Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy,Â for ‘is a Sign of a Tractable and Commendable Nature:
And in all Causes of Passion admit Reason to Govern.
— George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior
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Last night, a friend sent me a text message that French conductor and flautist Olivier Ochanine’s meeting with SM’s management resulted in somewhat of a commitment to preserve the theater of the Philamlife Building.
Ochanine was supposed to have said, “After a positive meeting, it seems safe to say that Philam Life Theater will be preserved. More info to come soon, included a special concert in honor of the theater.”
Of course, the community surrounding Ochanine will hail SM’s reported decision to keep theÂ theaterÂ as a triumph brought about by the tactics they employed — some of which were negative to say the least.
At least, one member of that community thought it was rather justified to use falsehood,Â fear and intimidationÂ — tactics which are not used by those who truly believe as well practice in intelligent and unrestrained democratic discourse.
It can be argued that profanity is protected by free speech and that would be true. Â But it is also equally true that profanity maybe regarded as abusive and can be the subject of a libel suit — which can certainly detract from any effort to constructively engage people who may have the power to grant or deny a request.
If Ochanine had publicly used foul language in pursuing his petition, I doubt if either the Sys or the management of SM would have invited him to discuss the fate of the Philamlife Theater and he would have failed in saving the facility from destruction.
I think Ochanine’s decent and rather civil behavior partly demonstrates the right and effective way in pursuing a petition or promoting a cause.
Decency and civility helps immensely in allowing all parties involved to focus on discussing the arguments and facts as well as negotiating a solution or compromise that satisfies all parties.
Protests, angry and otherwise, seem to be warranted if the party being petitioned refuses to grant audience to the petitioners and engage in negotiations.
However, these days certain so called “thought leaders” seem to be more prone to launching a public petition as the first resort.
Thing is, I suspect that if you asked them, “Have you written and filed a complaint?” Â they would most likely say that they hadn’t and in that respect, a public protest would be quite unfair since the petitioner hasn’t given the party being positioned the opportunity to respond.
Another glaring example of Pinoy Society’s dysfunction is that some of its members eschew undergoing “due process” and engaging in the “proper forum”, saying that it won’t bring about the right results. Â However, the truth may be that they’re just afraid of displaying their ignorance and like a petulant child, would rather that people just give them what they want.