Saturday, April 25, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

BILL OF RIGHTS, ARTICLE I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

EVERY person has the right to their say. Plenty of people say things that offend me - especially all the cursing or if they are lying - but they say it. I have the right to present another side, ignore it, dispute it, forget it, not listen; in other words, I HAVE CHOICES.

One choice I DO NOT have is to attack the speaker - verbally or physically. This seems to be something some people in this country do not understand. Disagreeing with someone is never accomplished by cursing, calling names, degrading, getting in their face, screaming &/or physically intimidating them.

Since many people seem confused about this, it should be taught at every grade level, permanently noted on every t.v. screen & computer, printed below the masthead of every newspaper, made into Public Service Announcements. Somehow, we need to get this through to those who believe they have the right to scream in anothers' face or grab them or throw something at them - because they disagree with what is being said.

The 1st Amendment stands true for EVERYONE. I may not like what you are saying, but I will defend your right to have your say, unintimidated, unharmed & unmolested.

If you believe you can silence others with intimidation or physical acts or by screaming in their face, I think you only make them more determined to have their say. Now they may do this in secret next time to avoid confrontation - but they will get their message out.

Please treat someone speaking as you want to be treated. If you disagree, then disagree peacefully, concisely, intelligently - AFTER THEY HAVE HAD THEIR SAY. You may even be able to make the speaker rethink some of their positions if you do this. If you listen to them, you may even learn something.

There was a time when I needed to deal with something my daughter had done. That night, I went up to her room to talk to her. She looked at me & said "Mom, can't you just spank me or beat me or something like that?" And yes, she was serious.

I asked if I had ever done this & she answered "no". So I asked why she wanted me to spank or beat her instead of talk to her about what she had done.

She said "because if you beat me or spank me that's the end of it. If you TALK to me about it then I have to THINK about it".

Out of the mouths of babes......

And yes, I TALKED to her. Why change what works? :-)

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