26 Days: Are You Waiting For Me to Leave?

leavingHow many days you have left, and how many more article can you milk from the dry turnip?

-A comment to me on one of my recent blog posts

A person who is serious about self-improvement will be grateful to anyone who points out his faults! (Whereas a person who does not have a strong desire for self-improvement will deny that he has any faults – even those which are blatant.)

Utilize the criticism of others as an opportunity for introspection.

-Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
“Daily Lift #1123, Accepting Criticism”

It’s just amazing how people will address you when the Internet stands between the two of you. I’ve written before about how rude people tend to be when communicating on the web, and how (in all likelihood) they’d be a tad bit more civil if they had to talk with you face-to-face.

I started the “Days” series in part because of my internal response to Internet “crankiness.” After all, who wants to put up with a collection of people who continually complain at you (me) because you won’t fully endorse their opinions on a topic you have in common? Not me. Of course, there are some folks who say that it’s not “crankiness” or complaining that motivates them, but rather the use of “challenging discourse” as a method of learning. I set aside that particular excuse for rudeness awhile ago.

But my critic hit the nail on the head. I have 26 days left in my self-imposed countdown. Do I disappear then to avoid the “challenges” of “crankiness” on the Internet?

On the one hand, life would be a little more calm without the continual “noise” of social networking, but amid the noise, there’s occasional “signal” that is beneficial. Should I put up with those who have a particularly low signal to noise ratio because I benefit from others who possess a much higher ratio? Is it worth it?

On the other hand, I don’t like being pushed around and I don’t like bullies. If someone doesn’t like the content I generate, they don’t have to visit my blog. I’ve stopped visiting the blogs and websites of nudniks because it was foolish of me to engage people who would only talk at me and never listen. Disagreement is fine and I can certainly live with it. Hostility for its own sake I can live without.

There are people who do gracefully criticize me when I get things wrong, and as stinging as it can be, I actually appreciate it. On the other hand, these are people who can bring such matters to my attention without behaving as if my error or ignorance has personally insulted them. I’m finding that’s a rare and special gift among human beings.

If someone is critical of you in a harsh tone of voice, try telling them the following:

“I appreciate your strong feelings about the matter, but I would appreciate the comments more if they were expressed more pleasantly.”

-Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
“Daily Lift #304, Soften Criticism”

I don’t like to “call out” individuals on my blog. It’s happened to me on numerous occasions on more than one blog and I find it ungracious and offensive. On the other hand, I couldn’t illustrate my point without quoting what one of my critics said to me earlier, so to my critic, I apologize if I caused you embarrassment. I really do just want to point out that if your criticism of me is out of a sincere desire to help me become a better person, there are more constructive ways to go about it.

I have to consider that there are some people out there who can’t just leave my blog alone and who really do want me to give up and pull the plug at the end of the month. Frankly, if I bother some folks that much then I suspect they may need to get another hobby or maybe even a life, since I’m not that significant in either the blogosphere or the human race.

But if there are people who want me to leave, that’s probably a good reason for me to stay. Remember, I don’t like bullies. If you don’t like me, don’t read my blog. I don’t read your blogs and I certainly don’t comment on them. I don’t need to hang around people who suck the joy out of life and living just because they can.

If you have a suggestion on how I can be better that is motivated by a sincere desire to help and you can express it without hostility, please let me know, either in a blog comment or via email. If you are complaining about me just because you can, I invite you to go elsewhere.

Thank you.

23 thoughts on “26 Days: Are You Waiting For Me to Leave?”

  1. Jim, please don’t leave. There are times when I have been very blessed by your blog, and I try to read it as often as I can find the time.

    I surely do hope that I’m not one of the critics, and I don’t think I am.

    Besides, if you leave facebook, we’ll probably never speak again until heaven.

    Speaking of heaven, I’m thinking some folks are going to be really surprised when they get there. 🙂

  2. Dree, you are a wonderful person and I’ve never had the slightest thought of you as a “critic.” Hopefully, the conclusion of this “meditation” communicated my determination to stay if only to “defy the bullies,” so to speak.

