Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Irresponsible Blogger

I do a lot of big talking about how this blog allows me the space to muddle through the convoluted mess in my brain and clearly express my thoughts.

It's not entirely true, though.

There are a lot of posts, like this one, I hope, where I'm able to sit back and think about what I'm saying as I'm typing.

There are, unfortunately, also a lot of posts where I'm angry about something, raw about something, feeling passionate about something, and I sit at my keyboard and start typing and I hit the publish button before I've taken the time to stop and think about what I'm saying, and how I say it.
Words are powerful. And also dangerous.

And the written word in this digital age is... hard.

Each of us has a loud voice now. We all have the platforms at our fingertips to speak to a large group of people. To be heard by many, rather than just the few people around us.

There has to be a responsibility there.
And I've been terribly guilty of not taking my responsibility seriously. In much the same way that online bullies don't fully fathom the repercussions of their actions, I've been incredibly thoughtless about my own rhetoric.

I can have my beliefs without lashing out and being all vitriolic towards other human beings sharing this planet with me. At times, I've been just as hateful, if not more hateful, than those I'm lashing out against.

To what purpose? Does it fix anything, or just cause more issues?
When I take a breath... when I take the time to step back and remove myself from the center of any issue... God, it's important to look at different sides, to listen to different viewpoints, to try to see things through other's eyes.

That becomes impossible when I label people and stereotype them and say vile, hurtful, hateful things about them and their side of whatever issue it is. I get defensive, they get defensive, and in the end, I've created a bigger gap than existed before.

I don't want to be that person. There are people I love more than life that have extremely different points of view than I do. Family, friends, coworkers. Lovers past and present.
And I hurt them with my words. Not just here on this blog.

Odd thing is that I learned to temper myself a long time ago on Facebook because of family that I don't want to lose, because of friends I don't want to lose. For some reason, I never saw the need to censor myself in the same way here. No, not censor... to temper my words.

Maybe in the beginning when this blog's soul reader was me it didn't matter. This was basically my journal and I wrote only for myself because, honestly, I was the only one reading the words.

But over time, more and more people have found their way here. People from all over the globe, all different walks of life and my audience has grown and until now, I've not taken any responsibility for what I say. People that I've met in SL aren't faceless strangers to me. My readers aren't faceless strangers to me. They are real people and they are real people that I care deeply about.

This isn't an anonymous blog anymore. People who read this know me. And they care about me, just as I care about them, and I've not made the connection, until now, that what they read here affects them.
The words I choose to express my thoughts are often carelessly chosen. On more than one occasion, I've lost people because of it.

I don't know why it took me so long to see the damage I was doing.

I've lost the chance to know some really amazing people, to learn from them, because I struck out at their beliefs in the ugliest way I could with the only weapon I have.

I've missed opportunities to learn, and to love, because I've been stubborn and careless.

And isn't that a shame? Because we should never stop learning. No one knows everything. There are always new things to learn, to experience, viewpoints to share and discuss and grow from.

So...

What does that mean for this blog?
Jesus Puppeh Walks on Water??
Oh, I'm not going to stop. I love blogging, I do. But I'm now going to start looking at it as a conversation with a group of friends and loved ones instead of a journal for my eyes only. I can't say I'll never get into real world issues again... this blog has never been solely about Second Life... but before I post something that could be hurtful or controversial, I'll have someone I trust read it first. I'll take time to let it simmer and see if it truly conveys what I'm trying to say or if it's just reactionary vitriol. I'll try to look at it through eyes other than my own.

There are problems in the world. And in Second Life. Hell, there are problems everywhere. But they will never be solved by creating more divisiveness.

And I'm sorry for contributing to the divisiveness. I truly am.
In being hostile and venomous, I've completely failed in uniting anyone on anything, other than to maybe agree I'm a bitter, angry woman.

And that's not who I want to be known as, because it's not who I am.

On a day where there are an awful lot of people hurting, let's be kind to each other.

Let's just be nice. One moment at a time, one second after another, let's just treat each other well. Let's be compassionate and empathetic. Let's hold each other's hands and be good to each other.

Bill and Ted said it best, didn't they? "Be excellent to each other."

I'll start. You there. Yeah, you. I probably don't know you, or don't know you very well. But I've no doubt you have some amazing, unique, wonderful qualities that make you incredibly special. We probably don't agree on everything... in fact, I'm sure we don't. But I still think you're awesome. I'm glad you're on this planet with me.

I wish you a beautiful day and a beautiful life. I wish you joy and bliss, prosperity and understanding and safety.

And above all else, I wish you love.

2 comments:

  1. Great words Beth. And it is positive already you thought about it. We all do much more mistakes than we think and you got aware what was one of yours. Congrats. I wasn't one you hurt with your words but I honor you discovered it by yourself you may did it to others. That's a great gesture. I love to read your blog more and more! Keep writing!

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  2. Ah, how lovely that you stopped for a minute and considered the impact of your words! But, still, as someone who thinks truth is in short supply, I am so torn! While I think we should be kinder/gentler with each other, I think there's something really necessary and cathartic and important about having somewhere truly anonymous to vent. We, as humans, are imperfect, and have millions of ugly reactions to the dirty business of living. Sometimes that's where real art lives. I've always admired your your raw, emotionally naked posts, and want to beg you to not break it to us gently, but, that's not very realistic, is it? There are always real people involved, catching the shrapnel. So, keep doing you however you see fit, but, I hope you find somewhere that you can be shamelessly hurt/angry/ugly, even if I don't get to read it, and relate. I feel like we all need that, especially in this world that is so quick to cry foul on words so much sooner than actions.

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