Whenever someone says something to me that catches me off guard I stop to think about what they said. I wonder what their motivation for saying it was, and what I should take away from their comment...but I will come back to this in a minute.
I have mentioned before that when I was a child I spent part of the time living with my Grandmother who I adored. She taught me a great deal about compassion and respect for my fellow man, animals and the planet at large. She also taught me to express my creativity with joy, enthusiasm and abandon. These were the happy times and I am grateful for them. What I don't usually mention is that when I wasn't living with her I spent those times being afraid, intimidated and nervous. I learned to be quiet and not draw attention to myself for fear of what might happen. It might surprise you to know that in retrospect, I am grateful for those times as well. We cannot change our past, so there is no point in lamenting what might have been. We can only take away the best part of what we learned from it and let the rest go.
I believe that what we go through in life, whether good or bad shapes who we are and how we view the world. Those times that weren't so pleasant taught me to be a quiet observer. Through observation I learned a great deal. The fact that I had a bad side to my childhood shouldn't be a big surprise because lots of artists have a quiet little well of pain deep in their souls they draw from. We want the world to be a more beautiful or comforting place. It's why many of us become artists, and definitely not something to be pitied.
I have stated many times before that when we put our thoughts on the internet we have no control over how they are interpreted. That's why I tend to be long winded and repetitive, because I try to convey what I want to say as clearly as possible. However we read things from our own perspective because without hearing someone that's all we have to go on. I know that our words have the potential to carry a lot of weight, but it's a risk I decided somewhere along the line I am willing to take. I have also said before that I usually say things in the manner of calm observer but often that is misinterpreted. While I freely admit I have very decided opinions on things, I never get the same kind of reactions when I am discussing them face to face with someone that I have in the past year and a half on the internet. I am always open to hearing and considering another point of view. I find that extremely fascinating and have thought a lot about it and how it pertains to how we interpret the world around us with the information we are given. I never expect people to agree with everything/anything I post. To be honest I have never completely gotten over the surprise that so many people even stop to read my blog. I am flattered that they do even when they don't agree with what I write. I am even more flattered that some of them return after they have disagreed with something they have read.
One of my readers made a comment this morning that they always have a reaction to what I write, sometimes they agree and sometimes they are irritated. They didn't expound on that so I don't know what irritated them or why. But it made me think about a post I made last March. I found myself wondering once again what is our responsibility as bloggers? You can read the post here if you are interested:
Here it is nearly a year later and I still don't have an answer to that question. I have noticed that many people just put pretty pics and positive words on their blogs, but I have also discovered that sometimes they are not the way they portray themselves and they do it out of fear of judgement, recrimination or simply losing a sale, more than a need to show their true selves or feelings. Sometimes when you see another side to their personality somewhere else that isn't so nice, you are shocked by it because you thought they were really sweet all the time from what you have read on their blog. Maybe some people create a world in their blog they want to live in as opposed to the one they really do live in? There is nothing wrong with that, and I wonder quite often if I should be doing the same. I just can't quite bring myself to do it. At least you won't get any surprises if you see me elsewhere.
The bottom line is, I still don't know what my responsibility is. I don't know exactly why people choose to read my blog or what they hope to take away from it. I have never been sure if my responsibility is to my readers or to my own true self. So basically I go with whatever is in my brain at any given time, hoping to find a happy medium. Occasionally when I post I am irritated over something too. More often than not I am either surprised, pleased, excited or just puzzled. In reality I am a pretty positive and amiable person, but when I do think deeply about things it's cathartic to put that in black and white. It helps me exorcise whatever made an impression on me from my brain. Quite often what I post gives me surprising insights to myself.
I welcome the comments I get from readers regardless what they think or how they feel about what I have posted, and I am very rarely offended or upset by any of them, because those comments make me think the same way that some of my posts might make some of you think. Luckily no one has ever called me a bunch of foul names. *grins* Stopping to ponder something is never a bad thing. If you do disagree or are irritated by something I post, I would really love to know why.