Everyone is responsible for their words
Most of us would not say certain things to someoneís face because we would be confronted by the tears in their eyes and the wobble in their voice and have no doubt that we have hurt them deeply.
So we email all of our venomous words instead.
Or type them as our status update in a moment of rage.
Itís much easier this way, so we never have to see how our cruelty wounds another person, but we all need to be reminded that the sting is still felt.
Our culture has made meanness into an art form. Opinions are developed from incomplete information and shared at large with no visible filter.
We talk about every little thing that irritates us without a single thought for how devastated another person may feel because of our rant.
Real people with actual feelings read tweets, emails and status updates.
We are all doing incredible damage to one another, but technology has provided a thin wall to cower behind so we never have to watch the tears fall.
We feel entitled to criticize decisions which we had no part in, and we do so publicly so that others will agree with us.
Every person is responsible for their words and actions.
We must stop hiding behind our computer keyboards. If you would be too timid to say something mean to someoneís face, walk away from the computer until the impulse to attack has subsided.
If you would not speak certain words in person or over the phone, do not type them either.
I dream of a world where we begin standing up against the meanness of people too bored and unhappy to keep their mouths shut.
Itís time to fight back, to stop being pushed around by bullies who type out angry sentences but wonít lift a finger to improve their community in any way.
Get informed on why certain decisions have been made.
There are always reasons and the responsibility falls on you to get the facts straight before you take to Facebook to insult those who have spent hours weighing the pros and cons of any situation.
If you donít like all of the negativity and cruelty in your community, start pointing it out.
Donít let it happen simply because you are afraid of someoneís anger coming in your direction.
Letís turn this thing around, and the place to start is by standing up for justice and decency, and telling the bullies that if you canít say anything nice, please donít say anything at all.
Julianne Harvey, Crossfield