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Faith column: now is a time to whisper tweet nothings

Twitter is usually swirling with insults of one kind or another. Courtesy and logic go out the window. The satisfaction of unburdening oneself in the bluntest of terms might be momentarily cathartic for the writer but it’s a turn-off for many and, thankfully, soon swallowed up by the next wave of commentary.

The umbrage taken on Twitter to people merely expressing a different view is odd. Differences are everywhere: Collingwood or Carlton, AFL or NRL, Liberal or Labor, sweet or sour, cats or dogs, lark or owl, to name just a few It has never been difficult to identify how we are different and the starting point should be that different people may have different views, which they are entitled to express. That they should do so respectfully, engaging with ideas rather than attacking another person in a personal way, seems an implied rule of civilised society, required to enable it to function without descending into chaos.

This is a time for celebrating what we have in common, not seizing on our differences.

This is a time for celebrating what we have in common, not seizing on our differences.

Those who enlist as foot soldiers on the frontline of a keyboard battle – generating so much noise and aggression – seem to forget that the purpose of a debate is to persuade. The vitriol does not get us anywhere.

Beneath these layers of difference are the things we have in common: we love our families, have friends we cherish. We try our hardest in the unpredictable twists and turns of life. Sometimes our courage will be tested. We have an effect on those around us and the power to make it a positive or negative experience. Little acts of kindness, given to another generously, are rarely forgotten. We all leave this world through the same door.

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