Civility important in dialogue

When I'm feeling frustrated, I hope that I will be able to put principles before personalities.

Editor: As a proponent of saving the Glen Valley lands known as McLellan Park from the Township’s plan to dispose of these  lands, I am discouraged and dismayed by a common default reaction by our society. When we are feeling frustrated, angry or we perceive injustice, the all-too-common first step is to accuse, blame and otherwise condemn those whom we perceive to be responsible.

This is largely counter-productive, due to the fact that it commonly elicits a response of more finger pointing. Then sides become entrenched into their “positions.” I recognize that these types of interactions are dehumanizing to all involved.

The next time that I am feeling frustrated, angry or perceive injustice, I hope that I will be able to put principles before personalities. I hope that I can work to a solution while not demonizing the person or people that I perceive to be at the root of the problem.

I further hope that the next time someone reacts to my actions with accusations, blame and condemnation that I will respond with dignity and not resort to “finger pointing.” I hope to remember that almost all people are doing what they believe to be right. We all have blind spots. We all make mistakes and all sometimes fall short. This is part of what defines our humanity.

Scott Perry,





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