Friday, May 24, 2013
What is Cruelty?
On the church's Facebook wall a few weeks ago, one member who has "gone atheist" questioned my spirituality by saying that she saw no evidence that spirituality made me a better person because she believes that I am "cruel" on my blog. When I emailed her privately and requested examples of my "cruelty", I never got a response. Not surprised, actually. There are always going to be people with controlling personality types who hate the fact that I have a blog and that I write about the way I view the world and other people. A few have made unreasonable demands to have me take down my blog for whatever reasons, which is a sign of their controlling natures. If something offends you, then don't read it!! It won't hurt my feelings at all if people who are "offended" by something I wrote don't read my blog ever again. I'm actually flattered that people do read my blog.
Whenever someone accuses me of something, the first thing I do is look at the dictionary definition, just so I can try to see if the word fits in some way. At the very least, it gives me insight into another's mind. Here's how Mr. Dictionary defines "Cruel":
adjective, cru·el·er, cru·el·est.
1. willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.
2. enjoying the pain or distress of others: the cruel spectators of the gladiatorial contests.
3. causing or marked by great pain or distress: a cruel remark; a cruel affliction.
4. rigid; stern; strict; unrelentingly severe.
Well...that definitely does not fit me at all, and that is no self-delusion. No one has ever called me that before. I tend to be fair-minded and flexible rather than "rigid, stern, strict, or unrelentingly severe." I definitely have had moments where I physically and emotionally felt another person's pain, which I believe is a sign of true compassion ("compassion" meaning "to suffer with"). I hate to see anyone in pain and I especially would hate it if I was the cause of another person's pain.
However, if someone gets "offended" because they don't like my opinion on something, then I have no responsibility for that because when I write something or say something from my own life experience, it is meant to share my perspective. I'm not sharing something to deliberately hurt someone's feelings and make them feel badly about themselves (unless I'm specifically addressing something wrong that they did, such as speaking out when someone is abusing someone else). It seems that some people are too sensitive or hyper-sensitive that any opinion that another person makes from their own life experience / truth, appears as deliberately "hurtful" or "cruel" to them. This is where learning discernment comes in handy. Children are actually the best teachers for this kind of thing because they have an unfiltered way of expressing themselves and you really do get to learn how to accept their truths and not be so offended by what they might say.
You know who I think is cruel? Dick Cheney! The man just emits that kind of vibe (he was the one who authorized water boarding of terrorist suspects) and you can see it in his countenance as well as his physical manifestation (that crooked sneer of his). When I find someone to be cruel, I don't waste my time with them. I don't read their writings or be in their presence or even talk about them much. I just stay far away from them.
I have my theories on why this particular church member might find my blog to be "cruel", but I won't get into that. All I will say is that this blog is how I view the world. It is opinionated on politics, spirituality, and popular culture. This is my right to write about life from my perspective. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees me that right and my honorable service in the U.S. Navy helped protect those rights. If someone is bothered by anything I say, they can always feel free to post a comment or email me a message. I may or may not agree with their view, and that's the risk you take. However, if it bothers you that much that you'll tell church members on Facebook what an awful and cruel person I am without giving specific details, thus slandering me to people within my faith community, then what you did was cross the line. All I have to say is that if my blog topics and opinions bother you, well...you won't hurt my feelings if you decide to not read it anymore. There are well over 100 million blogs out there to read from. Hope you find a few that makes your heart sing. In the meantime, I'll continue to write about topics of my interests, exercising my right to freedom of speech as guaranteed by our Founding Fathers.
Shifting tracks a little bit, as regular blog readers can see, I have been blogging less lately. It started last year and this year is even less than last year. Well, there is a logical reason for that. Since March of this year, I met a lady who meets all the criteria I have been looking for in a marriage-destined relationship and we have been progressively spending more and more time with one another, which includes every weekend now for several weeks. I'd love to return to a regular blogging schedule, but honestly, I prefer to spend my time at the gym (I joined in March) and with this lady. I have great feelings about where this is heading, so life is going incredibly well since I moved out of that toxic living environment with the divorced bachelor housemates and their neanderthal way of treating women. In case you're curious, the lady doesn't think I'm cruel. In fact, she says that I'm one of the kindest men she's ever met. Her young children even like me. I feel blessed.