By Marion Marks
Thanksgiving is a time for recognizing responsibility and gratitude for our democracy and the ability to participate in the public forum we like to think of as addressing issues creatively. It’s a grateful season when we also look in the mirror and recognize what’s there as well as what others may see.
When we look in the mirror and see someone behind us who is angry, we must organize what we wish to say with great care. We must begin speaking in a manner that will create a calming environment. We know that if a person begins by admitting mistakes, doors and windows open. When you start with words of an appeasing manner, people will pay more attention to your words, and will likely minimize damages for all.
When people are angry at you, and you start by either blaming others or denying events, you will usually increase other’s anger. If you want anger to escalate, the best way to do this is to either say: “It’s your fault, not mine.”
It takes courage to admit mistakes. Even if you are only responsible in a small way, it is always best to start off by saying something like, “Yes, I could (or should) have done differently. I’m sorry for any pain or inconvenience I could have caused you.” Accepting responsibility doesn’t absolve others of responsibility, but it does open the door for understanding, and in a season on being thankful, larger issues should be on the table.
Accepting responsibility should put others in a calmer state, and they will then be much more likely to listen to what you have to say in your own defense. So now for admissions.
In my attempt to open discussions or force light to focus on issues I believe are important, even with immense research and scrutiny, I may not have looked at, studied or evaluated all the material I should have. I may have been judgmental of others motives or agendas when baser intent may not have existed. I may have given voice to thoughts that were based on half-baked reason or less than complete research. All of these are frailties of life, and I must continue to work to improve.
So, what now becomes of “accountability”? If I, or we, believe in the need to address issues and events that otherwise have not been fully evaluated or opened to public comment, must we continue to open ourselves to potential to make these mistakes? The answer remains an indignant YES.
Yes, we will continue to provide a forum for discussion; Yes we will make mistakes, and Yes we will probably be criticized for some less than tasteful comments. But when other media will not ask some questions, and when some subjects remain too tough, we will give an outlet for others to write, comment or demand change.
The Forward-Now.com blog began out of frustrations of a number of citizens who felt that too few controlled too much of the voice in public news and investigation of what belongs to all. It has never been our intent to create chaos, and certainly we have minimally changed the real path of much in the public discussion, but we have given a platform for questions that we feel needed greater exposure.
I and we are thankful for the right to have a voice and provide others with an opportunity when they chose to take advantage of this platform or social media to extend the discussion. Thanks to those who have participated in the discussion. And I hope any of you who have a subject you are willing to organize written thoughts in an article will email you articles for consideration for publishing. I do not have the only voice here, and we seek more variety of thought if you are willing to sign your name and stand behind your words.