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Village Values

Once upon a time the Village was small. All of us knew each other- were friends with each other. And our Village was a bit different from all the other fan sites. We welcomed everyone. We had respect for each other. No one was turned away. There was no hate.

Oh, that's not to say that everybody was pals with each other. There was still disagreement sometimes and there were some who didn't' get along. But there was still respect. We respected each other's religions, where they lived, and how they lived their lives. Even in the midst of disagreements, there was still respect. Everyone knew that no matter what, we were all Villagers-- something to be proud of.

And we still had good debates in the forums. Great debates in fact. Everyone knew they could speak their opinions without bringing down abuse and flames to themselves.

But things have changed. Maybe it's because we're not so small anymore. There was a time all of us knew each other personally. Maybe it's because we have been too easy at times in accepting everyone. Maybe we've been too forgiving at times.

But whatever the reason, things have changed a good bit. We still have a good core of Villagers who have retained this idea of respect for others, and many new members who came here seeking that. But we also have some who enjoy flaming others and making comments meant to harm. Those lacking basic respect for others.

And this *will* change. We are returning to the Village we once were. RuneVillage will once again become a haven for those seeking friendship and comradeship among the storm of the web. There *will* be respect for others. We will not tolerate mean people.

We already have forum rules against flaming, making offensive comments, and insulting others. Although these things should come naturally. A wise man/woman even has respect for his enemies. A good man/woman has respect for all. Only a fool would make themselves a target by abusing and insulting others.

But this is just to put everyone on notice, that we *will* be returning to an emphasis on these core beliefs of the Village. We *will* be a true Village and not just another forum on the web.

The rules I mentioned earlier will be enforced more strictly, and interpreted more widely. The task for doing this will be the responsibility of our Admin Staff, and I've told them that I don't care if we ban ourselves back to a Village of 500 again, there *will* be the attitude of *mutual* respect in the Village once again.

And this is not to say that there can be no debates or disagreements. It's all in the manner and attitude by which you approach it. Anyone can flame and belittle others, but it takes a strong person to always be respectful and diplomatic, even in the midst of disagreement. Former U.S. Secretary of State Adelai Stevenson defined diplomacy as "the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a manner that they look forward to the trip."

So this is not meant to muzzle you or restrict your opinions or speech-- only the manner in which you approach it. Even friends can agree to disagree.

Let the Village be a place of fun, friendship, and fellowship-- let this be our strength over others. Rejoice in this fellowship of your brothers and sisters of the Village. Let us be united by respect.

Happy Trails,

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