26 January 2006

No Name Calling

An acquaintance of mine from a business forum brought No Name Calling Week to my attention. As a parent, I really think that this is a great concept. It would be easy to say that there are two kinds of people, those who are called names and those who do the name calling. Unfortunately, that's a gross oversimplification. I know because I was a chubby, smart, non-conformist child and was called names almost from the first moment that I walked onto a school yard. I have also been guilty, on more occaisions than I care to admit or even recall, of calling names myself. More often than not, in my adult life, my name calling is directed at political figures on television or radio news. But that's really no excuse. My daughter, playing on the floor in front of the television or strapped into her car seat while I listen to NPR, can't be expected to understand the difference between directing hostility at a recording of a person who is not present and aiming that same hostility at a living breathing person...

And, yet, is there really that much difference? Yeah, I understand that the recorded politician cannot hear or be hurt by my venomous language. But the names that we call others change us as much as (if not more than) those who inspire our animus.

I'd love to raise a daughter who understood that it is **NEVER** admirable to call another person names. To do so, I need to remind myself of the same thing. How better to move in that direction than by observing a week of No Name Calling. There's only one day left in this year's No Name Calling Week. If I start with a day, and build to a week, perhaps I can achieve a month and maybe eventually the rest of my life.
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