Monday, September 14, 2009

Can we Agree to Disagree?????


I really love blogging. I've been blogging since June of 2006 --but have only been on Blogger since January of 2009. I have been so lucky to have met so many wonderful people on this unique journey. I have alot of followers and I follow alot of different blogs --from all over the world. When I started my blog, I wanted it to be an online journal of my life, my thoughts and my experiences with family and friends. I have purposely stayed away from 'hot' topics like religion and politics. The title of my blog is "Joyful Reflections"----so I try to be careful and keep it JOYFUL.


However, I DO have my opinions ---and do express them at times. I think we ALL do--in one way or another. I am part of the 'fence-sitting' generation. That's good and that's bad. My generation doesn't always make decisions quickly or easily --so we 'sit on the fence'... On the other hand, it takes us 'fence-sitters', who can SEE both sides of a situation, to help with the compromise process. All of my life, I have been able to HELP when volatile situations occur. That is something I have always been proud of.









BUT---something came up recently while blogging which really took me aback.. I was on a friend's blog ----and gave 'my' opinion about a very 'touchy' subject. Uh-oh----I should have known better. Someone else shot back a very negative comment and PERSONALLY attacked me. I don't think that has ever happened to me before ---mainly because I don't usually allow myself to get in those kinds of situations. But --I did, and it hurt. ANYHOW----it's over and the entire post was deleted.


But now that I've thought about it, I wondered what others may think about this. I'd love to hear your thoughts and OPINIONS. Here are mine (take them ONLY as MY opinions and not facts):
-It's easy for someone to criticize someone else on paper, and say things that they may never say to their faces. I don't go to those kind of blogs--but I have heard about some horrible things in print on many controversial subjects.
-I learned that I obviously don't have much backbone when it comes to controversial subjects... Otherwise, I would have just ignored that nasty comment and not allowed it to upset me.
-It's also easy for any of us to say things and mean them one way--and someone else takes them another way. I'm sure we have ALL hurt someone's feelings at one time or another simply by the way we have written something. I'm sure I have done this myself without meaning any harm.
-Most people around me and in my life follow the old saying: "Let's agree to disagree" ... I don't think I have EVER been attacked personally for any opinion until now. It really threw me since this person doesn't really know anything about me.
-This has taught me to be more careful what I say when I make comments on others' blogs. But when can we express our opinions??????
-I may disagree with someone (and do)---but I hope and pray that I would NEVER attack them personally. What has happened to us as a people?????











I am not writing this post for anyone to say that you are sorry this happened to me... Please--please--please don't do this. It's not about me. It's over---and I've learned from it. And I'm sure it has probably happened to you. We all react and respond to things differently. Maybe you wouldn't have gotten so upset. None of us know how we'll react to things until they happen to us.. I have truly learned to be more careful while blogging!!











I am, however, writing this to have a discussion about how we as PEOPLE can feel free to express our opinions (even if they are different) --and have others respectfully disagree without getting personal. Life is too short for people to get so angry and mean--when someone disagrees with them. Thoughts????


I'll close with some quotes about OPINIONS:
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Voltaire


"Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth."
Joseph Joubert


The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.”
James Russell Lowell


I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.”
Edward Gitton


Make sure you have a different opinion and people will talk about you.
Arab Proverb


"A yawn may not be polite, but at least it is an honest opinion."
Unknown


After that last quote, I guess I'd better close this post!!!! ha


Have a great day.
Hugs,

64 comments:

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

Betsy, you were in the right on this one. You definitely had the right to voice your opinion without insults from the other side. We are given the Great Constitution of the United States that states we have freedom of speech. Since my blog is a political one, I'll jump in this one and tell ya that there are MANY people out there (as I have found personally) that like to hurt others when it comes to politics. That is very sad, too, because politics is what runs everything we do in life. From medical (doctors, pharmacies, hospitals) to courts, lawyers, judges...to small issues of drainage of septic fields in subdivisions, to who's dog bit whom. It's all political. A lot of the rules we go by (laws of the land), were drawn up by politically minded people. I never knew how political everything is until I ran for public office. Like I told you before, my entire family has become a "stalked group". I agree that it's only fair to be criticized for my stand on certain issues. However, it's not fair for me, (as having run to make things better for everyone)...it's not fair for my children to become targets. Yet they have. We live in a society of BULLIES, and although it's not fair, they are here to stay. The bullies of our present day, are not the little aggravating bullies that took the little children's lunch money, but rather bullies that will hound and harass until the day they die. That's so sad, because it stifles free expression, and causes fear. I choose to be like you and live JOYFULLY. I am a PEACEFUL person. I don't know where all the hate comes from in this world, but there surely is a lot of it. I applaud you so much Betsy, you and George both, for bringing ME peace and joy in all of your blogging. I Hope and pray that you will never have to encounter another attack by someone about politics. You don't deserve it. You can always feel free to speak your mind with me. I love you dearly Ms. Betsy Boo!!

