While the economy and speed of email, blog postings, facebook postings, instagrams etc. are convenient, many critics of the new social media blame their relative anonymity and the immediate speed with which they can gratify our emotions for a coarsening of manners and civility. I think it is certainly true that in the time it takes to compose and mail a letter, or email the parish secretary or webmaster, or call and make an appointment or decide to wait and discuss whatever it is that irks us face to face, tempers cool and a sense of perspective is gained. The same message may be delivered with less hurtful language, or we may decide that whatever it is we feel doesn't need to be said or written after all.
There's no such cooling off period when we fire off an angry email, or start a flame on social media. The speed with which inaccurate, partially accurate or even truthful but deliberately hurtful information can be spread to damage's someone's reputation, integrity or sincerity is unprecedented and too casually done. Add a drink or two or a drug and you've got a potentially explosive situation.
In politics, false charges when made over and over again become the perception and the perception becomes the reality. It then becomes almost impossible to change even with persuasive truth. That phenomenon doesn't seem limited to politics.
A pastor, a principal, a teacher, a coach, a parish volunteer, a neighbor, a classmate, even an enemy - none of these surrender their right to a good reputation and the benefit of the doubt. How many times? I don't know, seventy times seven?
The email addresses and contact information of students and parents in the school, the lists of parish volunteers and directories are published so that we may communicate effectively in ways that build up the Body of Christ in the world, beginning in Holy Cross parish. Modern communication tools give us incredible power - let us resolve to use it for the good.