Okay, I’m writing this rant, not because anyone pissed me off, but because it needs to be said.
I’ve been on several rooms and lists where something is said, someone answers, and others get all huffy. The one example I’m thinking of is correction of spelling and grammar. One person was very unclear on a list, others called them on it because several people could not understand what they meant by their spelling, and a third party who was not even involved in the discussion got offended at the “Grammar nazi-ing” that the rest of the list was doing.
Why should her reaction matter to me? She wasn’t involved in the conversation at all. She was not the one who was being corrected and I have no need to keep her good opinion of me. But she posted this flounce letter that basically said we were all meanies and FMPPHs and just plain mean.
That got me thinking (insert the groans of dread here). Why should I care that she got offended? In a few words, I don’t care. Someone was being very unclear on a list full of very intelligent members, those who tend to think and really advance witchcraft and Wicca by asking uncomfortable questions and then discussing answers, kind of a “Pagan Think-Tank” if you will. All the core members of this group have my extreme respect simply because they have stripped away most of the things that get in the way of intellect (ego, self delusion and so on). That allows them to discuss issues without a lot of negative emotions getting in the way. I’m honored to be counted in that company.
Which is why this was such a yellow koi in the pond of red catfish. A flounce like this is odd because the group makes no bones about being intellectual snobs and everyone gets called on unclarity.
But I still don’t have to care that she got offended. I stated my piece, others said their parts. Taken as they read the comments are along the lines of “what did you mean when you said (fill in the blank)?” or “I didn’t understand this word, perhaps you meant this other similar word over here?” and “You said (fill in the blank), but what I think you are trying to say is (this), am I correct?” They are requests for further information, nothing more. They are an attempt to get rid of the extraneous junk and find what was meant in a sea of useless words.
There should have been no reason to get offended. I note that the person who was unclear was not upset, he simply corrected his statement, misspelled more words which were clarified and the discussion continued. The lady who flounced out decided to get offended and upset at the “tone” of the posts calling for clarity. Which means that she took those words, read into them what she wanted to see there, got offended at it, and yelled.
In short, she decided that someone else was saying what she would have said in a similar position.
Which makes me say “HUH?” How can you get offended if you project onto a post or a letter or an email something that you put there? Why are you so upset by seeing what you want to see? What combination of factors occurred to make you so much better than everyone else that you can call other people out for YOUR flaws?
Know what I call that? Hypocrisy. And that is the one thing that pisses me off faster than anything else.
So, you looked at things others wrote and you got offended because you saw contained between the lines things you didn’t like. Forgetting for a minute that you projected this all onto the discussion in the first place, why don’t you remove the beam from your own eye first? you knew coming into the discussion that this was going to happen, even a casual perusal of the archives would have uncovered many incidents identical to this one where long time members were called out for being unclear. All you had to do is step aside from your own ego and allow that others mean actually what they say, instead of what you think they are saying.
In other words, you caused your own problems. You read things into the discussion that were not there, you allowed your own ego to get in the way (because you are obviously fully qualified to determine what others are feeling when they write something), and you professed to believe something you obviously don’t hold to in actions you take. this entire incident was your problem, caused by you, instigated by you in an attempt to create drama.
My response? “There’s the door, don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.”
I have no responsibility whatsoever for how you take things, what you feel. You will feel what you feel and all I can do is be as clear as I can be in stating what I state. If you choose to find offense in words I state where there were none intended, that’s your problem. You need to stop that. But to tell me that I have to be polite and kind to you because if I am not then you will get upset is asking me to be untrue to myself.
Ultimately Cain was right, we are only responsible for ourselves and how we react to things. All else is crap. I can smooth the way as best as I can by using words that I mean, but political nonsense is just that, political nonsense. It is not me having a care for your feelings, it is me kowtowing to your ego and your sense of self importance, and ultimately all it does is make me less of a person. If I have been as clear as I can be, if I have said what I meant to say, then I have done my job.
How you take that is entirely up to you. Don’t expect me to be upset because you are offended. I’m not and I won’t be.