Cedar ... said...

I have seen that happen on blogs too, really hurtful things said behind the cloak of the anonymous computer keyboard. I always think that those people are just trolling the internet for places where they can vent on just about anything ... why? Because they have nothing better to do or nobody in their lives. and then there are the people like my X who were just always "right" no matter what! haha! Hang in there Betsy,.. you and I may not always agree but you can bet we'll be friends to the end! :)

T said...

Ahhh Betsy - we just had this conversation last week! I firmly believe that many of those who do the shouting/bullying do so because they know they don't have a sound argument. I also think it's a serious lack of respect and civility towards someone with a different opinion.

Though we many not agree, I want to hear what you say — it matters and I find others thoughts and views to be interesting - who knows, I could learn something from a differing point of view!

Jayne said...

Last year, when I posted what I thought was a lightly written OPINION about something political, the fallout almost made me quit blogging all together. Not only did my own mother blast me, and that rift took months to heal, and she still has never read by blog again, but I got comments from "anonymous" people telling me it was God's place to judge, not mine yada, yada, yada. Seriously. An opinion. That's all it was. Or so I thought. Because it has taken me more than 40 years to even have a voice, it impacted me even more than I imagined it would. I think people just feel strongly one way or the other about jumping on someone who does not feel the way they feel, and somehow feel justified in blasting that person. I simply choose not to comment. Everyone IS entitled to their opinion, and we are not all going to agree, but it's how we respect each other that matters the most. So, I tend to never put myself in that position, as I do not want to defend myself or justify my opinions. It simply does not matter to me if someone else does not agree with me, and my blog is a place of beauty and peace, so I consciously choose not to address any really hot button issues. I am sorry your feelings were hurt Betsy. I know how that feels.

jlshall said...

I thoroughly agree with you, Betsy, that "life is too short for people to get so angry and mean" when someone expresses another opinion about something. The relative anonymity of the blogging world can encourage some pretty bad behavior, though. Like you, I've learned the hard way - I'm much more careful now about any comments I make, and I have to admit that I generally stay away from controversial subjects on my own blogs for this very reason. Sad, but true - and I really hate to have to say it - there are just some very nasty people out there. That's why it's so uplifting to find the nice ones like you!

Darla said...

I find the opinions of other's quite entertaining myself!! No need for us to get nasty toward one another though.

Beth said...

Betsy, I hope you won't let this experience keep you from continuing to express your opinions. Because that's the very thing that those people who engage in vicious personal attacks are hoping for. They're trying to shut you down---to discourage you from expressing a dissenting opinion. And, as others have said, they do it because they can be anonymous. I think people like that often have some sort of underlying pent-up rage and are just looking for somewhere they can unload it under the cloak of anonymity. Please don't let it stop you from saying what you think, Betsy, because then the nasty people win.

I think, too, that people aren't teaching their children to express a difference of opinion in a respectful way. I always told my children they could tell me anytime exactly how they felt, even when they were really angry at me, but they had to do it in a respectful and courteous way.

Rose said...

Oh, Betsy, I am a fence sitter, too. I really feel like I have no backbone...and I take stuff personally. I very seldom voice an opinion on that one subject...unless I know I am in like company. I have been cursed for having an opinion before...when I was a teen/early 20's the first time. I have been cursed since, but only a time or two...and none have stuck with me like the one time. It was not because I was running their side down, but because I just really liked the opposition. I didn't even dislike their man.

I know there is more than one touchy subject, but I think right now there is one that is just a bit more touchy than the others. And I do avoid it like the plague.

Peggy said...

Betsy, I agree 100%. No one is going to agree with everything another person says or does. When some bloggers found I was separated they assumed they knew the whole story and blasted me for not sticking to my vows, that if I was truly a Christian I wouldn't have left. I lost several blog "friends"because I didn't post their hurtful comments. I too try to keep my blog light and happy most time. But no matter what we post we can't please everyone. There are always going to be people that are cruel and attack just because thats what makes them feel better about themselves. We have something they don't like though... delete button!

Connie said...

