and some important information to let you know about that might be useful in your own life.
The poll - well, that's self explanatory. There is a poll. You need to vote it in. Do so.
The information is a little more complicated, but it ends with you knowing that I am a sick and vile individual who is OK with children being abused. (That last one is especially good to know given that my job involves children in the foster care system. If I had known I was OK with that happening, I would have picked another job. But I didn't have someone far more wise than I am to correct my perceptions about myself).
Well, I *did* have someone more wise than I am involved - and I didn't stop to ask her advice until it was too late... but I digress... let's back up a little bit.
The year was 1956 and it was a clear... wait, that's too far.... let's fast forward...
It was last week and.... a little further...
Yesterday. It was yesterday afternoon. Yes. That's perfect.
It was yesterday afternoon and I saw something on Facebook. That sentence never goes anywhere good.
A friend of a relative (who had friended me about a year ago and always seemed nice in person) posted something weird. Not entirely uncharacteristic in that she did occasionally post a meme that tended to display that she wasn't entirely up on whatever the subject matter was) I can't access the actual meme anymore so I may be misquoting, but the gist was that letting kids know about the existence of trans* individuals was child abuse because she was a tomboy and if she had known she would have wanted to be a boy (despite all evidence the contrary considering that she's pretty femme, she just likes horses and trucks) and... well, it went on from there in a lot of twists and turns the way any internet monologue goes.
I saw it and was like "what?" because it went into some weird directions. But then someone else posted a response and simply said that she should be who she is and let other people be who they were. Very controversial statement.
I liked it. I considered responding further. But Cynthia walked into the room and could see on my face that I was considering responding to something and talked me down from it.
I moved on from that post and went on with my life.
About 20 minutes later I get tagged in something from the original poster and I'm wondering what is going on. Maybe a picture or something... nope. It was a message on that post - tagging me and the other folks who liked that comment calling us out for being "sick and vile individuals"... you know some of the rest. I was trying to think how to respond - or if I should just leave a "Wow", because yeah, "wow"... when I clicked on it, I couldn't see the comment anymore. I thought maybe "She realized she went too far and deleted the thread. Good". Because she had been going off on other people really hard too. But nope. She had unfriended me. Over "liking" the "wrong" thing.
I'm not saying that I'm calm and reasonable or that I haven't unfriended someone over an internet fight. If I did, I'd be lying. But never something that quick that went from 100 miles per hour to a million in the matter of 20 minutes.
There's a lesson in there about engaging in social media and how every like and comment has the potential for backlash. About picking your battles, because everything is a potential battle. Honestly, it's a battle I *would* have chosen, but one that I thought I had backed off from.
There was a hidden lesson in there as well. Because I later talked to the relative who is friends with her. It turns out she's been really sick lately. She's in a lot of physical pain. So she's lashing out online. You never know what someone else on the other side of those series of tubes might be going through. For you, they might be acting irrationally. But it might be fueled by whatever is going on in their own life. It usually *is* being fueled by that. It doesn't make it "OK", but it makes it easier to understand.
Everyone has their own narrative going on - and sometimes you are the bad guy in it.
I'm fortunate, because I'm the bad guy in everyone's story!