What a weekend it's been. Often times we bumble along, lamenting our woe-is-me lives and never once really take pause to look around and wonder on the why of it all. Sometimes the Universe is really doing little more than giving us a mirror. "Look at yourself," it says. "Do you like what you see?"
This weekend was like that for me. In wandering about the blogosphere I came across a blog that offended me greatly. A casual comment totally rubbed me the wrong way and shoved me up onto my soap box. It was a familiar comment: "That's Gay." Uttered by many without a second thought. And no, he didn't mean "that's happy and joyous and warm and fuzzy." It was meant as an insult. And it was taken as one.
It pissed me off.
It pissed a lot of people off.
So much so that we almost had a witch hunt on ours hands. I have asked that those it also offended to leave it alone. There's no sense in added fuel to the fire and vilifying this asshole who it would obviously be lost on anyway. Like the Bully on the playground, he would just enjoy the attention. Unfollow him. Flag his blog. But do not play into his hatefulness. That's not the point of this post. I wont' go back up on soapbox other than to say this - and be done with it. The defense of the offender is that he has gay friends (as he commented on the aforementioned post) and thusly they see no problem in it, so it's okay. This seems to be a common defense of his. Also on his blog is a rather offense rascist post - but again, he has black friends that think it's funny, so it's okay. No. It's not okay. This hearkens to the "birds of a feather" theory to me. It doesn't excuse it. It explains it, certainly. But it doesn't excuse it. Just because misogynistic, homophobic, rascist bigots travel in herds and enjoy one another's company does not make it right.
I have a sense of humour. A rather inappropriate and skewed one at that - as is blatantly obvious to anyone that reads my blog. Humour is not the problem here. What this brought to light for me, however, is how I am perceived. How does what I say affect other that might come across what I am spewing out into the world? It's really made me take a step back and reassess what I am putting out there and how it may be taken by others. It's caused - and is causing - me to take some responsibility for what I say - be it in person - or online.
So really, I have to thank the jerk in some way for showing me what a jerk I can be - without ever meaning it. I am really - from this point on - making a point of making a conscious effort to better myself and my own words. Consider how it make be taken. Consider if I want those words or actions to be a reflection of who I am as a person - as a part of this world. I would be ashamed if I were to be perceived as I have perceived this blogger in this instance.
Ignorance runs rampant in this day and age. It really needs no help in its endeavours. Often times if we will take a moment - just a moment - to think before we speak or act we might feel differently about what we are putting out there. I know this is the case for me. And it's something I am vehemently embracing in bettering myself for the coming year - and many years to come.