Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You Don't Know Me

How many times do we take assaults against our character before we react?

I'm finding that it takes less and less time for me as I grow older. Along with a strong sense of who I am, I now also possess the desire and ability to articulate against those who think they know me. It stirs the mind when they attempt battle against me. My character is in question, their anger wants to wound... it doesn't. Because I do know myself. They haven't a clue who I am while they sit on their throne of condescension. Nor did they ever care to fully understand anything beyond their initial assumptions of me.

What gets me the most is what they don't want to understand, whether it’s me or the subject matter. The more they raise their shackles against me, the harder I will protect my character. I'm finding that it's more about their own weaknesses they defend than it has ever been about me. But yet, I'm the bad guy. It can become a battle, truly, but it's one that needs to be defended against. At least it feels that way as I get older.

For too many years, I've sat back and let people walk all over my character out of fear or hesitated when they struck because of my own insecurity, lack of words or a fire in the belly that's needed to come up against those who are stuck in their ignorant minds and supported or rallied around by others who share their mentality. No more.

I deserve to be heard. That's it. Bottom line. Everyone has a voice, and everyone should be given the opportunity to speak what they feel they need to say. The only restraint one should show is the benefit of the doubt that the person receiving the message might not have heard it correctly, initially. But if after a few rounds the conversation deteriorates to name calling or insinuating falsehoods, then we have a responsibility to ourselves to stand against it. If attacked in person, one has the right to defend against it; in a forum where it's online, the same should be expected. I will and they'll wish they had known me years ago rather than now.

When we, as individuals, speak up about anything, we challenge the opposing person with a different thought process. Questioning their logic or their authority is an off-putting situation for them. So what? Do it anyway. There is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with investigating or challenging things further. That is the point of education and understanding. If we didn't question anything we'd still be living in the stone-age. Some would like it if we were, but I know the majority of us kind of like where knowledge leads us.

My skills are still being refined and I don't necessarily always handle things the right way, but I'm learning and I think I'm getting better at handling myself at public assaults against my character. My primary goal is to ensure that the information or anything, for that matter, is accurate. Character assassination isn't my first instinct to pursue, and even when attacked, I don't usually go for the jugular. Sometimes I'm just fed up and I give as good as I get. I really don't like when it devolves to that and the majority of the time I say my last piece and move on. It's not worth it to me to continue if I my blood pressure rises. No one, no matter how mean or stupid they are, are worth it to me putting my health at risk.

Sometimes… most times, I even just laugh at the insults implied with tone and written with such emotion. I hope I can always respond that way, but I know I won't always. The subject matter might be something I'm really passionate about or their insults just too slimy not to respond appropriately. At those times it only raises my willingness to counter with more honesty and correctness. It seems to piss them off even more. And a round or two or three we go. But I’m the bad guy because their immaturity won’t allow them to see that someone else might have not only a different opinion as well as possibly be correct in that thought process.

Initially, I usually give someone the benefit of the doubt, unless of course I’ve been subjected to their immaturity in a previous discussion. They are getting to know me and probably make some assumptions before the first word comes out of my mouth. We, as humans, have a tendency to do this. I can forgive that and move on in the debate. But this venue - the Internet - gives us some anonymity, and I've seen some hit others so hard with such hatred, it surprises me immensely that we have people like this amongst us who feel justified somehow in their actions. I guess I shouldn't be considering all the inhumane things we hear about on the news every day. Nonetheless, it still takes me aback at times. Who raised these people?

I want my debates and discussions to be mature, interesting and something where I can learn something I never knew before. My position will be defended until new information comes my way to deter me from continuing to hold that position. In the meantime, what I strive for is civility, the introduction of accurate information only and having a sense of humor. My intentions are always start off by taking the high road, calmly and sharing what knowledge I have understood to be correct. I struggle with difficult people who, in certain situations, get me to a point where I will fail in pursuit of my intentions. At those times, I allow myself to degrade to their hostile level. I'm working on it and strive to do better because I don't want to be like them.

If only people really knew that about me maybe they wouldn’t spit their conversations out with such venom. Maybe not… maybe they are just douche bags from the get go. 

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