I read a great deal. I read books; I read magazines; and I read a lot of different things online. As a matter of course, I read things that I like; things that challenge my brain. If I don't like it; if I'm not challenged, I don't read it. It's a simple formula, but not one that other people follow. I know this for a lot of reasons, most notably the discussions that I sometimes read on a blog called dooce.
Dooce is wildly popular and in the 4 years since I've been reading her, she's gotten a good deal of what, for lack of a better description, I would call hate mail. I know this because she occasionally blogs about it. And those postings are some of my favorites because I get to see just how f#@*ed up my fellow internet citizens are. It's not like dooce is mandatory reading, right? You can go to her website and read her stuff. Or not. It's your call. So if you don't like her, why read? In my world, I don't read things by people whose views or ideas I don't enjoy. But to not like her, to continue to read her stuff, and then to write and tell her how much you don't like her.....well, that's some seriously weird cognitive dissonance some people seem to actively cultivate.
It's made me wonder about who reads what I write. I assume that the people who read what I write are people who either know me and like me or don't know me but like what I write. I further assume that it's a small community of people who send me happy thoughts when they read my drivel. I never assume that anyone at my blog wishes me ill, because, naively, I guess, I just don't operate that way.
I'm not sure where these thoughts are headed. But I have learned (and am still learning) that the only person I can control is myself. And I try very, very hard to be the sort of person who leaves the world a little better than when she found it. Not a lot better (though that would be nice, wouldn't it?). But a little better. Certainly no worse. It's all I can really do. And I guess that it's my moral code: treat others as you would wish to be treated.
I know that everyone is not like that. But here in my incredibly tiny corner of the internet, that's my humble goal. I hope that I'm not alone in this goal. In fact, I don't think that I am alone. If you're here to share in the joy and sorrow (and occasional humor) of my tiny little life, thank you. Because this blog has been a really, really good thing for me in the last two years, and a huge part of that has been the kindness of friends and strangers that has flowed my way because of this place. But if you're here to be mean-spirited and unkind in thought or comment, may I politely ask that you take your ill will elsewhere? You're not helpful.