In recent weeks, months for that matter, I have relished at the opportunity to write weekly -- either in print or online -- about the growth of our first child.
The child is due in October. We are truly excited.
Typically, on Sundays, I arrive at the office and immediately start working on Monday's newspaper.
But as soon as I sat down Sunday afternoon at the office, my extension started ringing.
The call was from a reader who had some issues regarding a comment left on our website regarding a story written on the life of Brazil resident John Thomas, who died recently.
The comment -- while not extreme in nature -- was rather inappropriate for the story.
It was -- to put it simply -- in bad taste.
There is a note just right above where online readers can post comments on stories.
The note states:
* The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please login or create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
First off, I don't know about all of you, but my grandmothers both have (and in one case, had) some pretty thick skin.
I really wanted to take time out Sunday to write more about "jellybean," as Merry and I are affectionately referring to our baby.
I wanted to take time out to discuss how I felt the baby kick.
It was a wonderful experience. I think that may have been "the moment" when reality hit.
But I felt compelled to discuss this other issue.
When I was a child, my parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts all reminded me that if you didn't have something good to say about somebody, don't say anything at all.
I have attempted -- with every fiber of my being -- to maintain that mantra through life. Sometimes, I have failed at this, but I do believe that is human nature.
The nature of the Internet, however, has changed life for many.
Now, people can hide behind user names to leave comments -- nasty or not -- about anyone.
All bets appear to be off.
My belief is there used to be more decency in the world.
Now, it appears many are out to get everyone.
We seem to live in more of a "Dog Eat Dog" world now.
But that doesn't make it right.
The statement on the website says it all. It is, after all, practically impossible to stop all "nasty" comments from appearing before they do.
But when comments are deemed offensive by readers, they often e-mail or call to let us know.
Don't get me wrong, comments about stories are welcome. We live in a black and white world. The negative belongs right next to positive.
But sometimes, things are better left unsaid.
We are, after all, discussing a piece written about a man who was arguably one of Clay County's elder statesman. A man to look up to.
He lived a good life by example.
He didn't, nor does his family, deserve that type of ilk in this moment, their moment, of grief.
Sometimes, things are, indeed, better left unsaid.