So at the end of last week, there was some …um…… controversy. After, the dust settled, I wanted to take a few days to reflect on what happened and what will happen going forward.
I rarely go out and take the step to “block” anyone. As a matter of fact, I can count on one hand the people that I have actually blocked. As a person, I attempt to be as inclusive as possible. But after some thinking and an incident I have decided to block a major contributor to Agree or Disagree’s.
At this point, I’m not going to rehash the incident in question. Several of you saw it and read it. At this point, I don’t see a benefit in bringing that up again. I do however, need to say that I received several private concerns over time about his behaviour. Not about his opinion, but about his behaviour around his opinion.
Now, I would have to admit, that although many agreed with the decision, many did not. I have also got some feedback from people feeling that the responses to the person involved were worse then what the person said. Some have felt that if one person, is blocked, then why isn’t another person blocked?
The simple answer is that it is not my desire to block anyone. Even the person that was. One of the ways I like to explain “Agree or Disagree” is like this. There are many people that spend time with certain likeminded thought. Many times, for example, if I go to an event hosted by a Christian, a high majority of the people at the party are Christian.At the same time, there are many people from other different perspectives tend to be around people that are as likeminded as them. And although there is some safety in that, in my life anyway, it has helped developed some unhealthy views about people that are not like me. Quite frankly, it has also developed some unhealthy views about myself. So my desire as a person who is a “connector” by personality, is to connect and open up the opportunity to share different perspectives. Sometimes there is a tension of ideas, and other times there is learning and awareness. For example, one of the things that was lost in the recent incident was people posting some information on a documentary called Miss Representation. One person pointed out that they were made aware of somethings I don’t know.I find things like that are valuable. I also found it valuable that there was a connection about exchange of ideas of how they view culture.In the midst of perceived “arguing” and “yelling”, I hear stories like that a lot. I’m thankful for that. “Blocking” or “Banning” doesn’t allow for that.
However, just because the forum is open and inclusive, it is also not my desire for people to be personally insulted. To be frank, I don’t always think that is one person, it has happened to others as well. I’m not here to compare who was worse and who was better. The bottom line is there should be none.I understand that emotions happen and in the heat of the moment, you get so angry you type something to respond. However, personally belittling people not only impacts the person you comment on, but people they are close to as well.
People often ask me why I don’t share my opinion more. Part of the reason is so I can step back and see what REALLY is being said. It allows me to see or attempt to see clearly what is going on. I’m a person that tried to think things through before going forward. Going forward, these types of things, if they happen, will be dealt with privately.
One thing to remember. Not everyone that contributes finds it easy to do it. It takes time, courage and some conviction. Sometimes, it’s a first time contributor. Sometimes it’s not. Please be aware of that.
Since Thursday, I have received feedback from four different categories or groups. I’d like to take the time to speak to each group.
First, to the commentators. Regulars or sometimes.The ones that take the time to point something out or commenting. Sharing a personal story, or research they have done. I would like to say thank you for taking the time to do that. It sincerely means a lot that you would. So many of you come and speak something intelligent and give some insight that I never look at. It has helped a lot. There are so many to mention here, that I’ll try to thank you personally.
Second, to the readers. The ones that have never written a comment, but read. I tend to think there are more readers then there are commentators. Thank you for reading. Once, twice, whenever. Perhaps this type of forum is not where you would feel comfortable talking about things. I have heard some of you discuss this in a different format. Honestly, I hope you are having a meaningful conversation about the things we discuss.
Third, to the supporters and friends. Several people privately messaged me asking how I was and thanked me. Several of you publicly expressed thanks. Many of you even shared that you prayed. I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. That meant more than you know.
Forth, to the critics. A few of you came out and spoke your mind. I know these next sentences will not change your opinion.Some of you made your opinion known clearly in different ways.Some of you even expressed an opinion on me as well. Just so you know, I have close to 40 years dealing with critics. I have heard stories of small snickering behind my back for different things. (Lord, knows I have given many opportunities). The big thing I want to share with you is this.
I’m not going away. I have plans to make things stronger, richer and better than they are now. I have a vision, and I know where I’m going with this blog. And, I’m excited to see where it is going.
In closing, some may not be aware of this, but this has been going on for 3 years now. I’d like to share with you a post I wrote on my 2 year anniversary as a reminder how this started.
Truthfully, a sincere thank you to everyone who expressed their thoughts. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.