Skip to main content

How About a Little Respect?

By December 1, 2015Uncategorized, WNIJ


Have you noticed how some people can’t even post an opinion on Facebook without calling names? How we’ve stopped listening to the other viewpoint, let alone the story behind it?

Forget the terrorists for a minute. I’m talking about us.

I am afraid for us as a people because of how we talk to each other. I hear the opening credits of Hotel Rwanda — the radio murmuring how the Tutsis are cockroaches — and hear echoes of this in words like white privilege, Obummer, the 1 per cent, libs, racist, stupid, asinine.

For instance, people twist President Obama’s name to emphasize Hussein. Others call people racist for questioning his policies.

Since retiring, I’ve been open about my conservative leanings on Facebook. At times I have felt battered by my progressive friends, their tone, their words like a heel squashing a box elder bug. I am silenced and disengage.

I want to ask, why is it so important that you prove me wrong? Why can’t you entertain the other side? Can’t you see that you need my conservative views just as much as I need your liberal ones? My conservative friends don’t always listen either.

Maybe we should check our need to prove our point. Maybe we should replace our condescension with respect and what Parker Palmer calls “broken open hearts.” Maybe it’s time we practice what it means to be We the People.

Good manners might be a place to start.

If you’d like to hear me speak this, click here.



  • Well put, Katie, and I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Why, indeed, does it bother some people so much when someone else expresses a contrary point of view? Do they think that somehow threatens or invalidates their own?

    For that matter, why do they feel threatened by others with a different political affiliation, religion, ethnicity or sexual identity?

    I might have been that way, as well, except for the 40 years I spent as a newspaper reporter and columnist. During that time, I often interviewed people with whom I disagreed, but my job required me to quietly listen to what they had to tell me. Almost invariably, they appreciated that fact that I did, and we often found ourselves with some common ground. If nothing else, isn’t it a good idea to know why other people think the way they do?

    And then just let them be whoever they want to be. If you see that as immoral, let God sort it out.

    I once saw a very wise bumper sticker that said: “Before we can learn to love one another, we first have to learn to leave each other alone.”

    • katiewilda says:

      There is so much wisdom here in your comments. Thank you. I like what you say about leaving each other alone and listening even if we disagree. I know I have felt that strong desire to say wait a minute using stronger language on some posts but am curbing that and letting people be. I don’t have the energy or even background in some instances to respond well.

      I wish we could find common ground as a people, so we could work towards solutions. Our elected officials only reflect us and our lack of willingness to compromise.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  • donna greenwood says:

    Katie – well spoken. I thought this country was founded on the principles of “free speech”. I always thought that meant everyone was free to express their opinion. Somewhere along the way it seems we have forgotten that. What happened to ” I disagree with your view but I would fight to the death to defend your right to express it’? I guess maybe “we” are no longer “that” country.

    • katiewilda says:

      Yeah I wonder where all that’s gone too. Political correctness throttles us. Only certain things are allowed. And I think people are even expected to believe a certain way. I have been troubled by the rhetoric people use with each other…

      Well, thanks so much for commenting.

  • Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    Would that more people had your attitude, Katie. What grieves me most is when Christians rant their diatribes over the airwaves or in print in blogs and social media. I don’t know which is worse–reading or hearing the cutting words. Christians of all people should speak truth in love. And don’t get me started on plain common courtesy and good manners. What ever happened to civil discourse and the fun of a spirited debate? I’m afraid those days are long gone. But all this venom is corroding our society, and actually becomes dangerous when it spills over into road rage and riots (just as some examples). Thank you for a timely reminder.

    • katiewilda says:

      Thanks. I hear you about Christians with their rants. I’ve read some pretty mean stuff in the comments under Karen Swallow Prior’s posts and have been heartsick. It’s far worse than the comments under secular conservative or liberal posts.

      Christianity is so full of grace and yet that’s now what we show the world. I hear you about civil discourse and spirited debate. I hear you…

      Social media is young technology. I wonder how we’ll change as we grow with it. I hope that grain of mustard that is the Kingdom hits critical mass and comes in.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Blessings and all good things, Katie