Let’s be clear: Passion is absolutely no excuse for rudeness.
For some reason, there is a belief that behavior akin to something out of a William Golding novel is absolutely fine, as long as the people behind screaming, shouting and interrupting are “passionate” about what they believe in.
That might be fine for a political rally, but it’s not fine in the middle of a meeting where business is being discussed. A meeting like the recent Community Board 8 land use committee meeting attended by a representative of a controversial developer, Diane Cahill.
There are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding plans to build 55 units at 2395 Palisade Ave., and the developer has a lot of explaining to do — especially since there’s a major disconnect between which documents are publicly available to view regarding this project, and the actual reality of the project itself.
But the way Cahill was treated at this meeting by the raucous crowd? It’s an absolute embarrassment. And really, everyone involved in the name-calling, the interruptions, and the overall rude behavior should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.
The fact is, no one from the 2395 Palisade development team are required to show up to talk to the community, either at this point, and likely not even at all. Yet, at least a representative of the developer showed up for this meeting, and returned to Long Island with an opinion of this community that likely is lower than the one the community has of her.
And it’s justified.
The community wants answers about this new proposed apartment building. They want a say in it. Many even want to stop it.
But for any of that to have a chance of happening, there needs to be open lines of communication. And communication requires three elements — listening, speaking and listening. No, that’s not a typo. Listening is twice as important as speaking, and no one can listen if they are too busy talking.
CB8 is getting a reputation of where if the community doesn’t like something, they are not going to listen at all — or at least be respectful to others with a differing opinion. And with a reputation like that, we’re going to quickly find that no one is going to want to come and talk to us, and then where will we be?
There is no need to shout. There is no need to interrupt. There is no need to be rude. You’re being heard.
Let’s hear everyone else, too.