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Friendship - Some Thoughts

Eyes on the world by Yvonne DiVita

I'm feeling reflective these days. Reflecting on how the web has brought us together in some really fantastic ways, and how it's caused some really serious issues, too. Sometimes, people you think are your friends, turn out not to be your friends. <sigh> I'm talking about people who KNOW you and when you screw up, instead of heaving a big sigh, telling you to shape up, and then accepting that...gee whiz, you're not perfect! ... allow you to move forward, letting the screw up slowly fade into yesterday.

I'm reminded, in my reflective mood, that the internet is no place to have an argument. IF you have ever begun to write a blog post in anger, to respond to a perceived 'attack' on yourself, or if you are tempted to put a comment in a blog post in response to a perceived slight someone hurls at you - don't. Calm down. Contact the person personally. Work it out. Don't get into the trap of saying something stupid online. (yes, even if it's someone you have helped in the past.)

Yes, even if you're right. Or, think you're right. Dozens of people will say you're wrong. And, for the most part they would be right. Because... you cannot win an argument online. <sigh>

Still... I think friends get it. Here's a poem that speaks to me about friendship: Woman-bloggingr

I Hear It Said
by Barbara Young

Last night my friend--he says he is my friend--
Came in and questioned me. "I hear it said
You have done this and that. I come to ask
Are these things true?" A glint was in his eye
Of small distrust. His words were crisp and hot.
He measured me with anger, and flung down
A little heap of facts had come to him.
"I hear it said you have done this and that."

Suppose I have? And are you not my friend?
And are you not my friend enough to say,
"If it were true, there would be reason in it.
And if I cannot know the how and why,
Still I can trust you, waiting for a word.
Or for no word, if no word ever come!"

Is friendship just a thing of afternoons,
Of pleasuring one's friend and one's dear self--
Greed for sedate approval of his pace,
Suspicion if he take one little turn

Upon the rod, one flight into the air,
And has not sought you for your Yea or Nay!

No. Friendship is not so. I am my own.
And howsoever near my friend may draw
Unto my soul, there is a legend hung
Above a certain straight and narrow way
Says, "Dear my friend, ye may not enter here!"

I would the time has come--as it has not--
When men shall rise and say, "He is my friend.
He has done this? And what is that to me!
Think you I have a check upon his head,
Or cast a guiding rein across his neck?
I am his friend. And for that cause I walk
Not over close beside him, leaving still
Space for his silences, and space for mine."

--Barbara Young

To those people who gave me the benefit of the doubt and stuck by me even when they thought I was not being fair, I am indebted to you. There is no excuse and no explanation except that... I was stupid. Thank you for allowing me to not be perfect.

Comments

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Yvonne DiVita

@Caren, @Robyn, @Faith, @Zsa Zsa - thank you all! You do understand! As I reflect a bit more, I'm struck by how some folks are continuing to rant - perhaps it makes them feel better? However, it reminds me of the reasons so many brands are reluctant to work with bloggers - because they accuse without all the facts, they treat apologies as suspect, and they often seem to enjoy the ranting - not for the cause's sake, but for the ranting's sake.

I love your ending, Robyn - we do need to define our terms, our standards and how we create respectful and useful dialogue.

Zsa Zsa

This got me thinking about all my friendships too -- both online and offline. So true what you say about contacting the person personally if you have an issue with him/her. So many people make the mistake of ranting online that they forget what it says about them.

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Very well said. Perfection is far from anyone of us Yvonne so include me as one of the imperfect being. One thing I've learned from my dad is that, those friends who failed us makes us become stronger and become a better You and Me.

Robyn M Fritz

People need to be able to talk about the tough issues. To be right, and wrong, in the service of community. If everybody agreed all the time, we wouldn't have a rich, diverse culture. I once told a client I had made a mistake on a project, showed what the mistake was, how I could fix it, and what did they (a team) want to do. They were dumbfounded: they had never heard anyone admit to a mistake before. We fixed the project and have a level of trust and respect you only get to when you work together, through good times and bad. Beyond that, the entire issue of breeding and rescue is compounded by misunderstandings and prejudice. We need to define our terms, our standards, and how we create respectful and useful dialogue. Good for you in being honest! Thanks!

Caren Gittleman

YOU, dear woman, are FAR from stupid!

((((hugs))))

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