It could have been so simple. A private message from this now-unfollowed, blocked non-human person on Facebook would have settled the matter. Instead, she decided a personal attack was the best route toward understanding … a destination where she had no intention of meeting me. Adult, mature conversations, apparently, aren’t part of her world.
I was wrong. Posting an opinion, I guess. Sure, it was opposite her view. Yes, the issue at hand was – and still is – a rather hot potato still rapidly transfering between millions of satirists and social media warriors. Today, as thousands protested in Washington, was not the day for me to postulate. ‘My bad.
Emotions are high. Reason and logic? Way down on the list of to-do’s for those not only in our nation’s capital, but also the keyboard strokers who are, themselves, marching ahead toward justice through their words. In my haste, I joined in ever so briefly. One comment.
A mistake in timing … and also in fact. I meant to type in one thing, however, another ended up so unfortunately being posted. By the time I realized my error, that comment above meteorically flamed in. Adulting as one would, I quickly replied back to her my intentions assuming I had time to, then, go back and correct the errors. Her second reply solidified my future unfollowing: “I stand by my opinion!” …
See, here’s where we are. An attack on one’s character is so easy anymore. To consider an opposing point of view and respond in a mature way is so 2019 (skipping over 2020 for obvious reasons). I’m not so sure we were too together back then, but certainly closer than we are now. In an effort to bridge the gap between my over-expectations now and the reality back then, I posted the following this evening:
“I postulated an opinion that – as it turns out – was in error. My facts were wrong. Before having a chance to correct myself, this (insert above) was immediately placed under my comment. I replied in an adult manner, still thinking I was correct, of course. This person, in reply, stood by her comment. I lost my cool and sent additional words I immediately regretted then deleted. Giving her a pass I shouldn’t do by deleting her name, I sure hope your disagreeing with an opinion doesn’t also turn into a direct insult on someone’s character. Yes. Today is a tough day. This still doesn’t warrant any personal attacks – especially on a social media forum. Call them in person or take a stand in front of them face to face. Have an adult conversation. “I was wrong.” are the greatest words in our language. These six words below (you are actually so freakin stupid) get us nowhere. I choose the three now and always because they are most honest at times. The latter? … I don’t own.”
Do I believe I’m stupid? Nope. Not at all. The adverb, “actually” when used can mean something written that is surprising. Yes, I was surprised by the quickness in her so obvious knee-jerk reaction and callous regard for introspection and foresight. She didn’t even have the bravery to type (with my apologies ahead here) fucking – resorting to “freakin”, a lady like choice of appellation … so sarcastically uncharacteristic of her true, obvious classy self. Polishing off the retort with stupid. Really? THAT’S the chosen word? Not slow-witted, foolish, or ignorant?
Why did she stomp on my 3rd to last left over 2020 nerve tonight? Because she doesn’t care to know my back story … my life. Nobody really knows anyone’s real story anymore. In fairness to her that she doesn’t deserve, I don’t know hers either. If she, in some repentant form, shows up at my doorstep some calm evening, I will talk with her side by side. I will neither give her permission to talk down to me, nor insult my intelligence with six additional words of attempted humiliation. It could be adulting 101 – something 2021 may have in the curriculum.
These pages are usually reserved for puppies and rainbows. For two minutes tonight, as I found myself tossed among the newsfeed and poked-political commentary concerning the Electoral College voting in the Senate, my pages on Facebook distracted me away from happy colors and purring pets. Sadly. Fingers typed anxious thoughts – in error – into a small cellular device causing my stomach to swirl just as it did decades ago. Words spoken in haste and error from someone who loved me, yet continually told me I was … “stupid”.
Those resurrected feelings are lifetime deal-withs. Tastes and smells a man never forgets. A man older, now, than the man who said that word back then. This man who has a wonderful relationship with his dad because forgiveness is a tremendous attribute. That forgiveness is real. He knows it. I know it.
Just so happens, the Forrest Gump syndrome runs up my emotional lane and “stupid is as stupid does” irrationality deposits itself on my heart. When mistakes happen, I can’t correct them in time, and then am insulted … the person who abuses me with words can be unfriended.
This simple click vanishes them from my virtual life, for sure. It’ll take a few days for the dust to settle otherwise because I am who I am. Understanding myself – even over a goofy post – is huge in living a balanced life.
Know your backstory well. Also, if available, get to know someone else’s story before deciding to make a judgement call on their character. Sure, disagree with them based on their opinions (maybe stay away from politics right now …) and talk recipes, restaurants, or kangaroos. Really, this is loving your neighbor – not shouting out to the social warriors you’re convinced they’re “actually so freakin stupid”.
None of us are “in this together” as claimed if all we do is make the divides already here larger. It can be so simple.