Thursday, July 19, 2012

Before Changing Laws...There Must be Respect

The question for today's Summer Blog Challenge is: "If you were president for a day, what's one law you would change?"

Before changing laws, I would first encourage people in leadership positions to listen and be respectful of one another's opinion...even if that opinion differs from their own.

There's a growing movement called "Standing on the Side of Love." It is encouraging people to tell their "members of Congress to stand on the side of love with marginalized communities by denouncing vitriolic language in the public discourse."

What is vitriolic language? It is language that is harsh or corrosive in tone. It can be described as "bitter words" or "blistering criticism."

This is, truly, the first step to changing laws. Without respectful speech towards others, people will have a hard time working together and changing laws.

The Unitarian Universalist Association, which is sponsoring the movement, says:

This is a time of great hope and possibility for our country, but our communities are threatened by the increased prevalence of acts motivated by fear and ignorance. Marginalized groups are facing a tide of discrimination, prejudice, and in some cases, harassment and violence. No one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence because of their identities.

In response to this reality, I have become a part of a growing movement of people who are standing on the side of love, and asking our leaders to do the same.

‘Standing on the side of love’ means opening our hearts to the stories, realities, and struggles of our fellow human beings, and heeding the call to aid those who are oppressed and whose rights are denied.

To address this situation, I have written to my state representative as well as two senators asking them - as  elected officials - to help ensure a healthier, more respectful environment surrounding the policy discussions that affect these communities – an environment focused on dialogue over political grandstanding, solutions over vitriolic rhetoric.

I aim to respect the opinions of those with whom I disagree; and have asked these three elected officials to do the same.

Hopefully my effort - combined with others who are standing on the side of love - will help create a more healthy and pleasant working environment where good decisions can be made that will benefit those living in the United States and other countries throughout the world.

So, if I were president...this would be the first step I would take before changing any laws: requesting those working together to be respectful of one another through their words and language.


What Remains Now said...

So well said.

Nicole GF said...

Respect seems to be one of the things missing in human nature, much less politicians.

Sara said...

Oh god, I love everything about this post! I said something similar in my post too.

Respect is really lacking in our Capitols.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Like Sara, I love this!!! And you know what? I want to find this organization and get involved.

Have you read the book "The Tipping Point"? We can change the world when enough of us band together... just have to reach that tipping point...

If we could ALL respect each other, what a changed world we would have!

Here is my post on changing laws...

Hannah Radvanyi said...

Wonderfully put. One of the first things we learned in Social Service Work was to respect our client, and actually listen to what they have to say. One of my profs basically said, "If you don't respect the people you are working for and trying to help, how can you expect them to respect you?"

And FYI, I'll probably be quoting you in the future :)

Anna @ Cozy Corner Crochets said...

Beautifully written, and so true. My experience is I can change the world one person at a time. When I was working as a nurse, it was one patient at a time.

Rita said...

How true and beautifully expressed. What a change that would be the world! :)