Letter to the Editor: Too many Americans think they have a right to verbally abuse others | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Too many Americans think they have a right to verbally abuse others

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman

Rudeness may yet cause all American hospital nurses to strike, leaving patients and their families to fend for themselves. Having spoken last night with a Denver hospital nurse, I learned that she and many of her coworkers are at their breaking point. Charged with too many patients, their energies and expertise are stretched to their limits. Add to this that families and patients too often are treating them miserably by making coarse demands and yelling at them, not a few are telling us that they’ve had just about enough.

Too many Americans think they have the right and privilege to verbally abuse others. I recently had such a confrontation with a manger of a store here in Summit County. Ultimately, I was forced simply to abandon the shop. This is one customer that that business will never see cross its threshold again. I am not willing to submit myself to the kind of abuse that led up to the imbroglio. To my utter amazement and consternation, I had encountered a manager who was so poorly trained that she was totally unable to handle a very simple situation. There were many alternatives to the route that she took, but she chose the path of aggressive rudeness in a wholly confrontational style. 

Commentators and pundits have urged us to lower the rhetoric and listen louder to each other. Verbally smacking someone in the face alienates and often angers the other person. It would stand us all for the better to check our anxieties and frustrations as well as our overly sped-up lives at the door and treat others with some modicum of decency. Give-and-take is highly underrated. We can and must do better.

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