I discovered your blog nearly a year ago and have been reading it ever since. I hope this personal attack doesn't tarnish your enthusiasm for blogging.

Arkansas Patti said...

I have spinters on my behind from fence sitting. There are valid arguments on both sides of most issues by rational people. It is just that there is so much anger these days that the ratiional are falling by the way side. If I come upon a post that is very one sided, I just move on and come back later. I can not change their ideals nor can they change my imbedded ideals. It can only damage our vascular systems.
Keep doing what you do, we love you.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I agree that it is all too easy to tap a few keys and say things one would never say in person.I want to be careful to be who I really am,whether on the blog or in person.Life it too short to get tied in knots about 'stuff'.Hope your day is special.
Blessings,Ruth

diane said...

It is hurtful to be abused for holding a different opinion.However if it is anonymous, it is easier to ignore and forget about it, as I'm sure you have done by now. We all should have the right to express an opinion without being abused and people should learn to accept the fact that others have different opinions. Personal abuse just shows that the person doesn't have a better argument to put forward. Anyway as you say, it was a learning experience for you. I enjoy your light and happy blog.

Pam said...

Hi Betsy, I'm sorry to hear you were verbally abused:(
My Father taught me to always listen to advice and opinions because you might change your mind.
My Mother taught me, if you can't say something nice, Don't say Anything at all.

Unkind words leave scars on the heart in the form of stress... and stress is a killer.

Kind words and deeds sow Happiness seeds... Pam-i-am :)

Diane AZ said...

I am grateful that like you, most people I know can "agree to disagree." When I do find myself feeling angry by someone's opinion, I ask myself who it is that feels upset. That question calms me right down and makes me feel compassion towards the other. Deep down we are all the same, we're doing our best and want to be loved.

Busy Bee Suz said...

WOW. I can't believe this happened to you, as I have seen it on few other blogs. I also try to avoid controversial subjects because it does open us up to ridicule. I also can have my feelings hurt very easily.
I love these quotes Betsy!!!
I have no wise words for you on this...sorry. ;0

Snap said...

Betsy, I wish I knew how to answer your post. I try to keep my opinions to myself in the blogging world. There are just too many people *out there* who are so sure of themselves that they won't listen or think that someone else might not feel the same way that they do. That people don't listen, don't even try to understand is what frightens me. And, it's not just in the blogging world. People who yell and scream and don't have the true facts. Who believe everything they are told. Who can't think on their own. Who can't listen politely. Who knows??? I don't. So, maybe yawning is the way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ROSIDAH said...

I would never believe that you intentionally hurt someone, Betsy. It is so sad that there are some people who like to jump into their own conclusions without given others a chance to explain. We really should be able to "agree to disagree". I love the thought of a joyful and peaceful Blogosphere, where we can see people without labels. Hugs and love.

Becky said...

I agree that we all disagree..No 2 people will ever agree on everything. I am married with 4 kids, I know about disagree encounters ;-). I think some of us (me) would love to be "tough cookies" but are really 'tender hearts". But, we can still state our beliefs, feelings or whatever. Some people don't care who they offend(hurt).

Betsy, you have way more people who love you and your blog, so keep your chin up lady, you are a sweetie.

Mandy in Mayberry said...

I really don't understand what being rude and nasty accomplishes! Do people actually think they are going to persuade others to believe as they do by personally attacking?

I'm not a fence sitter. I have a definite opinion most of the time, but I would never blast someone for sharing a different opinion. That should never happen, but sadly it does.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I both agree and disagree, if that's possible. People who host controversial topics on their blogs invite controversy. To give an opinion on those blogs always leaves us open to disagreement or even attack. The attack method almost always backfires on the attacker so it isn't a good option. I guess many people just don't know how to express an opinion without letting their inner rage boil out all over everyone who disagrees. My opinion of people who spew malice and even hate is to consider the source and forget them.
Marnie

Deborah Godin said...

While I haven't personally been in a situation like you experienced, I've certainly read comments on other blogs that were in a similar tone to someone. I think you're wise to just brush it off, delete it, and move on. People who can't be civil aren't worth working up an emotional sweat!! :-)

Cher said...

sad to know such things happen in other blogs. such people aren't worth our time...

JKoenig said...

When I see your blog or your comments, the word that pops into my head is JOY, because that is indeed what you share with the world. Your blog and comments are uplifting and encouraging.

There is so much floating around these days through email, etc....most of which I just delete (I never pass on things that say to send it on to ten people or that threaten my religeous identity if I don't). However, occasionally I have reponded and only to the person who sent the message to me...never publically to others. And I try very hard to "attack the problem--not the person." They definitely have their right to their opinion but not to impose their opinion on me.

