Mary DeBoer | Mar 29, 2020
[Excerpts from the original article
published on March 29, 2020]
GUEST COMMENTARY: Speech blessed right on, off line
Growing up, my husband heard his father say, “It is better to remain silent and be thought ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to know Harold DeBoer since he died long before I met my husband. However, I have found myself recalling that phrase over the years, after I had stuck my foot in my mouth or had spoken out of turn.
It has also come to mind in the course of my job when someone said or wrote something absurd. As a judicial officer, I have had 10 years to practice the skill of keeping my mouth shut and allowing people to say what they came to say when they’re in court. Not always easy.
In our times of social media, now more than ever, people seem perfectly fine “sharing” their thoughts with all of their friends on whatever site they’re on as if they are experts on a particular topic.
While I firmly believe that we have the right to voice our opinions, we should take a breath and think about what we circulate in our community before we hit “Enter” — especially since social media shares what you post instantaneously. Some people post what I call “less than productive” things on social media because they crave even negative attention while others get a thrill from being confrontational and whipping people up. If you are one of those people, then I highly doubt this article will impact you much. Daane DeBoer died for your ability to be that person.
But during these times of the coronavirus, isolation and fear, I hope that if you want to share your thoughts or “information” that you do so in an intelligent and responsible manner. Please fact-check before you drop your bombs on your 842 friends or followers. [...]
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