Micro-Rant of the Week!

Oh look, there's a mess online.  Not a new mess; it's an old mess, and one I have addressed before.*  Bullying.

Now, that's kind of a buzz word.  It's also a loaded word, and one of the fastest ways to get someone to shut their ears to what you're saying is to call them a bully.  It might be what they're doing.  They might be the bullyingist bully that ever bullied.  But calling them that will get you nowhere.

Of course, sometimes, chastising someone is... purposeful.  Sometimes someone needs to be called out.  Or at least we feel that way.  Sometimes the person being bullied needs to see that they have very vocal advocates.  But the behavior will rarely change.  Real change involves trying to communicate with someone effectively, and as tempting as it can be to let them have both barrels of your righteous shotgun of truth, the quiet, gentle word can sometimes have more effect.

That tactic doesn't always work.  And sometimes you need to go nuclear.  Sometimes you need to throw down the block button or the banhammer or summon your angels to your defense.  But keep in mind who you are talking to, too, and make sure that your own approach is not, in fact, bullying... until you intend it to be.

Sometimes we just need to be excellent to each other, and that can sometimes involve putting aside our pride, putting aside our (sometimes) righteous wrath, and sometimes it means talking civilly with someone we would rather see drown in a puddle of sulfuric acid.

I'm rambling.  But we've seen a lot of this the past few months, especially since the election cycle.  It goes hand in hand with Ad hominem** attacks, where you attack the person making an argument instead of the argument itself.  It goes hand in hand with believing every person who voted for Trump is a racist, every person who wanted Bernie is a communist, and every person who voted for Hilary hates guns and wants to gay marry a tree.

We live in scary times.  And those make us angry.  And anger sometimes has a place.  But many times a quiet voice and a willingness to understand (note: in the case understanding is not the same as condoning) a point of view can accomplish much more.  And it will be necessary traveling forward.

More rambling.  Sorry.  Short version: Your community is your community.   Playing nice can do nice things.  And, as my friend Shatter said yesterday, attack ideas, not people.

Be excellent boys and girls.

* Months ago, when I wrote an article about Bella Sparkles.  You can find it here.

** Ad Hominem attacks are a kind of logical fallacy.  You can find out more about those here!


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