The blogging community I've happily stumbled into here brings me so much joy every day (well, every day I have time to join in, anyway!) - so many laughs, so many tears, sad and happy, so much support in the rough times and so many virtual hugs and high-fives and happy dances in the times we all celebrate. Wow, when you stop to ponder, it's just plain phenomenal, isn't it? I know y'all who blog (and even some who don't blog but have developed strong, real relationships and a firm place within the community anyway) know what I mean. We are all so alike in many respects, and yet each such unique individuals. And in our similarities and differences, we share and support and build up and love one another and one anothers' families. We don't agree on everything, but we respect and support each other as people and friends.
And we do it willingly and we do it SO WELL. I LOVE THAT. Don't you?
I JUST LOVE IT. I crave it. It's something I can't imagine giving up, now that I've got it, you know? I'm fully-invested in this -- whether I can find time to read and write daily or just weekly, it's so rewarding -- I'd even say it's crucial or vital to who I am. Makes me a better mother, wife, friend and person.
So last night, when my email alerted me to a new comment on this post, which really isn't a post at all, just a link to my regular Monday feature over at 5 Minutes for Parenting, and I opened it and read the harsh and completely unwarranted comment, I felt betrayed. Hey, I understand a difference of opinion, oh yes ma'am I do. I don't bring up controversial subjects here (or at least I don't do it willingly!) but in real life, I'm not afraid of a debate and I do hold strong opinions about some things. We all do. But I am a woman who believes what she believes AND respects the right of other people to believe what they believe. I might not agree with you, but you won't catch me insulting you or dismissing you because of that. And if I'm ever led to engage you about our differences (which is rare, let me assure you), I try do it gently and in the spirit of two mutually-respectful adults trying to find common ground. (I've slipped up and fired a bullet of my own here and there, but I'm human, too.)
I expect others to show me that same respect. That's the conduct appropriate for our community (and society in general, I'd argue) and I don't think, despite the fact that we're all FREE to say what we want on-line or elsewhere, (which I suppose is a wonderful freedom, but also always seems to be the leading justification for people who write and say hateful and offensive things), it's too much to ask. If you're thinking of shooting off a comment that because of its nature or content you aren't comfortable owning it or attaching to your true identity, just don't do it. If it must be said, then email me, or if you know me, call me. Whatever. Just don't try to turn my little corner of the blogosphere into a place of conflict and disrespect.
This is not that kind of place, and these, my family, friends and I, are not that kind of people.
And that's the end of that little episode.
Have a great day, y'all!