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I wanted to share a recent experience I went through, in the hope to encourage and remind folks to always SPEAK LIFE. I implore you to desist from speaking hateful words. For those interested, the relevant bible verse for this is Proverbs 18:21.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
No matter how much I tried to let a recent malicious comment ‘roll off my back’ it still managed to root inside me. WORDS HURT. I grew up in a climate of the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ (which was also the climate of ‘crawl under your desks in case of nuclear attack’) So…. ya… both are equally quite misleading, don’t ya know.
I belonged to a FB group for one of my many hobbies :0)… and I posted a relevant-to-topic question, yet was asked by one of the admins to remove it, they gave me an explanation as to why they were requesting I remove it, and I understood their point of view. There are 4 admins and as I understand it all 4 agreed on this request to ask me to remove my question. Understanding their point of view and agreeing with it are two distinct things and, as it goes, I was in complete disagreement with it. So I did remove the original post in order to re-post my disagreeing point of view. My post made no personal attacks whatsoever, it was a post specific to the principle only that I disagreed with; Namely being asked not to ask my question. The reason I was in disagreement was because the question I asked was simple, and was being asked in the correct group relevant to the topic of my question. In other words I was not asking about widgets in a non-widget group! (LOL). My new post named no names whatsoever.
I learned a long time ago from an assortment of very wise people that I have no control over how people react.
This also goes for how people read written things, hear spoken words, etc. I mention that to help convey that somehow a few of the people thought I was speaking directly to some individual person(s) and evidently missed that the post was on a principle, not on a personality. I also referred to good and evil, and that, too, was interpreted as I “called” someone evil! lol… oh my….. again; deep breath, as I can not control how folks read something or hear something, or even react to something.
When I came back later to read responses, I was singled out, by tagging of my name, and [paraphrasing here] point blank suggested:
I didn’t belong because I wasn’t “listening” or “doing what I was told”.
My eyes broadened, jawed dropped in disbelief! Not belong?! How can I not belong somewhere? What could have led to that statement? I immediately double-checked what I posted. Did I publicly point a finger at this person who was attacking me? I did not. Re-read again: Did I mention anything specific to a personality or did I keep it to the principles that I was disagreeing with? Yes, I did. One small exception of referencing a gender in a comment, ok, but the group I was speaking to are admittedly mostly of that gender, and I was addressing that group (it is a private FB Group). Surely not a “pointing fingers” isolating comment either. OK; self-check complete. Then I was sure that the admins would chime in because it was one of the 4 admins that did this specific character attack on me by name, clearly in opposition to the very group rules of being courteous at all times! But… nope! In fact, later on another one of the admins even stated my post was aggressive. Oh no!…. this is weird, ya? My post was assertive, yes, but aggressive? Not, by far. Being as I am normally a very passive personality type, I’m thinking these admins maybe were caught off-guard by my assertive and passionate disagreement with the principle of why I was initially asked to remove a relevant-to-topic question. Still not an excuse to violate group rules and publicly suggest I didn’t belong. This is bullying. Agree with me or else I will scorn you and throw stones at you!
Now, I’m quite sure that some are curious: “What in the heck was this question that led to such turmoil?” Do you realize that point is completely irrelevant to this post? Realizing that distinction is precisely the difference between principles above personalities. I haven’t even mentioned genders of the admins….have you already pictured in your mind the gender-mix of the 4 admins? Are you ‘dying’ to know what group it is I am referring to?
By writing in this non-naming way (and I speak this way also) I am laying the groundwork for the reader/viewer/listener to key in on the principle of which I am communicating, and not on their pre-conceived judgments of gender, group, or other direct-stereotyping.
The primary purpose of this way of communicating is to avoid gossip and strife, lest the reader/viewer/listener be led to gossip or hate-speech against any person, group, gender, etc.
This means you can’t run off and say: “Those _________ are awful”, or “Did you hear what that group of “______________” did/said”?
Okay, so circling back to the title and opening of my post…. :0)
I let those hurtful words of “You don’t belong” penetrate without even realizing it. Approximately 2 weeks later, I somehow convinced myself that I needed to sell this particular piece of hobby equipment, and told myself I needed the cash. I believed it, too. In reality though, I didn’t ‘need the cash’. Not at all. What happened was, somehow I started believing on some underlying level that I didn’t belong, and “why am I even pursuing this hobby?”
Upon mentioning that I was selling this gear, a random stranger asked “Why?” I stated “Well, I’m pretty slow at getting the hang of it”, and then added “Plus someone told me the other week that I didn’t belong”. The random stranger said “F that Noise JJ” and that’s when the whole thing snapped into place in my mind. How, despite my thinking that I let those hurtful words roll off, they didn’t; they took root, and before I knew it I was selling my own stuff that I spent months researching which pieces to buy, and scraped pennies to purchase (not a cheap hobby mind you) and spent hours practicing to learn and was (still am) so excited about and love doing!
Moral of the story is two-fold:
- Outwardly to the world: PLEASE SPEAK LIFE! No one deserves to be told they don’t belong, or hear condescending words! Bridle that ferocious tongue and think before you speak hate, because words can hurt. Always encourage, or maybe say nothing at all, as long as the hate speech does not get out…
- Within your own being: PLEASE check yourself that you avoid owning or absorbing hateful words that are spoken to you! I tried to let it roll off and it snuck up on me until I spoke it out loud to someone who did speak life back into me. Not all personality types can let it roll off right away, I’m only encouraging you to be aware of it, and watch out for any signs that you didn’t let it roll off! Such as giving up on something you know in your heart that you love. Hint: I didn’t spends 5 months researching and scraping dollars together to invest over $1700 in a hobby that I wasn’t so very drawn to!
I DO BELONG!
I hope you read/heard/viewed the many positive results here — I have not made specific comments to that, and ask that you do! Please share some of the relatable items for you in the comments below, so others can feel emboldened and encouraged as well!
Luv & Clix