Viewpoint by Daniel Smiechowski
Neighborhood Website Draws Controversy
Nextdoor.com a social media site directed at local neighborhoods has drawn scrutiny from some San Diego residents. It seems that some folks are roiled over various political postings by well meaning citizens. But, nobody is without contradiction.
The popular site lists everything from lost dogs, plumbing repair, restaurant reviews, garage sales, strange characters walking around the neighborhood (my favorite), public safety issues and everything in between. Recently, there has been much discussion over Sea World’s Orca’s and the killer whale show. While some passionate observers condemned the confinement of these large mammals as inhumane others voiced outrage at politicking through this particular social media.
Folks, listen up! What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Public safety concerns and working toward a remedy with elected officials, according to some proponents is not political. I say baloney! How sad and pathetic that some pedestrian minds cannot discern a difference. How sad and pathetic that some of these same simple minds make up stories to further their own cause. Have they no decency?
I will vigorously defend the export of truth, honesty and goodwill whenever possible. Certainly, if we all agree, we are not doing something right. Dissent is a hallmark of democracy. The folks on Nextdoor.com ought to cultivate their own garden and surrender to their prejudice and limited thinking. We have a marvelous opportunity to expand and evolve into more livable neighborhoods by undoing the shackles of provincialism. We must look to ourselves in bettering our community without fear and prejudice. Anyone with internet access is invited to join the conversation. Please come with an open mind.
It takes a certain rare courage to speak your mind in the face of social disapprobation. We must be reminded of Senator Robert Kennedy in one of his most famous quotes, “Moral courage is more rare than courage on the battlefield.” For those with a background in social anthropology and/or social psychology, this is easy to understand. One of society’s greatest fears is being cast as an outsider. We must not succumb.
Let us engage each other as straight arrows in regard to defining politics. Nobody is forcing anything upon anyone. Perhaps we have something to ponder from the Great Voltaire. While on his deathbed, he said to the Catholic Priest, “Mon abbe, the only certainty in death is the continuance of fools” Don’t be a fool.
Be nice, do good deeds and don’t be a stranger as we at The Clairemont Times value your participation.
Daniel J. Smiechowski has been a resident of Clairemont since 1967 and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or 858.220.4613