Needed: Civility, not rhetoric Friday, September 9, 2005
Gene Cassidy, Framingham Metrowest Daily News
I want to underline something Rick Holmes wrote in the Sunday, Sept. 4 MetroWest Daily News.

At the gas pump, we interact with people who have no role setting prices.  Getting mad at the guy pumping gas is ineffectual.  Harsh words damage us and their recipients, but not the refiner.  We're angry, but yelling at the retailer misses the target.

This brings me to a discussion by Framingham residents which I have been privileged to hear regarding the effects of a proposal by SMOC to locate a facility on Winter Street.  The tone of that discussion has caused me to see why SMOC may behave as it does.

Given the anger which sometimes surfaces in this discussion, I see how SMOC may prefer to move the issue to a courtroom ruled by civility and law ("SMOC may file lawsuit," B1, Sept. 7).  Businesses try to insulate themselves from conflicts that their products and policies create.  That goes for SMOC or Exxon-Mobil.

I also wonder how Framingham residents can insulate ourselves from being labeled heartless and intolerant.  Yes, SMOC is in the business of helping people, but you never hear its spokespeople complain that Framingham is "anti-business," only that the town is, essentially, "anti-helping people."

Maybe it's time for both sides to rein in the rhetoric and see how civility works outside the courtroom.

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