Letters to the editor for Tuesday, July 2, 2013
July 2, 2013
Those who love God should practice kindness toward all
We are all on a journey called life, limited by years. It's all about how we react to and treat people, happenings and the realities of life. We have to go on the journey with what we have, doing the best we can. Trying to develop character and taking responsibility for our own actions. To live life fully, not failing to show love and appreciation to family and deserving people. To show compassion and help those stuck in poverty and those disabled in body or mind. To stand firm in our own beliefs and convictions, but to be tolerant of others who think and believe differently. To continually ask questions to understand local happenings and world events, being searchers of truth, like reporters and lawyers.
There is always time and opportunity to fill the heart with praise and compliments, to pass on to others showing good will and good feelings for others. It's the little things we could have and should have done that causes the little heart aches at day's end.
Those who believe in a just, loving and merciful God, whose commandments they obey, and show brotherly love for His people, find happiness in seeing life's journey as a path to heaven. I think it would be comforting at journey's end to know we did our best to do the most good and least harm to our fellow travelers.
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We have right to free speech; we should use it responsibly
Don't talk religion or politics. That was one of the first lessons I learned about getting along as an adult. If the other parties don't agree with you, you will never change their minds and there is a good chance that the exchange will result in hard feelings. If they already agree with you, it may support your self-righteous belief that you are absolutely right and the opposition are absolutely wrong — and probably bad people in the bargain — but it is not a positive motivator for being civil to your fellow men and women, regardless of differences.
That was well over 50 years ago, and nothing has changed. Except most people I run across today insist on talking — or writing about — religion and politics anyway. When I've asked why, I've received basically three responses: free speech, they are not communicating about religion or politics and conversations are important to resolving differences.
Americans have a constitutional right to free speech, but I believe we have a corresponding obligation to use it judiciously. My thought is, if you wouldn't say something to a person's face and be prepared to deal with an unwelcome response, don't write it, pure and simple.
I've heard many denials, but don't kid yourself. If you insist on lecturing or preaching on a topic, it is likely because of your politics or religion. People are not having a conversation when they are talking past, belittling, demonizing, or screaming at each other, in person or print.