Letter: Show Common Decency

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My parents were bright, hardworking and incredibly kind people who led by quiet example. They taught their three children to treat literally everyone with respect, no matter their background or circumstance. Mom always said, “If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” And in my entire life, I never heard either of my parents (or my siblings) speak ill of another person. Nor do I recall them ever raising their voice at us. Instead, if we did something seriously wrong (which… I’ll admit…), they would look us in the eye and say, “I’m disappointed.” And that soft-spoken lesson had more forceful resonance than any harsh words or a belt could ever have.

I mention this because as a life-long resident and fan, I literally hold Laguna Beach, this incredible place and her beautiful and diverse people, with nearly the same reverence that I hold my parent’s memory.

And Laguna… I’m disappointed.

In our local papers and mailboxes, I have seen what I would characterize as unfortunate attacks on some of our local politicos. Some read as character assassination while others make public an apparent “of necessity” accommodation during a personal, temporary hardship. Let the one who has never experienced a single personal or financial challenge cast the first stone.

Somehow the divisive vitriol of national politics has infiltrated our local process. No citizenry will ever agree on every issue or project. But we all love this place. And each one of these five selfless candidates are effectively volunteering to endure long, thankless hours and anemic compensation simply because they love this town. They deserve our respect regardless of what side of the aisle or issue they are on.

Whatever the nature or timing of the serendipitous accident that brought each of us here, we owe it to ourselves, and to this town, to show common decency to one another. That very tolerance is an elemental thread of the historic fabric of this place.

If we really want to do something for Laguna, let’s start by liberating this one town from the unproductive and toxic nature of Washington’s political playbook. That road is an ill-advised detour we do not want to take. It’s stained and pot-holed asphalt already has too much traffic and we in Laguna must set a better example for our kids, our neighbors and our country. 

Mark Christy, Laguna Beach

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Mark,

    How interesting that I read this today when it was written by you. I knew your Mom and Dad as you grew up across the street. My Mom and Dad raised me the same way and I share your frustration with the vileness that has entered our discourse. We are all different and why should any of us expect others to be a carbon copy of ourselves? Lets have our differences but discuss them in a peaceful manner. You and I may have politically opposite positions but those differences should not prevent us from treating each other with respect and basic human kindness. Take care, old friend.

  2. Scott!
    SOOOOO cool to see your name. It means you’re still monitoring the pulse of your hometown. Not sure if this is public or not, but if so, people should know that your dad Charlie Boyd was one of the driving forces of Main Beach and your mom was always the first in line for any local charity in need of a rock star. MUCH love to you, Lucy and Alan. I miss you all greatly. Starlit Drive Rules!

  3. Bravo Mark and I always had gracious interactions with Charlie Boyd. Starlit still has wonderful families.
    And kindness should rule the day.

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