Lance Scranton: Jumping on the ‘coarse train’ |

Lance Scranton: Jumping on the ‘coarse train’

Lance Scranton/For Craig Press
Lance Scranton
Courtesy photo

Most readers would agree that reading the news and keeping up with what is going on in our country and the world is part of being a responsible and informed citizen, but it is very apparent that even the news is becoming more difficult to sort through, because we are constantly barraged by asterisks!

When the news that is reported has to be conveyed using symbols because the actual word is not what a polite person generally uses in conversation, then I guess things have changed. Would it be so very difficult to expect more from those who are coarsening the discussion in our society?

I know, even our politicians are guilty of jumping on the “coarse-train” and using words that might not be what we have come to expect in polite, public conversation by our elected officials. Private conversation (if there is such a thing anymore) has always been a little bit more flexible with regard to our particular word choice.

Something that seems to be the case these days is the excuse people make for the way that they speak: If so-and-so (insert the name of any person you hate here) can speak like that, they obviously have no principles and, therefore, I have a legitimate reason to use the same language, or step it up a notch, to make my point!

Wow! Do you see what just happened here? We take an important and meaningful word like principles and turn it into a reason to cast aside our own. Principles are by definition, “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.” Principles are something we use to formulate the way we think, act and respond to the culture around us.

So, If we’re only willing to hold fast to principles on the condition that people we hate will hold them too, they’re not really principles, are they?

Sure, we’d all like to unload on the nonsensical (which is now part of most news feeds) but at some point, the principle of being an adult should take precedence over the desire to act like a 5-year-old and react to everything we dislike with an asterisk-filled rant.

In our country, the right of the people to pursue happiness shall not be infringed upon, even if it seems silly to someone else. It’s called a personal choice, and we should respect the person’s right to make a vacuous choice. The principle requires from us a reasonable amount of respect and, should we disagree, a level of conversation that befits the discussion.

Seems like a decent proposal … don’t you think?

Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.


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