Thoughts About Life Triggered by Open Salon

Open Salon is an online community of writers who share their work through blogs. Here’s how Open Salon explains what it is.
“Happiness and delight come easy in a supportive friendly atmosphere.
Agreeing to disagree courteously is impossible in an atmosphere of disunity and discord.
Less than two weeks ago I put out an Open Call that I thought would be mostly ignored, “12 Random Facts About My Life”. Much to my delight over 80 people responed. I loved the lists so much I hardly moved from the couch for a good part of 2 afternoons and evenings. Looking back, I think the comments (full of love, laughter and kindness) kept me at my post scanning the horizon for new lists of 12 even when my legs were going numb. Delight was everywhere apparent. I’m well aware that many here on OS stayed away from the whole thing. I’m also aware some people felt it wasn’t appropriate for OS. I’m simply thankful those who didn’t care for it didn’t say so “outloud,” at least not where I was reading. During those few days, OS felt like a warm, caring, supportive community.
Yesterday and the day before, a lengthy, often unpleasant discussion about “who is a writer,” lit up OS. As far as I can tell, the fire is out. Unfortunately not without incurring damage. I’ve been on here less than a month so I may be responding to something that happens regularly. If that’s the case, how unpleasant. Many comments and posts were peaceful and courteous. Many weren’t. As a result, several people on both “sides” may have left OS. Two people contacted me to let me know they would not be sticking around. I know, people are free to make their own choices. We choose to be hurt and walk away. True. Does that relinquish each of us of the responsibility to be mindful of how our words may be received by others?
There may be an answer in a teaching that can be found in most, if not all, of the worlds major religions.
“Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” – Buddhism
“What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary.” – Judaism
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” – Christianity
“No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” – Islam
“Blessed is he who preferreth for his before himself.” – Baha’i Faith
Regardless of what one believes or doesn’t, can’t we agree to disagree courteously?”

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