Righteous Indignation

Lately I have unsubscribed from several blogs because their daily postings give me a bad case of the “indignities”. While informative (at times) and educational (at others), I have begun to despise the feeling that wells up in me as I read. Beginning in my gut, it manifests itself in a wave of nervous nausea, heat flashes, and, usually, a gaping mouth. When I have calmed down, I may leave a comment, or move to my next blog. I am usually shocked at least once a day.

Case in point: this blog is written by a wonderful writer and describes a journey which I cannot even imagine- from miscarriage to healing to pregnancy. She has a way of speaking to and about her unborn child that moves me to tears. On the other hand, she frequently posts rants of such pure hatred (usually towards those holding a differing viewpoint) that “I cannot see her but I am heartburned an hour af’tr” (Much Ado About Nothing).

In an age where relativism rules, and the motto on the T-shirt is “whatever floats your boat”, I have to wonder…how far is too far? On one hand, this great country of ours guarantees us the right to speak our minds. On the other hand, at which point does free speech become…costly? We despise the hatred evident in fundamentalist Islam, but espouse such hatred-laden beliefs that I have to look twice to see any qualitative difference. In the above example, the writer “hates” a particular airline for having a flight attendant who discreetly offered a nursing mother a blanket, for her convenience. Is this really worthy of such blind rage?

The challenge for the educated, considerate interlocutor is the equilibrium between allowing one’s opponent to speak their mind while simultaneously disagreeing in a courteous way. If we have any respect for the rights of others, this would be our modus operandi.

The lovely thing about it is that I can choose what I fill my mind (and gut) with. And so I prefer to hit the “unsubscribe” button, to wish the author well, as always, and to pray blessings on them. Not even with a last comment, a last hit between the eyes, a last parting shot. Regain my sense of “ohm”. And blog about it.

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6 Responses to Righteous Indignation

  1. theshippingnews says:

    Well said. Maybe “reason” wouldn’t be such a bad tag, either.

  2. antropologa says:

    I mostly just unsubscribe over bad grammar or repetitiveness. But I’ve quit other online things (message boards) when I too often got the feeling you describe.

  3. hmmmm after this summer I am sure people have unsubscribed from me 😦

    However, I have had to leave some blogs behind as well, so I agree.

  4. however I just read the post and she never said she actually hates the airline.. also I kind of agree with her.

  5. evenshine says:

    mojavi- thought you’d probably like the blog, given that she is prone to strong opinions! I have no problem with her opinion. I support her right to feel that way. However, I think the situation was blown way out of context. The mother in question was obviously emotionally overwrought to begin with, and the flight attendant simply *offered* her a blanket. I don’t see the need for boycotting or “harrassing the harrasser”, as the blog author put it. Either way, my point in the post was to explain my own decision to NOT expose myself to any more needless drama than I already have in my life.
    And don’t worry, those of us who love your blog stay subscribed no matter what!

  6. you are of course sweet as ever 🙂 yeah I do agree she had some pretty bad days before the blanket was offered…. and I agree about exposing yourself to needless drama… i know I have enough 🙂

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