December 2014
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Civility

Dear Editor:

The editorial in the Oct. 24, 2013 issue of The Pagosa SUN, entitled “Opponents are Not Enemies,” was a well thought out commentary based on ideology I can support and struggle inwardly to uphold. It is hard to say when anger, hate and intolerance over political issues began to dominate. Social media has made it easy for people to become hateful as long as they do not have to face their “opponent.”

I grew up in an era when differing ideas were encouraged and by debating these ideas, we usually came up with solutions acceptable to all. Personally, I find political science interesting and debate stimulating, but over the last decade, it has become apparent that there are individuals who cannot bear to hear ideas other than their own. Greed, the desire for power and pseudo-intellectualism, among other degenerative behaviors, have blinded some to the point, there is no constructive dialogue. Character assassination seems to be the final face-saving modus operandi when these people cannot defend their mistaken or error-filled opinions.

Now, if winning is all one cares about, there is nothing to indicate this rude, hateful behavior will not continue to spiral out of control. The result is destroyed respect for each other and lost opportunity for constructive dialogue. The ideals in the “Letter for the Editor” will go unheeded. However, there is hope. Recently, I read about a man who signs his letters to the editor “This is my view and I welcome yours.” Learning from others’ life experiences and world views is a huge step toward regaining civility.

Judi Stansbury

This story was posted on November 7, 2013.