I can only imagine how disturbing this must have been and pray that very soon it will be only a fleeting memory.

God bless your day!.........Janice

Betty said...

I love your blog.I think every one is intitled to their opinion.I don't think anyone has to agee with me,but they should at least listen. I am not really very good at putting things down on paper.I guess I am a fence sitter also.
~~ Love and Hugs ~~

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Somedays I wish I could post about current political affairs, or happenings in the news, but I decided I wanted my blog to be a little get-a-way from the hustle and bustle of life, and so I avoid posting about such things.
I usually don't comment on them also, just because we all have opinions, and well you know the rest of the story....
I love your blog Betsy, it is a haven, and I for one, hope you continue sharing your beautiful flowers and birds and waterfalls.
Sorry you have been a victim of rudeness, it seems to be everywhere these days.
Hugs,
Jo

Dorothy said...

Don't let this take the Joy out of blogging! I know it was/is distrubing, but carry on, just like you always have, because the world needs more Joy! Like you, I try to stay from controversial subjects because I believe in live and let live. I guess I'm a 'fence sitter' too.

Diane said...

Betsy, I try very hard not to hurt people's feelings as that isn't what my blog's about. However, you all know, it has happened. Just a couple nights ago I got wound up on a political subject and wrote a darn good post. I walked out of the room, came back and deleted it. It isn't what I want. I think we're all over exposed to negativity from all sides and I don't need to carry it on to my blog if I can help it.

Small City Scenes said...

Yipes!!!
I think that sometimes we read into what is printed something other than what is written. I have said things in a light tone but were read differently. I do respect others opinions and I respect mine too. MB

Small City Scenes said...

I meant to add that I take everything with a grain of salt and the sometimes just consider the source. LOL Mb

PS: Take it easy and don't be so hard on yourself. MB

Cicero Sings said...

I keep my blog kind of opinionless ... most of the time. Near the beginning of my blogging I did a couple of rants but it is so easy to be taken the wrong way. You think you've covered your bases in the way you word things but someone can still find a way to take it the wrong way!

marmee said...

it is your God~given right to express yourself...to bad people have to be mean about it. i love the the quotes especially
"Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth."
Joseph Joubert

unfortunately this is the society we live in....people are lovers of themselves more than the truth.
truth doesn't matter to them as long as they can vent.

i wish we could have great debates with wise men and women so you could get all types of perspectives...in order for personal growth.

you have to love this great country of ours where our forefathers had enough insight to include freedom of speech.
i love this too:
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Voltaire
we should all be so resolved.
blessing dear betsy.
just keep on being yourself!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: I had a similar experience and felt as though the people attacking did so witout reason. there are a lot of touchy subjects out there and it causes you to think twice. I could bet it was politics or religion based.

Elenka said...

I, too, see both sides of issues...sometimes much to my dismay. Everyone has a right to their opinion even if it's different than ours. We all know that. So why do people get so nuts! People that think their way is the only way are so arrogant in my opinion and I don't find that endearing at all.

Sandy said...

Betsy, I'm very opinionated too, and usually very unconventional and unpopular. So, there are certain subjects I just don't bring up. Although my blog is very light with fun photos, the kitties, etc., I do have a second completely anonymous blog that I don't tell anyone about, where I say everything and anything that's on my mind. I have been doing it for some months now, and I'm shocked that in all my posts I've only received ONE comment, at all. Guess no one is reading it, or they don't take me too seriously! I find that most people these days are very thin-skinned and ultra-sensitive, and sadly, very much in denial about the world around us!

Cookie said...

That's a tough one! I also think on blogging or online in general it's easy to offend because the tone can be miscontrued. And people can walk away easily. You just never know when someone has had a bad day or when a subject hits particularly close to home and some people are just more sensitive than others. I try to read a post or a comment that I find offensive, or that I disagree with a few times before I get angry. If I still get upset about it, then I come back to it the next day before I respond. And that's my opinion on it ;)

Sunny said...

Although I have strong opinions about things, I have refrained from expressing them in blogland. The two main subjects I stay away from are Politics and Religion. I have found out the hard way, that the written word sometimes does not come across in the same manner we say it and sometimes humor is totally misunderstood.
With that said, there is no reason for anyone to be hostile with someone for speaking their feelings and I'm sorry that you had that happen to you. (I know you said not to say that, but I said it anyway!)
Sunny :)

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I think when someone can't allow someone else to have a different opinion it's because they are not so sure of their own beliefs.

