Do not settle for substandard conduct.
For unacceptable ways of talking to and of another
Even if – especially if – they are among those you disagree with
Or maybe prefer to not understand.
Do not settle for substandard leadership.
For unbecoming ways of working with some who oppose your views
And yet are part of you
Part of your country
Part of what holds a mirror to your blind spots
And what makes you into
Who you are and can become.
Don’t settle for the substandard fantasy
That misleads you to believe yourself somehow better
Because of your religion, gender, party, origin, or baseball cap.
You are not.
We are all of us defined by our actions, not our acronyms.
We can be raised or felled by the choices that we make:
To go low
Or rise above
To sink into the mire
Or to raise the discourse
From the gutter
Back to civilized.
Do not settle for substandard
For slurs and rudeness not fit for the ears of anyone
Let alone our children.
Settle not for the reactivity of hate and violence
Of disdain for the vulnerable
And disregard to others whom you declare guilty by an affiliation
Different than yours.
Do not settle
For substandard influence
When you know better.
Raise the standard.
So those who keep lowering the bar
Not think it has become the norm
To celebrate the rude or bow to the crass
When either are so
For The Daily Post