A Request for Respect
Wednesday, September 10, 1997 by Dave Winer.
I've been cc'd on a bunch of email from Mac zealots to Steve Jobs.
Brutal unfair stuff. The kind of messages I received earlier this summer. Totally over the line. Rude, graphic, painful stuff. You'd never say these kinds of things to a person's face. It's inexcusable stuff.
I'd like to broadcast this message far and wide. Stop it!
The best way to be heard is to speak with respect. Take the high road.
Please assume everyone is well-intentioned and smart.
If you don't know what respect is, take a deep breath, and call a friend and listen to carefully and really hear them. The more you don't want to hear from the person, the deeper the respect you will experience.
No one is wrong, ever. When you think otherwise, imagine what it's like to be the other person. Then ask a straight question, with no agenda, no expected answer. And listen.
Remember the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. And its corollary: what goes around comes around.
Want to grow? Break a loop. Don't do what you'd normally do.
Save everyone some time. Start your empassioned email with a short paragraph on who you are and what you do. Keep it plain.
Say what your job is, talk about your friends if you want. Now write your empassioned plea. I bet it'll be a lot more respectful.
Keep a balanced perspective. You're a computer user. Right on!
You are not a martyr.
Ric Ford screwed up. I've spoken with him on the phone about this. It's really disrespectful to ask questions and provide the answers! I think Ric agrees with this.
Imagine someone did this to you. That's what I did. I wouldn't have liked it. If I were perfect I just would have ignored it. No one is perfect in that way.
I also told Ric that I'm totally committed to his MacInTouch service.
Where ever he goes, whatever kind of computer he uses, I'm going to stay in his loop because MacInTouch is a professional, passionate and ever-changing interesting loop.
It's the web at its best. Ric is a great guy.
If you create some space for Apple and Jobs, they might surprise you. I'm not saying that they *will*, but if you don't leave space, they can't overcome your expectations.
There's always been a disconnect in the Mac world, an overemphasis on Apple. Let's focus on our strengths, not their weaknesses.
That's what we're all waiting for. A winning attitude.
PS: As this piece was going out, a message was posted on the MacInTouch site from Ric Ford, saying "I just spoke for 20 minutes on the phone with Steve Jobs, and I feel much better about the future of the Macintosh platform. I'll be following up with more about our discussion later today, and Steve is composing a e-mail to send a little later. He's heading at the moment to the Apple board meeting." Right on!