About Respect and Kindness and Smoking

Opinion

Lola Lauri

Hi Daniel Glasgow, and hello to the ELA Board.  This letter is for you.

The problem that many of us Facebookers have with the board is that they have always refused to see the opinions and discussions on the internet as valid.  We are real people, and real ELA members, many of whom cannot or will not attend board meetings.  Frankly, those meetings are very uncomfortable and confrontational and I personally have to steel myself against those feelings and work myself up to attending, which is why I don’t go more often.

Daniel, in your speech at the annual meeting, you said that you wanted to represent everyone in our community, not just the people who attend meetings.  If you could do that for us at the next meeting – represent us and insist that our opinions should count too, that would be upholding what you said you were going to do.  I am not saying you have to agree with us, (heck, we can’t even agree with each other!) but you could talk about the other side of this issue to the board, you could explain what you have read here and get that side of the issue before the board.

Honestly, don’t you think that if the board decided to ask people to refrain from smoking inside on that particular evening that that might be enough?  Kindness and respect are more prevalent than you might expect, and I truly believe that a little respect for the smokers as caring adults will help the board to gain credibility and respect of its own.

If the board had simply asked people to do this, I am sure the smokers themselves would have policed anyone who might have decided to light up.  They would have whispered to that person, “Hey, those are CANCER survivors in there, and we all thought we would just take it outside tonight, you know, out of respect.”

But now, because the first impulse of the event organizers, and of the board was to make a RULE, there might be one guy who will light up, just to show he can.  And frankly, that should be okay.  I imagine the dirty looks from the smokers and nonsmokers alike would end that experiment quickly, but even so, the board would be seen as having kept its word to the smokers, and having tried to accomodate this group on a special night.

Hopefully, you will take this as a helpful hint for how to govern our community in the future without trying to parent and micro-manage every adult member of this community.  It is a fact of life that there will always be rude people out there, but most people are kind and reasonable and decent.  But making rules is not going to make the jerks go away and, it might even make some people feel like being jerks just because they feel like they have been jerked around.

Just sayin’.

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Posted on September 15, 2012, in ELA Events, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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