Be Civil and Respectful

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    Layne AE1N
    Layne AE1N

    As Darrell Davis, KT4WX, ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager, writes in the West Central Florida news:
    Editorial: Be Civil and Respectful

    On the way home from the Spring 2017 West Central Florida Section ARES Meeting, I was running my handheld radio on APRS as a mobile tracker. I received the following text message from someone: “Hey dummy, program your radio correctly.” Apparently someone did not like a parameter that was set on my radio and took exception to it. The question I asked myself after the comment had disturbed me was the following: What if I had been a new amateur licensee? If so, I might have become discouraged and bitter as a result of that comment. I might have quit.

    There is a lesson to be learned from this incident. We in the amateur community should always be civil to one another. This does not mean you cannot disagree, but you can state your  disagreement and remain respectful/civil about it. It does not offend me if someone does not agree with what I say or what I do, if it is in a civil manner. Lack of civility is sadly a sign of the times we live in. Far too often today when one states their viewpoint, even when they state it with civility, it is met with rudeness or even with a vitriolic response. In Amateur Radio we should be the exception to this trend and be civil to one another both on the air and in person, as an example to our peers and to the next generation.

    Another lesson to be learned here is to be aware that sometimes operators have either technical issues with their equipment or procedures (AC hum on the microphone, cracking sounds, wrong parameters programmed on digital modes, improper operating procedure, etc.). It is okay to point an issue out to them if you know what the problem is, but remember to be civil about it, in a positive, helpful way. A new amateur may not have learned all of the proper procedures yet. Talk to them in a respectful manner, preferably off the air. In the case of most people, if you approach them with a modest and humble attitude, they will listen to what you have to say. If I have a problem, I would want someone to tell me, because I may not know about it.

    One more lesson: We all have our favorite modes of operation and parts of the service we enjoy more than others. Don’t put down or demean another amateur’s interests. It’s okay to invite other hams to join your part of the hobby but if they say no, don’t feel slighted. They might on the other hand say yes, but you will not know until you ask. Also, if someone tells you about their favorite mode, take the time to listen. You may decide it is not of interest to you and say “No thank you” and that is perfectly okay. But on the other hand you may say “yes.”

    The Amateur’s Code was written by Paul Segal, W9EEA, in 1928 after another time in which Amateur Radio had a tumultuous period before regulations fully took effect in the mid 1920’s. The Fourth point in the code says: “FRIENDLY with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others.” These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit”. For the full text of the code, please see

    — Darrell Davis, KT4WX, ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager, reprinted from The WCF Presser and West Central Florida Section News

    Layne AE1N

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