Obviously I blog because I’m a knit designer and teacher, and I like to keep folks up to date on what I’m doing and where I’m teaching.
But I blog about a LOT of other things, too. My last post was a case in point. I received a lot of emails from folks who didn’t want to comment publicly, but who were very supportive of my decision to write about same-sex marriage.
I also received some very touching comments from folks who have experience with a trans situation in their family, and were grateful to see it mentioned in – of all places – a knitting blog.
But I got this comment, which isn’t really bad at all (it’s rather complimentary) from a reader who disagreed not with the points of my last post, but with the fact I posted it at all.
I’m repeating it here because it’s the disagreements (if handled respectfully) that allow us to grow out of our current points of view into larger points of view. And isn’t that really the reason we’re here? To grow; to become bigger and broader and larger in our souls?
I do take the comments I receive to heart, and I that is reflected in what I write on my blog.
Here’s the comment I received:
I know you will delete my comment. Can you please focus on your knitting and your family? Your soapbox stuff is really getting old. You’re an amazing designer. That is why I come to your blog everyday.
And here’s my response:
Thanks for the compliments, that’s kind of you to say. But you sort of make my point.
There’s a school of thought out there that everyone MUST conform to ONE way of thinking, and if you don’t conform to it, then please say nothing. This school of thought demands that if you don’t espouse a point of view which is comfortable for a rather small and, I hesitate to say it, narrow minded band of folks, then keep quiet.
The topic of my last post may be uncomfortable for some folks, but I mentioned it on my blog because it felt important to me. Your comment makes me glad I did.
Obviously something I wrote made you feel uncomfortable. If I’d posted at length about a straight couple who was getting married, I’m certain I wouldn’t have received a comment asking me to “get off my soapbox.”
But I probably would have received a lot of, “Oh, isn’t that sweet…” comments.
I’ll agree that my blog is, for all intents and purposes, a soapbox. But it’s MY soapbox, and I get on and off at my own discretion.
It might be good to ask, when faced with something that’s disturbing, “Why does this make me angry / upset / uncomfortable?”
You certainly don’t have to agree with me, I don’t expect anyone to agree with everything I write (not even my husband.) But I do expect you to respect my right – anyone’s right – to have their own point of view.
That’s to say, if you don’t like what I write, you are free not to read it.
You are not, however, free to tell other folks what they should think – or what they should write on their blog. (Well, actually, you ARE free to tell me – that’s why I published your comment – but I have no compunction to heed your directive.)
Sometimes topics are touched on that aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re looking for a tailor-made blog which suits every one of your tastes, I guess this isn’t it.
I, myself, read a lot of stuff that I don’t entirely agree with because it helps me think. Considering different viewpoints makes me stretch my mind a bit, see things from a different point of view, and that helps me come to a fuller and more balanced conclusion. When I’m lucky.
I’m a larger person than just my knitting, my blog reflects that.
I feel it’s incumbent on each of us to react to unfairness and discrimination when we see it, it’s how I was raised. Although no longer a practicing Methodist, I was taught as a child that when one sees a wrong, one should try to right it. I sound very self-righteous, I’m sorry – I don’t mean to. But I am taking time and space to answer your comment because it touches the core of why I write my blog.
I write what makes me happy, period. I’m not paid to write the blog, I do it because I love doing it. If other folks like what I’m writing, that’s terrific. If not, that’s a shame.
I reserve the right to write what I feel is pertinent to me on my blog.
I’ll definitely let comments through that don’t agree with my point of view, but I will NOT allow comments that insult me, or anyone mentioned on or commenting on my blog.
That hasn’t happened in a LONG time, but it bears repeating when a topic comes up which folks might find a little – um – exciting.