The Big Lie of Being Nice

Outside the Beltway
“It’s quite possible, though, that we’ve simply created a culture that values sparing hurt feelings over individual freedom of expression.”

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One Response to “The Big Lie of Being Nice”

  1. on 03 Oct 2008 at 9:36 pm synova

    I disagree.

    Being polite is what we used to value.   Being gracious.  (And as I repeatedly tell my children… grace is undeserved favor, therefore graciousness is not a response to good behavior by others, it is an attribute of the person being gracious.)

    No one could possibly argue (well, they could *try*) that our increased touchiness about offending one group or other or a religion is based in politeness.   People are less polite than ever.    Think of the “don’t taz me, bro” fellow, and any number of excessively rude people exercising their right to “free speech” and it should be clear that the understanding of what free speech is, is very unbalanced.    “Free speech” is the right to say, “You know, I think that Islam is a Satanic religion.”    It’s not the right to get in the face of someone and yell at them or call them names.    Isn’t that called battery?   Free speech isn’t the right to disrupt an event or block access to recruiters or hog the microphone and refuse to shut up.

    People have the right to NOT LISTEN.    Not the right to never have to know anyone thinks badly of them, but the right not to have to stand and “take it” with a smile because someone thinks the right to free speech gives them the right to be an ass.

    So what changed?

    I think what has changed is that it used to be totally acceptable to resort to violence when someone insisted on violating your personal space or impuning your honor.     Now children are taught from the youngest age that so long as they only use their *words* they are in the right.

    And we can’t tell the difference anymore between holding an unwelcome opinion and harassing or verbally attacking someone.

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