04 November 2013

monday's musing

"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." – Confucius

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!



Blogger Jeanne said...

Bless you Rosemary Hill. ♥

2:10 PM  
Blogger flossieKNITS said...

AMEN. I wrote a very long comment on the idea of kindness on his Armored pattern. And interesting, because I literally just wrote a blog post in the same vein as yours. http://www.flossieknits.com/2013/11/on-niceness-kindness-other-things.html

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Yes I agree. If you haven't anything nice to say, then don't bother with being nasty..

Linda. "ONEDAY"Designs

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Esther said...

Life isn´t fair - get used to it.
Remember what I said: No thanks. I don´t want to get used to it.
Because most unfairness is caused by humans and I refuse to get used to that.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said!!! I agree with you!

7:17 AM  
Blogger Kathleen C. said...

Question number two is a good one. Because I've never understood what people think they're going to accomplish out of sharing the negativity that's inside them.
You don't have to like everything, but then again, you're not required to like everything (no one's forcing you to buy the pattern)... so why not let it pass? Why jump at the chance to wave your negativity flag around?
Sigh. I just don't know.
But thank you for your positivity.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

There's a reason we're taught to not say anything if we can't say something nice. Obviously, I don't like every knitting pattern ever written, but why bother telling the designer I don't? What's the point? Thanks for your post.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Clare said...

Well said. And I totally agree.

But just know that the majority of those comments were by members from a group called Rubberneckers. They take pride in being mean and it has little to do with not liking the design. They just pick targets and go after them. Incredibly sad...

10:38 AM  
Blogger scifiknitter said...

Stephen West is innovative and original, therefore by definition his designs are not always elegant and certainly not always pretty. He has made large contributions to the vitality of our current knitting environment, which is one that the snarkers surely enjoy. You don't have to like or make or wear the work to benefit from it.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I haven't seen the comments on his Ravelry site. However, it always amazes me the number of negative comments that greet each issue of many of the major magazine issues. And I wonder if these people ever directly contact the magazine...or just throw up negative posts on Ravelry.

The only time that you have a "right" to be negatively critical of someone else's design is if you are having something custom designed for yourself. Then, you have purchased the right to say "I hate this." Otherwise, move on.

Each designer is creating their own vision. Many times, you will agree. However, as you are two totally different people with different experiences, there are times that you will be wildly divergent.

It all goes back to the old saying "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anne A said...

Kindness and graciousness breeds kindness and graciousness, I find. I was shocked at what was said in some of the comments on Ravelry, and welcome your post.

3:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home