As an official Ricochet Moderator,™ some days I despair for the grand experiment in civil, right-wing community building that is Ricochet. So much of my energy on the site is spent dealing with sniping and griping that I start to wonder if anyone actually wants to have a conversation.
Too many times it feels like members are here to repeat the same arguments like a Groundhog Day from Hell, burn acres of strawmen, gloat over the fellow Ricochetti they consider their enemies, and bring up every less-than-complimentary thing anyone has ever said to them as justification for their own bad behavior, like a half of a couple that wants a divorce but wants to force the other party to be the one who actually files. Two things have happened in the last few days though that have rekindled hope that this community can actually work as intended.
The first is so simple it should hardly need to be mentioned. Brian Watt created a post on “ecosexuality.” iWe put up a disagreeing post that mentioned that it was in reaction to Brian’s. iWe didn’t hijack the thread to make himself the center of conversation; Brian didn’t complain about being embarrassed by having a fellow member disagree with him. It’s a beautiful model of how Ricochet as a good faith conversation should work.
The second is also a wonderful example of mature behavior. In GrannyDude’s recent post “The Mystery of Male Armies: Redux,” there was a flap over language. One party attempted to make a joke which due to the nature of text fell flat, and the recipient felt offended. The recipient admitted to hurt feelings and requested an apology, which was then given and accepted. Neither party went off-thread to complain about “that insulting jerk” or “that humorless scold.” Neither used knowledge of the other’s personal life to exacerbate the fight or poison the possibility of reconciliation. Neither appear to be holding a grudge that will be remembered for months or years. The thread has returned to being a pleasant conversation.
I realize that not every problem can be solved so easily, that we all have sore spots and wounds from our lives in general and previous conversations on Ricochet. I know that we all have those positions on which no compromise is able to be made. But civility can exist among adults who work to create it, and I’m happy that we still have many of those people at Ricochet.