Today is a bit of a difficult musing for me, because I tend to be a very live and let live kinda gal. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone or infringe on someone else's rights, I think people have a right to live their lives exactly the way they wish. I don't like being told what to do or what to think, and so I try very hard not to tell others what to do or place value judgements on anyone for living the way they wish. That being said, I find - after some reflection - that I can't be silent about something that's been disturbing me.
I read the comments on Stephen West's new designs the other day on Ravelry. I cringed. As a designer, I often get comments, and I am so very appreciative that most of them - I'd say about 99.9% - are kind and positive. But as I read through those directed to Stephen, I pictured myself faced with an inbox filled with ugliness, since designers get copied on each one of those comments. It wasn't all that difficult to imagine; when you upload a new design, there's always a niggling fear that everyone will hate it.
I understand that people have a right to say whatever they want; we are incredibly fortunate to live in a country where free speech is still possible. Cruel words are not illegal (though we are seeing a lot about bullying in the crime news lately). But they are painful and soul-sucking to everyone involved: the people who say them, the people who are the recipients, and the bystanders who witness them.
So I have two questions to throw out into the ether for those commenters, and no one need answer them to me, only to themselves if they wish.
1. How would you feel if someone left the same comments for you and you opened your inbox to a whole bunch of negativity?
2. What are you hoping to accomplish?
What I often say to my boys: everyone appreciates kindness and graciousness. That doesn't mean you have to agree with or like the other person, or admire them, or think they are right. Showing respect for a fellow human is always cool.
So there you go. Enough said.
And now I will stow away my soapbox (back to home use), put my rose-colored sunglasses on again, and go back to minding my own business. Before I sign off though, on a personal note: I want you all to know how very very much I appreciate how kind and gracious you have been to me. Have a great week, everyone!
Labels: Monday's Musing