letter to the editor

Tone of our ‘free speech’

Mon, 02/13/2023 - 2:45pm

Dear Editor:

Things are tough, all around … prices are high; the economy is twitchy; it is the middle of winter. And, even with all the good in my life (I am an incredibly fortunate person), my spirits get down. But, downness breeds downness … and I personally do not want to foster downness – it breeds frustration and anger.

My grandmother taught us – “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” At the time I thought it was the dumbest thing I had ever heard and I certainly have not always conducted myself in that way. However, more and more I do find myself saying that - in my “inside voice” before I speak out loud.  I actually feel better after not reacting to anger/frustration. It forces me to not respond immediately – either I can ease away (a total rant) or maybe I will listen and try to help.

Anyway, all of this is background to my reaction to some of the Letters to the Editor. I believe in free speech – I wouldn’t be writing this if I did not. Some of the letters make me smile – they are thanking someone or the community or just expressing themselves in a positive way. Some actually make me think, and re-consider my original opinion. Some start off and are filled with such hate and anger that I have to stop reading. I am not sure that is what the writer intended.

I personally think it would be good for us all to think about our “free speech” in the context of how it impacts others. We might be totally right, but yelling and screaming it doesn’t make people listen -- it makes people walk away. We can all have our view of the world and we should, that is our prerogative; however, we do not have the right to be mean and hateful and derogatory to others when we present that view.

I hope you are still reading!

Peggy Kotin


P.S.  I love Boothbay. The people, the area, the pace of life. Most of all, I know that when things are really bad, there will be someone there. It truly is a community; I want to be a positive part of that.