I read Dooce daily. It is a successful, world famous blog for a reason. Heather, the author, is incredibly open and frank about her life and adds an edgy, witty spin on everything she writes about. Last week she posted some of the hate mail she’s received and her responses to a few. The comments she received were drenched in hate. Their content had no substance, just cheap and dirty shots targeted directly at her. And it wasn’t that these strangers had such angry hateful things to say to another human being that surprised me, no, I was surprised at how acts of hate don’t surprise me.
I guess after thirty one years of hearing about hate, watching hate on television, seeing it happen to strangers, friends, family, experiencing it, carrying hate around, dreaming about it, reading stories about it, talking about hate, using it, feeling hate, and assuming that hate has happened, happens, and will continue to happen, like how Tuesday keeps happening, has sanded down what I hope was once my natural ability to feel surprised, at least, when hate happens.
I was talking to one of my very favorite people, Sinclair, about Dooce’s hate-mail and we were trying to decide if the people that throw around this angry anonymous hate are aware of their impact? Two weeks ago Sinclair posted an ad on her blog that she ran into on Craigslist that some angry anonymous girl had written. Should you chose to read it, I warn you: it is a long and hateful rant and it got me. I was surprised. And honestly it felt refreshing to be shocked and hurt by the hate I was reading. I took some time to respond to this girls post (also posted on Sugarbutch).
So, where do I go with all of this? I have no desire to become a pacifist, and walking around with a bucket over my head won’t work for obvious reasons. So, my experiment for all of this week, starting right now, is this: I will not participate in or with hate. I am removing the word h*** from my vocabulary and when it tries to hit or grow inside or around me I will first try to defuse it back into its natural state of ‘hurt’. If hurt presents itself to me I will engage, if h*** refuses to disarm I will simply walk away.
I will keep you posted on how this goes. If you’d like to join me in this weeks mission let me know how it goes for you. I can imagine that this mission would look very different person to person and that the challenge level would differ as well. It may be that for some, avoiding h*** from the outside could be impossible, so what do you do about that? If you join me in this I would love to hear about your techniques and experiences trying to go seven days without… ah! not even gonna say it.