Civility and Respect

Words from a local Parish Priest:

Dear Family,

When most of us were being raised, we were taught that generally we should be kind, gracious and cordial with people.  It was and still is impressed upon many kids that civility in conversations, encounters, and relationships is a necessary quality for keeping peace and living in an ordered society.  These are rules of thumb most of us agree to and practice.  Unfortunately, our pride sometimes gets in the way.  It’s easy to move from witty commentary to personal or character attacks.  It is commonplace now for media and political personalities to cut down those who they disagree with.  What’s scarier is that it seems the more aggressive the personality, the more popular the show, broadcast, or podcast.  But what’s the problem, after all we have freedom of speech, and aren’t we just shooting the breeze anyway?   The problem is that when we lose our civility and cease to argue respectfully and with charity, then we lose a piece of what it is to be human.  Moreover, as Christians, we are called to see each other as dignified children of God, even when those siblings disagree with us.  We also in many cases, by acting in an aggressive and disrespectful way, demean the depth of the subject we are addressing.  Cutting down people is dangerous in many ways and on many levels…We shouldn’t discuss anything without charity.  We shouldn’t chat about important issues unless we are ready to respectfully disagree.

Rev. Fr. Daniel Gutierrez