I am taking my mega phone and I am climbing to the highest building around and I am shouting:
A little conflict is ok people!
Disagreements aren't always a bad thing!
Criticism can be good!
Please call me out when I stick my foot in my mouth!
I promise I won't beat you down!
Does anyone hear me?
Does anybody believe me?
Damn, I hope you do. I know I can be an opinionated bitch but, that does not mean I don't want to hear other people's thoughts or perspectives.
I hope I have not made anyone think otherwise?
Why am I mulling this over you ask? Well... I received an email today from the gentleman that runs Kids in Victoria, the site I guest blog for each week. He was concerned because I had received a negative comment on one of my posts and he had held that negative comment and other comments back fearing how they would make me or the rest of the KIV community feel.
First of all, let me say how kind that was of him; it was truly a lovely gesture for him to wait and solicit my feedback on the matter, it was altruistic and very collaborative and made me feel that my opinion is valued. He sent the negative comments in the email for me to read and asked for my opinion and thoughts.
I am not going to deny that at first, when I read that I had negative comments, the blood immediately rushed to my face; I know I was a bright shade of red in that moment. I, like all people, initially cringe when it comes to confrontation. But, then I took a deep breath and responded to him before I read over the comments.
Why did I respond before reading the comments? Because I don't believe in censorship and I did not want my ego or pride to get in the way of what I ultimately believe in: That all people are entitled to voice their opinions even if they are contrary to my own. I am not going to deny that negative comments can sometimes hurt me or irritate me or humble me but, they are absolutely necessary and they make me a better writer and person. They keep me in check and make me more thoughtful and for that I am very grateful.
So, I asked him to post those comments. And yes, I did read them after I emailed him and you know what, they weren't really negative at all. In fact, one woman totally called me out for putting my foot in my mouth and being a complete hypocrite. What do I have to say about that... Thank You!
WTF people... please call me out!! If I say something really dumb (like I did in that case) or if you disagree with me, please share your thoughts, I won't fight you about it (at least not too much)... trust me.
I prefer an opinionated person who thinks differently than me than a person with no opinion at all. Apathy is what really gets to me; it is believing in nothing that makes my blood boil. Standing for something... anything, to me, is the most important thing.
I am not sure if he will or will not post those comments - ultimately that decision is up to him - but I am glad I was able to read them. I had asked others to use their words wisely and I was guilty of being rather unwise with my own. I hope I get a chance to apologize to a reader for that.