A friend of mind posted her experience on Facebook in reference to an earlier post she had since opted to delete. Apparently she had received a multitude of comments of the negative variety on the statement she had shared. (I don’t know what the original post was.) If I understood her correctly, not only were her feelings hurt by the replies, she was also upset that people had not taken time to understand what she was trying to communicate.
I was moved by her plight because it was associated with my own feelings; but my feelings were more along the “attack” lines. In the busyness and chaos of the new nearly-normal, I’ve lost sight of some basic survival/thrival skills. I’m sharing my response to her post here because I don’t want to forget these things again…
Great reminder! I have a little story to share: A couple of hours ago I went to write a new post on my blog; it’s been six months since I posted anything. Apparently in that time they changed something. The site now looks and acts totally differently. Trying to write the post started out annoying and quickly became frustrating. I managed to get the post written and published, but then remembered a particular feature I like to add to my posts. When I went to add it I couldn’t find the command. It showed up in my old posts, but I couldn’t copy it into the new one.
Sadly I’m not very (technologically) patient, and lately I’ve been getting really stressed out about a lot of things personal, local, national, and global. So, building on my feeling of annoyance and frustration, I then became miffed. I wanted to lash out at the website with my mighty pen. (In the Bible they call this kicking against the pricks [which might sound risque, but it just means wasting lots of energy on something futile].) I wanted to take action because I guess I’ve felt unable to control so many situations lately. In fact, I got on Facebook with a sort of vague idea of expressing my dissatisfaction (not exactly sure how).
Then I saw your post–this one. I read it and recognized the sort of responses you were receiving. I was wanting to write something like that…not to you, but to my blog host. On my better days I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want to hurt others’ feelings. I really don’t. Nevertheless, as explained, I’ve been feeling a lot of unrelieved frustration and I’m sure others are too. We want to do something to FIX things. The less in control of our lives we feel, the more stressed out we get. In such circumstances it’s a human tendency to burn adrenaline–which is usually associated with anger and frustration. It’s like throwing gasoline onto a fire hoping it will somehow help. Obviously that doesn’t fix stuff. So instead, or after slightly calming down, we live in a state of being chronically near boiling point. As a result, we may frequently and futilely vent our spleen on others. I think it’s a slightly more passive type of mobocracy than we’ve seen recently on the news.
And I don’t want to be like that.
So I thank you for your post which inspired me to write this comment and to think through what’s really going on inside me. I know it’s hackneyed to say so, but I’m going to try to “Be the change I want to see.” Paradoxically, taking no obvious action, may be the only way to solve our difficulties. As I said–hackneyed–but thanks again for the reminder.