When I was growing up, manners were prevelent. We were raised to use good manners and to be respectful of others. We were taught that we'd be judged by the things we said and did, and the thought that no one would like us if we were rude kept us in our places. It was the way things were in those days.
Oh, I'm sure that there were bullies back then. In fact, I'd run into a few of them in school, and I went out of my way to be nice to them anyway or to steer clear of them altogether. A Biblical quote my Mother used often was 'the golden rule.' "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I heard it echo through my head whenever I'd even think of returning a nasty comment with one of my own, which wasn't very often, to be honest.
When I began to learn about Biblical ways on my own, I discovered that the tongue needs to be 'bridled.' We need to control our impulses to spew out anything that comes to mind in a given circumstance. That is a wonderful form of discipline for a person and saves many a relationship, I'm sure. Our tongue is capable of soothing hurts or causing them, and we should be mindful to guard them from the latter.
These days, with so much electronic interaction between people, ie social networks, emails , blogging, etc. it's often difficult to know how someone's comment was meant to be taken. Sometimes, however, there is no doubt. Such was the case when a comment went anonymously to a lovely woman who writes a blog I regularly read. There was no doubt that the writer of the comment had an opinion, which is certainly her right to share, but how that opinion was expressed could have been so much less hurtful. It was an unmistakeable attack.
We would all be wise to practice the art courtesy and good manners when dealing with one another, even when opinions vary drastically. If we want to walk together in peace, it is a necessity, not an option.