Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's a Question of Rudeness

I wasn't sure where I should talk about this... over on my "private" blog, the one that's only open to friends and family... or here on the public one, the one that is seen by a lot more people. I obviously decided that this topic needed a larger audience. Why? Because it's important. Because rudeness seems to be becoming accepted as part of life. Because by accepting rudeness as "okay", once we ignore it when we see it or, worse yet, don't even recognize it, we devalue ourselves and all the work and growth that went into humans becoming "civilized".

People who know me have this idea that I'm invincible, that nothing bothers me. Well, truth be told, I am actually very sensitive. I am not titanium. I am water. When I hurt, I hurt deeply, although I hardly ever show it. And the ripple-effects go on and on and on. Today I had "an incident" on one of my social pages. First, you must understand, I don't use social media very often. On this particular social page, I only have a very few contacts. They are all supposedly friends... and family. I have them as contacts because I feel I should be able to trust them.

Here's the story...

I innocently shared an article from the news because it was something I was interested in and something I felt like sharing. As I said, I seldom post anything on social media and when I do it is something important to me in some way... big or small. I didn't expect anyone to bother with a response, although one or two might "thumbs up" it. I shared it, not for anyone but myself. Within a few minutes, I had someone respond with "Who cares?"

"Who cares?" How completely rude! How utterly hurtful! And from someone I considered a friend. Doubly hurtful then.

Rudeness abounds on the internet and particularly on social media, which is why I seldom use it. Usually it's trolls who are rude to complete strangers. Their goal is to incite an argument so that they can be rude to even more people. They think this might make them "famous". I pretty much ignore trolls because I don't believe in giving them what they want, but now and then I will speak out, if the situation warrants it.

But this wasn't a troll... this was someone I trusted, someone I thought cared about me. And that "who cares?" hurt deeply. What the article was about and what the rest of the comment was is neither here nor there. "Who cares?" cut deeply. It was rude, uncalled for, hateful... and aimed directly at me. Because that's the nature of "who cares?" It's like saying "who cares what you think?" or "who cares about you?" It's like saying "your opinions or ideas are completely worthless". And not one other so-called "friend" stepped up and said "that's just wrong". Not one. Which validated the "who cares?" and said it was okay.

Now, before you say I'm far too sensitive, let me put this same situation in the real world.
You're at a gathering with family and friends and someone brings up a news topic. Everyone around that person is listening. Then, out of nowhere, one of them says "who cares?" Is that not rude? Yes, it is. It is unacceptably rude (unless you're from an area where everyone treats everyone else with compete and utter disrespect). Everyone within earshot at that party would likely stop to stare and at least one would say "that's rather rude, don't you think?" or words to that effect. That's the real world. A world that is becoming more and more intolerant of abuse and bullying.
But on social media people are more apathetic (or is it pathetic?). Rudeness is accepted as normal more often than not. Bullying and abuse abound... and people seldom defend anyone, although there are some who defend the abused. But ponder this... just as in the real world, when we say nothing, we are telling the bully (because that's what it is, after all) that what they've said is okay. But worse than that, we are telling the person being bullied that she or he is worthless and that she or he deserves to be spoken to in that manner. And that isn't okay.

So I'm quitting that social media page. I don't need that sort of hurt in my life. The people there know where I am. Everyone else can read me here or on my other blogs. I hope you ponder what I've said, take it to heart, and help to bring change about. Because the world needs us all to bring more peace, more love, more hope, more magic, more art, more good... and to defeat bullying, abuse, fear, war, and paranoia.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016... Already?

As this new year arrived, I was pretty much forced to realize how many years have gone by since I was a young woman, just leaving home and having my first Christmas in my own apartment. That was 1971. I was 21. In looking back I smile at how naive I was, how innocent about life... and I thought I was so smart and worldly. Today I know that I still have very much to learn. Which is why I've renamed this blog from "author" to "late bloomer". I have decided that I will use this blog to talk about the different things that I do that have to do with "creative genius". We're all creative geniuses in our own ways.. some of us just haven't given ourselves permission to learn where that genius lies. I intend to give myself permission now, even if I am retired and "old". I want to explore all manner of creative avenues and I want to share those explorations here.

I was given a set of art supplies for Christmas by my life partner. He knows that I am quite artistic in many areas and that I want to paint again. I spent a year living and working in Vancouver, BC and completed about 30 paintings while I was there. I had started painting before I moved there, but really learned a lot while there. I spent my summer weekends in Stanley Park watching the street artists as they worked and admiring what they accomplished. I talked to the lady in the local art supply store about art. I spent hours in the Vancouver Art Gallery absorbing the various pictures. But then I moved and set that aside and it is only recently that I've wanted to pick up a brush again. Now I have the time. Now I can spend a few dollars each month on supplies. So, this year I shall write about my experience as a painter.

I also loom knit, which is a good way of knitting for people like me. I've been loom knitting for about three years now and always enjoy producing things. But I have a big tub full of items that I've knitted so I need to find a home for them. For Christmas this year I had a good time making scarves and hats for everyone and they all seemed to enjoy getting them, so I will continue to make things and will write about that here as well.

Of course, there is my writing, which I haven't done much of this last year. We've been settling into living in a house again and that's taken effort and time, so some things were set aside. But I do love to write, so I shall get back to that this year as well.

There may also be other things that attract me and I will probably mention them as the year progresses, but for now these are the things that my mind is concentrating on. So, I hope to see you here as I progress and learn and have fun doing creative things and learning about myself. Happy New Year and may 2016 allow you to discover at least a part of your own creative genius!