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On Flame wars...

Conflict can be good, it is not always bad. It can improve the social environment, result in more effective problem solving, can clear the air, just to name a couple of beneficial side effects.

A lot of people are conflict phobic, and in fact they may be the very folks you see giving the most hostile, inappropriate responses.

There are basic rules for conflict:

No name calling.

No "put downs".

No hitting (but we can't do that here, unless you count verbal abuse, which is "hittng" with words).

Stick to the subject, don't digress, change the focus.

Be assertive, calmly and respectfully state your wants, needs, and opinions.

Speak for yourself, take responsibility for yourself, don't point the finger (whenever you point a finger, you have three pointing back at you). Make "I" statements, not "you" statements.

Special rules for mailing lists:

Also on a large mailing list, once a conflict has really started up to a high level of intensity, there is no need to share it with the entire list. I understand it may be "fun", but this is a special purpose list. Take your fights outside (off the loop).


You have the same rights as everyone else. Everybody is equal. Your right to swing your arm ends at the beginning of the other person's territory (like their nose - they may not even want you that close to their nose).

You have the right to state your opinion. You may not have the right to state your opinion on national television. That will cost you. Email lists are a little like national TV. An email list is a kind of "broadcast medium".

Your best bets:

Is to be as nice as you can stand to be to everybody you encounter. If other people made mistakes, forgive them and get over it. Give them another chance. Greater philosophers than I have stated this as well, in so many words.

First thing to do in a conflict is relax and breath deeply. Try to see it as a chance to use and learn new conflict skills.


Why am I stating this? Because I feel we need it. We CAN mess this list up for ourselves, we DO have the capability.

Or we can make it a functional, helpful, beneficial, supportive community. It's all up to you.

Plus I am entitled to my opinion too. I won't take up any more bandwidth from this point.


You are not going to "WIN" anything! The only time anybody "wins" is when everybody wins. Trust me on this one.


I am not now perfect at the art of conflict, and I have not always been perfect ("yeah, but I felt like you put me down back in November".....could be I did, or you felt like I did, I like a good brawl same as everybody else). We should have music playing in the background when we fight, like the brawls in the old-time western movies.

This may be one of my better days, though. Or not.

You can respond privately, if you are so inclined. I will argue with you if you like, I have no problem with it. You are safe to express yourself with me. Plus it is a chance for me to practice my conflict resolution skills.

Or maybe you agree with me, I can always use validation.

Love you (try to, anyway), Love your horses (that's easy), Love my horses.

Love all horses and most equines in general.

The things you can learn from horses. Don't hold a grudge.

Love the list. It is worth the time and effort. (Really)

Mail the list owner

To Moosewood Farm

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