My year or so blogging has been interesting. It has been what I hoped it would be: a place to spill out words of hope and humor, kindness, peace and maybe a divergent thought or two. And to hear back from good people.
It probably is no surprise that many of the comments I get I don’t necessarily “approve.” I thought I might say a few words as to why. I always read them carefully a few times and let them sit if they are hurtful to see if approving them might encourage a conversation. But when they seem more of an angry purge for the writer, I don’t approve them.
The current forms of online conversation can foster respect and thoughtfulness and they can bring out some of our worst tendencies toward cynicism and name calling. Most of this would never occur in a face to face conversation. Writing your thoughts publicly is a bit of a tricky endeavor. And I have pushed “send” on a few emails that I wished I could take back. Expressing rage is appropriate, but not on a blog to someone you don’t know. Disagreement is another thing. That’s fine. We can disagree. But how we disagree really matters to me.
On my blog, which I get to have control over, I do not approve inflammatory reactions to something I have written. Civil, respectful conversations create a civil society with self-control. There are enough Rush Limbaughs and talk radio hosts out there. I don’t find this entertaining, or justified, ever. Sure they make a point. But, and this is me here, the means of conversing is critical.
I believe we are co-creators of our world. And we have a responsibility. Sometimes this is tough – I have an ugly sarcastic streak that sneaks out way too often. It is part of my generation, I think. But, it is still ugly. Even when it makes me giggle sometimes.
I have been called a lot of names over the years for speaking up for justice and peace issues, even when I did so kindly. Polyanna, unrealistic, liar, a dreamer, an idealist, self-righteous, even a demagogue on one occasion.
But living more deeply into my sense of the what the world is about at it’s best is what I truly want for my life. And this is one way for me to do so. Take heart, good people, and do what is your work to do.