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The end of civility…

You know, it amazes me the things that people will say and do these days.  It seems that everyone has an opinion about everything whether it makes sense or not (and yes, I realize I’m giving MY opinion here).

I just read an article about an American girl who was teaching in Japan when then tsunami struck.  The article was talking about the grief the family was going through and how they were dealing with it, and with the memories of their daughter.  It was touching.  However, if you scroll to the comment section you read stupid comments like.

i wouldn’t die for a country or a school. you only get one life. be happy and live it each day for yourself. there is no afterlife. and yes, you like millions before you from thousands of years ago will be forgotten so don’t have such a bloated ego

– or –

if she’d been in the u.s. where she belonged this wouldn’t have happened to her

Wow!  How ignorant can some people be!!

I read the same kind of comments when we were dealing with my wife’s sister’s disappearance and death.  They certainly weren’t helpful to us then, and I’m sure they won’t be helpful to the family of this poor girl either.

The Internet has given us wonderful access to information and to being able to expand our horizons and knowledge, and it gives us a wonderful venue to be able to share our thoughts, ideas and opinions, but people need to remember that for every word they type, there are potentially hundreds of people who are going to read it.

The rule of thumb, in my books, is, if you wouldn’t say it to the person directly, then don’t hide behind the Internet walls and say it there.

On the other hand, maybe people would say it to the person directly, and offend them in person! But that topic is for another day.

Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

Proverbs 11:12 “A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.”

Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”



  1. Ken Woodhouse

    My wife used to say that North Americans always have to have an opinion on everything. She was raised in a culture where opinions were not valued, following the group norm and doing what was expected of you was more important. Opinions were not solicited! Despite this, I think she had a point (and an opinion!). Conversation is often “what do you think about…” It’s almost sinful to say “I don’t have an opinion on that” Talk shows constantly tell us we HAVE to have an opionion about everything, that’s responsible. Saying “I dunno” makes you appear a dummy in our culture. So, often people feel that because they have to have an opinion and express it, it doesn’t really matter what the content is, it’s having an opinion that counts. Yes, people do need to put more emphasis on judgment about what they are going to say and think beyond ME when they speak. Is it the info age where everyone thinks they have the info needed to have a right opinion?…I dunno!

    • mwlahn

      I think you’re correct Ken. I’m not sure it’s a SIN to not have an opinion, but it sure is a sign of weakness. But I think it’s a huge sign of insecurity (a huge weakness) if people spout off their opinion without actually taking other people’s feelings into account before opening their mouths/pens/keyboards.

      Of course, that’s just my opinion 🙂


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