Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Golden Rule

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.

Carry on.


Shelley said...

Sing it, sister!

J.Bro said...

It's just that my printer is out of ink, plus I'm too lazy to look up your street address. Also, not enough swear words have been invented yet. Otherwise, hate mail would be coming your way.

jenny said...

Lovely sentiments. Thanks for posting this. I'm glad your blog has made your life richer, not poorer.
Jenny Luca.

lumbab said...

You've made my life happier, for all that's worth :)

Sharkbuttocks said...

Sharkbutt looks to your blog for inspiration and literary value. I mostly look for pictures of you.

JAXTER said...

and you continue to rock your small corner of the internet with your intelligence and humor - thanks. I am running over to Dooce right now to see her rip into the idiots who continue to read when clearly they should move on.

sister AE said...

I include the following line in the passover haggadah we use every year.

Rabbi Tarfon said: You are not obligated to complete the task [of creating a better world] in your lifetime, but neither must you refuse to do your unique part.

Sounds like you are working on your unique part.

Gill said...

Well said Stacy! I can't understand the type of person who leaves mean-spirited comments on blogs - for goodness'sake, if you don't like what you are reading, find another blog to read!