Letter- Tired of the ‘bullying’Many recent letters and meeting comments rely on innuendo, slander, and attacking public servants, government employees, teachers, and citizens rather
By: Marybeth Lorbiecki Mataya, North Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
Many recent letters and meeting comments rely on innuendo, slander, and attacking public servants, government employees, teachers, and citizens rather than actually dealing with issues and finding solutions. We go backwards over every issue. Why is this labeled by some as "watchdogging?” If this behavior was happening in the schools, it would be labeled bullying.
The behavior of a few doesn't reflect well on Hudson or model to our youth what democracy is about. We have a horrible reputation because not enough people stand up and say, can’t we just discuss the issues with the full context of facts and actually listen to all sides? Can’t we build on decisions already made? Hard questions do need to be asked, but they can be asked respectfully and answers listened to. I've watched some of these people flounce into public meetings, attack everyone in leadership as liars and all people looking for solutions as people ready to "pick their pockets." When answers to their questions are offered, they trounce out of the room, unwilling to listen to anything but the sound of their own self-righteous attacking voices.
We're better than that. These people themselves are better than this. I've seen them in other contexts act kindly. Why do they feel attacking is the only way to be heard? We need more public actions likes Paul Rode’s immediate act to collect money to help out the mother in River Falls whose children were murdered. We need more people willing to subject themselves to the public’s ire by serving on boards and speaking up respectfully in meetings. If we believe in democracy, someone has to do these jobs, and who is going to when they are considered evil and people take joy at throwing stones?
We can take back Hudson through positive participation in public meetings and in letters. We can all adhere to a code of ethical and civil behavior:
1) When voicing a position or concern, I will stick to issues and facts, not attack people.
2) I will treat others respectfully.
3) I will listen to responses and facts others than my own and consider them thoughtfully.
4) I will seek out solutions to community problems that help the common good, not only for the present and myself but also for others who come after us.
5) I will speak up when people are being attacked rather than issues.
Marybeth Lorbiecki Mataya, North Hudson