us to lose focus on the issues ultimately impacting us all.

Honestly, is condoning this type behavior as normal the legacy we want to leave our children? Not if we want them to live in a better world than we are.  We are ones who must demand that tearing others apart who we disagree with or who we want to beat at something, stop. We are strongest as individuals and as societies when we support one another in striving to be people of the best character possible – respectful, courteous, honest, supportive, cooperative, responsible, etc.

Imagine how the world will change for the better when all of us who are followers of any faith or higher belief system join together to treat others as we want to be treated.  Imagine how much better we will feel about ourselves and others. Imagine how we will all begin to heal when we take the negative put-downs, tear-downs and trash-talk out of our conversations.