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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectDeconstruction
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=21727&mesg_id=21810
21810, Deconstruction
Posted by janey, Wed Aug-30-00 05:09 AM
We've been playing nicely for a while here, so let's look at some issues that are coming up again.

Discussion is about the issue, not about the person presenting the issue. Try saying "I think _____" rather than "You are ____." (And not "I think you are _____", although even that is better than a flat ad hominem attack, because at least it admits that your statement is an opinion).

Ask yourself what your OWN reaction is to the statements made, rather than judging the other person by the form of their communication. Everyone on this board is at a different level of communication, and each of us is responsible only for our own words. You can build or you can destroy. It's your choice.

When you notice that you are feeling a strong reaction to something that you read here, ask yourself what that tells you about YOURSELF rather than the other person. And the correct answer is NOT "I have learned that she's a ______." The correct answer goes more like "I notice that I feel attacked by this statement." Then ask yourself why, before responding to the post. Also, ask yourself whether you feel as though you have to have the last word and, if so, why? Why is that important to you? It's a natural impulse to want to be right, but we don't need to make others wrong to do so. There's room here for all opinions.

It is pretty much never appropriate to categorize another person as stupid. Don't forget that everyone on this board is a teacher for everyone else. Everyone on this board provides each one of us with an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, more about effective communication, more about consensus building even in the midst of disagreement. Remember that old adage "There's no such thing as a stupid question"? That holds here too, along with "There's no such thing as a stupid opinion." It is absolutely appropriate to believe that an opinion with which you disagree is the result of ignorance, but not stupidity. If you think that an opinion reflects ignorance, how will you enlighten the holder of that opinion? By attacking them? No. By teaching them. Who teaches the best? Think about people who have changed your mind about something, and think about the method of communication that they used. Generally, the best teachers are the best listeners.

That's my two cents.

Peace.