  3. James….I think it took courage to comment on the article above. I think it is a worthwhile conversation to be held and again thanks for trying.

  4. Thanks for the support, Pat. 🙂

    I don’t know how courageous I am. I don’t think I’ve ever not written a blog because I felt I’d take too much criticism. About the most I can say is that I’ve edited some blog posts to reduce the intensity of “attitude” and not go out of my way to hurt others (I actually “softened” this one prior to pushing the “Publish” button).

    What I put here isn’t just what I want to write, it’s what I need to write. I know that even if I quit this blog, I’d end up doing something just because I need to have this sort of “voice.” I can’t think of anywhere else I could say what I say here.

  5. James, I have to say that as often as I read your blog, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mean comment. Maybe I just miss them?

    I know you’ve sited me before as one who challenged you, but when you write blogs like this I get all worried that maybe you have listed me as one whose been mean or rude. I hope not.

    Anyway, I do get encouragement and insight from your blog and if you really feel the need to follow through on your promise to leave this one, maybe you should just change it to “Afternoon Meditations” or “I’m gonna ignore all nudknicks” ?

    If you conduct a vote, I’ll put mine as stay.

  6. Lrw…no, you are not a critic nor a nudnik. Really, this has nothing to do with you at all (I actually emailed the person who inspired this particular blog post to let him know I was publishing it, rather than just doing so “behind his back,” so to speak). No worries.

  7. James, I guess you don’t know me that well. I will tell you that you are a hypocrite in your face. I don’t play nicely nicely with the truth. I have to chastise one who does not play with a full deck…You fell for false teaching and with your blog you are causing people to stumble…Go home……

  8. Hi Dan. I am home (literally, as I type this). I’m also the blog owner so in a sense, this is also my “home.” Aggression in the guise of “truth” is hardly a virtue. I’ve been very patient with you. If you don’t like it here, please feel free to leave and go malign someone else on their blog. Keep in mind that commenting on a person’s blog is not a right and the privilege can be removed at any time.

  9. Glad you are staying. I haven’t commented lately because I am baking a whole lot of bread to supplement the lack of income from hens that are refusing to earn their keep….. But I am here. And I am still reading. And I am still being inspired daily.

  10. Thanks, LInda. Sorry to hear the hens aren’t pulling their weight. I pray things start looking up soon so you can have a break from all that baking.

  11. Please don’t leave James. You are one of the few that actually make sense on facebook or google+. I may not comment all the time but when I do have the time to read, I really enjoy what you have to say. This world is full of bullies and they just have to try and make everyone just as miserable as they are. and what they need to do is, “get a life” themselves. Hang in there. You’ve got a friend here!!

  12. I support you to James, I agree with Vincent that you are one of the few who make sense, and like Vincent I may not comment much but I also enjoy your writing. I’ve been following you off and on for about the past year now and you’ve been an inspiration to me during this season in my life. So glad to have met you through this blog.

  13. I don’t remember to check your blog as often as I wish, but really appreciate both it and the inspiring summaries you post to Facebook.
    James, one thing Heidi and I learned is that many of the people you are helping the most are quietly reading and being blessed by what you share, but you’ll never know it(or find out much later). Since only God knows the real situation behind the scenes and you depend on God for guidance, I believe your compassion and wisdom will win out, whatever you decide.

  14. Thanks a lot, Joe. Your life and Heidi’s life have always been an inspiration to me. The indomitable human spirit that doesn’t give up but walks quietly and humbly with God.

    I don’t remember to check your blog as often as I wish…

    You can subscribe to email notifications, ya’know. 😉

  15. Yeah, I agree with those in favor of you staying. Ive been reading each post early in the morning before going to school/work. Yet another vote for you to stay! In my studies in cultural diversity class we discussed conflict resolution which I think we would all do well to brush up on every so often :p. One of the main reasons I enjoy reading your blog is your humility and open mind. Just sayin’ 🙂

  16. Thanks for your comments, Niki. Think I’ll be around for awhile. It’s great to hear from regular readers who don’t comment very much. Blessings.

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