“I can only write from the porch of my narrow world.” -x
Not too long ago, someone took exception to something I wrote regarding diet and exercise. She wrote a fierce and compassionate series of personal messages to walk me through her thoughts. I read them all carefully. It’s rare for people to take the time to explain what they’re thinking. She earned much of her opinion the hard way, through life experiences. Voicing her opinion to me also provided me with new things about her that I didn’t know.
Saying nothing is easier. (So is writing nothing.)
I considered what she wrote because she’s smart. She also has experienced some significant obstacles and challenges in life, yet still managed to live a good life. Many of us don’t. Having that kind of person in one’s orbit usually makes everyone live a richer life.
She later felt she had over-reacted. I disagreed. She spoke from the heart. Yes, she bashed me reasonably well. But criticism from people you don’t respect seldom wounds you. It’s just background chatter.
I felt terrible. Her reaction was genuine and not based on a personal attack. That’s rare in people.
Most of the disagreement stemmed from the idea that I was writing for everyone. Or worse, disregarding the immense challenges some people face.
That’s bad writing on my part. I often warn people that I’m not a perfectionist and not a professional writer. That’s not to say that I’m also not wrong. If for no other reason, thinking I was right about things when I was younger, only to discover how wrong I was, taught me that I could just as easily be completely wrong NOW.
For anyone who takes the time and effort to explain to me that I’ve said something stupid, I’ll take the time to read it and consider it. I am a snob about it, though. I have to know that the person writing or talking is motivated by self-expression and a hope that I will understand their ideas.
In this case, she was explaining from a position of wanting me to understand her viewpoint.
I’m sorry I made her doubt herself.
She should continue to speak fiercely. I won’t fault her for it. She’s demonstrated that communication isn’t to wound others. Did I mention how rare that can be?
“It is no accident that those who scream the loudest for you to speak only when you have something positive to say are usually the ones with the most interest in keeping you quiet.” -x
P.S. Not related, but: