In fact, in the last two weeks I had to walk back from two provocations I made, and I am in engaged in a slow-motion PM exchange with a lovely OS'r who took an understandable exception to a post I made. Then there's ______. I am still mulling that one over.
I will fail again and again at perfect compassion. Nonetheless:
C. Expect yourself to want to "win". Expect that you will hide your "subtle" attacks even from yourself and then you'll take umbrage when the other guy says "ow". Expect your own sudden need for fight-or-flight to surprise you. Wait out craving; studies show they only last 21 minutes and 42 seconds.
v3.7.x. You will let one fly though, and sometimes it is revealing. Be ready to shoulder your weapon, step close, own the arrow, break it in two, and walk it back.
Re-vision: number 9, number 9, number 9: Don't keep shooting arrows. It takes forever to retrieve them all and you will likely miss a few. Don't collect and hoard the arrows sent by others. Always be ready to return them if they put their palms-up and apologize.
Numero Uno: Apologize first.
WHAT.IV: When you apologize, be clear. Keep it simple. Try not to use it as an excuse to make more points. If you can find no fault in yourself, or insist on the point? at least retreat gracefully and find genuine regret for the event. Even if it is a dangerous tiger, why devote your day to blood in the grass, on a whim? The smart villager assembles the warriors, packs food, and organizes a safety mission.
Column 2, Part F. If Mandela can forgive decades in prison and then govern, there is NOTHING we say on OS that we can't walk back from.
2. Figure out what you did. Let them "win".
Strange Interlude: You made your point, yes? You built your case with care, yes? Cited your sources (that IS important)? Then let it rest.
Bonus Point: If you feel self-righteous, you are usually wrong. Somehow, somewhere. If nothing else: do your next words contribute to suffering or increase peace? Hate makes the world go 'round the bend, love makes it hold steady.
Eighty-six: The Buddhists are mostly right. But sometimes we must rise up. Rosa Parks comes to mind. Strikers who eliminated Child Labor and got us decent pay and reasonable hours. The soldiers who broke the goddamn Nazis to smithereens. (Ask yourself: is anyone on OS THAT bad? Really? REALLY? If you must say something, say it, then retreat gracefully.)
Sanity Clause: There is no sanity clause. There is only compassion, and fighting injustice in the name of compassion.
0: The more you prolong it, the worse it gets. No one wins online fights.
1. Keep your head down, do good work.
I am flawed, and struggling with my irritation/compassion/joy/rationality balancing. At least one of you thinks me a hypocrite. Sigh.
Appendix L: Maria's Corollaries
i can't please everyone.
- the gift of trust is spontaneity, the guarantee of spontaneity is the occasional error, which i can only hope will be met with forgiveness. mine included
- i depend on compassion to grow (how else will i dare make mistakes, and the only way to avoid that is to not live),
The only compassion i have any control over is my own.
- my goal has been downsized to not repeat mistakes.
We share this, perhaps: a feeling of the sacred and profound and infinite, and the ecstatic joy life offers. I see no supernatural dimension to it, as odd as that might seem to you. We also share this: we both seek inspiration and guidance and comfort from the written word. Let us stir up our thinking, not each other. Let's comfort each other.
a homely error, certainty.
no one wins online fights
Be kinder, but sharper: an OS manifesto
Angels in Dark Masks
and b r e a t h e
We are infants in a pitiless nursery.
I borrow extensively from myself. The last one, 1.? My estimable friend Gene Schwartz gave me this advice.
Submit your favorite posts and sources for my Bibliography and I will add them. Soon.