I've started and restarted this post a few times now and nothing has sounded good enough to post so I'll just add I'd also like people to put more effort into getting along. It's not a cop-out on the truth to put polite rhetoric ahead of what you actually feel or know to be true. Anyone can tell people how they feel...we see it expressed every day in various public arenas. It takes considerably more discipline to ignore your own feelings for the sake of the conversation (or to not
operate on the same base level we perceive others to be operating on) so that we might arrive at understanding instead of preaching to the pelicans.
Not that I think I have some inside track on communication, but these have always seemed to work for me (#1 in particular).
My personal rules of discourse:
1. Kill 'em with kindness; always show some respect, especially when it's more difficult to do so
2. Acknowledge the difference between fact and opinion, no matter how likely your opinion might also be a fact. Most of what we discuss here exists partly in the realm of speculation and there always seem to be exceptions to any rule: qualify qualify qualify...(
3. Allow the other guy to be wrong (you don't have any say in the matter anyway); understanding doesn't come from hearing the truth, it comes after processing it and that often happens in its own time...and it won't usually happen any quicker if you keep pressing the issue since people tend to entrench themselves when they feel pressed.
I'd just like to add I have a great deal of respect for the people here. Despite my lack of recent training I still talk to you guys because I enjoy the passion and discipline that tends to accompany martial artists. With that in mind, perhaps the disagreements are partly a sign of how diverse we are as a group. If that is so, it presents us with a real challenge, but one which is invaluable to our growth as individuals and martial artists.
Cheers and Happy New Year!