How to engage in Polite discourse with disagreement.
How impolite to be naked, unless you are a little boy in his mud puddle!
Let us start with per se defamation!
Really the laws have a definition of what is without a doubt wrongful and rude to say and actually actionable. Insults can serve a purpose. But let us look at Polite insults and then work on being more polite.
First let us look at some rules about what is just considered dead wrong: Here is a link to California Jury Instructions on this issue; http://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/1700/1704.html Check it out it is very interesting about what jurors must decide in order to award damages for this type of defamation. It kind of is legal but made for lay folk like us.
“Defamation is an invasion of the interest in reputation. The tort involves the intentional publication of a statement of fact that is false, unprivileged, and has a natural tendency to injure or which causes special damage.”
We will get back to this. The false part is the fun part.
Ask a friend to love you by calming you down and relieving your stress and mean.
Are you polite my friend?
Do you worry about being nice and polite?
Polite is nice.
Really polite is just being pleasant and nice. We are not required to be. And some folks just are not pleasant and nice. I have a bit of schizoid tendency here. Normally I am nice but sometimes I am just down right ornery and mean and nasty. That is part of the reason I preach love so much. It has made my life richer by at least putting some reins on my mean side.
And preaching it helps to teach it, even if just to me. But some folk are impolite and not nice. And whine when though I preach love I come down on them like a ton of bricks when they teach intolerance, divisiveness and just plain hate. So when we should always try to be polite and nice sometimes impolite is called for.
Some guy or gal once declared that if you do not have anything nice to say do not say anything at all. Well thank God George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, King and Mandela did not buy into that load of horse dung.
But still better to be polite nice and respectful.
The actions versus the words is a tough one. And here is the rub. When treated shabbily we are not to be doormats. If we are then in the end the meanest win. Pacifism is not an invitation for another to be rude to us. Because we at least try to be nice and speak of that as a virtue does not mean that we have to be nice to the person who is abusing us. In fact the opposite is true and that is how we all can and should stop bullies.
this was just so rude to the tree. but soon you will see how these Italian Cypress are happier after their buzz cut.
So a fellow who uses the name Righteous as he publicizes on the Net calls me "self righteous".
Kind of funny with the name he uses for himself or herself as it tries to remain anonymous. Now that is a rude and impolite comment. Is it true? I think that is for others to decide so probably it is not actionable or even in my mind complainable. But rude? Hell yes! Did it serve a purpose? No it was just done to be mean, and it added nothing to the discourse.
So sue the guy for being rude and impolite and a little light headed? I think not.
There is a cool saying that comes from Latin and I really like it: Res Ipsa Loquitor. and it means that "the thing speaks for itself".
Most impoliteness and meanness should just stand on it's own. Let it speak for itself. Again my friends it is easier said than done. And that brings us right to the crux of the matter.
Can a Rose be impolite?
Christians, Jews and Muslim share a notion.
I figure that a whole whole bunch of the population cannot be all wrong when it comes to matters they share in common. Here are some cool notions: The breastplate of faith, The sword of tolerance and the mighty hand of the weak. Those are really in all the above constructs of a belief system that spans all of the determinations of good in most of our world. And probably we could say even more so in the Hindi and Buddhist belief systems.
And yet even the esteemed leaders are not perfect at being polite. This does nothing to diminish their teachings and leadings. For sometimes we must stand up and be even rude for what we feel is right.
I had one of those horrible "some woman hitting her child in the check out line" moments the other day. I do not think I was very polite. I think I was probably arrogant and rude and tried to smack her back with my words and leave a scar. Well shame on me. I fell short of the love and kindness and politeness she probably needed.
So as we started so shall we end. Malice!
This is a great quote:
- “We conclude that permitting recovery of presumed and punitive damages in defamation cases absent a showing of ‘actual malice’ does not violate the First Amendment when the defamatory statements do not involve matters of public concern.” (Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., supra, 472 U.S. at p. 763.)
We are left even in the law with looking into the heart of the speaker. This is not science and it is not theological. It is about our conduct toward our fellow man. What is polite and what is wrongful? Certainly from the above we see that if malice is concerned it is wrongful. Absent a clear and convincing showing of malice we are left to determine what is polite and what is not.
I conclude, that we must do our best to be polite. And we should preach politeness to those under our charge and influence. But a really cool dude with a really cool mustache once suggested:"Walk softly but carry a big stick". As I write to writers I suggest that our stick is truly big and so we do have the luxury of at least trying to walk softly on the feelings of others.