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Disagreeing With Style and Grace


If you've been reading here long, you may have noticed that I have some opinions about some things, and I don't mind sharing them. (See my thoughts about spoiled children [2], vaccinations [3], and random adults teaching my kids about sex [4].) I realize that there will be those that disagree with my opinions and that is fine with me. To each his own.

What baffles me, though, are the inevitable emails and comments calling me "moron", "loser", "idiot", and many other names I won't post here. I have been told, "people like you shouldn't be allowed to breed," (And here I thought that was ONE area government had not managed to control.) "You should shut up," "You have no right to say these things," and more. I usually just roll my eyes and hit "delete", but I have saved a few that are threatening in nature, one in particular that mentioned a gun.

Yes, people are that crazy.

That's why I was thrilled when I saw how a disagreement played out on my Facebook fan page [5] recently.

A friend from high school, whom I haven't seen or talked to in years, was sad to see that I posted a picture of the 6 foot long snake we killed [6] that was found in our hen house. You see, he is very passionate about protecting snakes, and even posts videos on his vacation rental page of how to safely relocate rattlesnakes.

In fact, I learned from his Big Bend vacation rental page [7] how to relocate the snake the first time we caught it stealing our eggs, and we did that. The second time, we decided his chances were up and it was time to end our suffering.

Of course, Daryl was sad to see that we had come to that decision and he said so on my page.

But here's the unbelievable thing: He said in nicely!

No name calling. No insulting accusations.

Just disagreement stated with style and grace.

You have no idea how refreshing that was for me, and I told him so.

The next time you disagree with someone, on the internet or in person, think about this: Have you ever been persuaded to change your opinion on a matter when someone calls you names and insults you? Would you be more likely to consider their position if they stated it nicely, with respect and civility?

Now, I have no idea about Daryl's politics, religion, whether he believes in ranch dressing on pizza, or if Mr. Pibb is a suitable substitute for Dr. Pepper. I suspect we probably disagree on at least one of those things, but I know if we do, it will be done with style and grace.

And I am thankful for that.