Keep on blogging, Betsy! There are plenty of us out there who believe in the freedom of speech. ;-)

cherie said...

blogging spurs jealousies as well as forges friendships. it is thinking in print, so pretty much, what we write and how we write define our character. i have met some unscrupulous individuals through blogging (in the false context of friendhip), and precisely BECAUSE they have hurt me deeply, i have decided to shun them, except for a handful few. we need to draw the line somewhere, out of self-respect and dignity. it is just not worth it. as they say, there is no winning an argument with fools. the world is wide, full of intelligent people. don't dwell on it, ms. betsy.

Karin said...

Just recently we hired new staff in one of our departments. One day my boss asks me about my experience with and opinion of this new employee. Having been one of the managers before I retired, I felt that he wanted my objective evaluation, even though I was reluctant to say anything as I now only work part-time. I started with stating several positive character traits, but finished with giving concrete examples of several incidents that might not make this a person one who we wish to keep in our employs.

I had been asked and would never have voiced my opinion otherwise. I was as kind as as could be, but my boss told me flat out that I had been 'judgmental' and he had not expected that of me.

Now I'm asking myself the same question you asked, "When can I express my opinions????" Was he not being judgmental of my opinions?

I'm fine with being a fence sitter when I truly don't know both sides of a story. I think another word for it is wisdom! I voice my opinion and am open to hear yours, because it adds so that the whole picture might become more clear. We all only know in part and my opinion can stand to have correction or more information sometimes.

What I finally told my boss was that this is my opinion at present based on my experience and impression, and I would like nothing better than to be proven wrong! I have been known to be wrong before - once or twice in my life, LOL!!!!!!

Keep up your amazing, joyful, encouraging, uplifting blog! And don't be fearful to express you opinions - they are valuable, considering your life-time experiences. I am blessed by both of you!
Love in HIM,
Karin

SmilingSally said...

Like you, I try to avoid controversial topics. I just keep smiling!

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hello Betsy,

I'll begin my reply with this quote:
-----------------------------------
If the freedom of speech
is taken away
then dumb and silent
we may be led,
like sheep to the slaughter.
~George Washington~
----------------------------------
And then second...my mind jumped right to my post about *Law of the Garbage Truck*
----------------------------------
So having said these things I can honestly say that I'm a passionate person and I don't believe anyone that has come to know me ever wondered where we stood..LOL I'm a sweet generous loving passionate opinionated lady. ;0) The opinions that I have I do not change midstream to fit the situation. I just can't do it..We either stand firmly on our foundation or get knocked down at every turn..and that comment *to me* has never been truer than the times we are living in right now.

I have found that many millions of people in the USA are furious (me included) over the current state of the economy and with the current administration in Washington. Again this is *my* opinion only.

The good news is that WE THE PEOPLE do have freedom of speech and the right to our own opinions. We should never hope for that to change (even though we have to hear things we'd rather not). We are all so different as you have said..in how we word things...the intent behind our words, etc....

I have a wicked sense of humor most of the time so it takes someone that has a bit of a free spirit to stay around me for long...it seems there is a very small group of us that can dish it out and also receive it back without being hurt though.

Even though I don't know which subject (religion or politics) led to you being attacked but those two topics seem to very passionate these days..more than ever..actually. I have my definite foundation of where I stand concerning both and love a good debate...unfortunately there are a lot of folks that don't know how to debate and be constructive so thus they scream and attack and accomplish nothing!! I leave comments concerning these issues at blogs that *lean my direction* as a manner of building information for the everyone to read and hopefully it can make a difference in their lives.

I never get involved with the *good opinion of others* especially when they lean the opposite direction from me...that takes a personality that enjoys the screaming and accomplishing nothing...since that's most of what you see these days...

I do like a debate though as it forces a person to search within themselves to hear themselves say *how they interpret things*....but what I'm seeing for the most part these days are a lot of people that don't really know the facts and are screaming. If you are gonna scream....atleast know the subject matter..LOL

So, dear Betsy, stand your ground *firmly*, be who you are at all costs! Remember the Garbage Truck..hahaha

For anyone that has read all of this comment...and interested in reading the *Law of the Garbage Truck* you can paste this link into your browser to go to it.

-----------------------------------

http://queenofdreamsz.blogspot.com/2009/09/affirmations-for-journey.html
-----------------------------------
Betsy...have a wonderful Monday!
Hugs to you, Stephanie

FIONA said...

Dear Betsy:

I try to keep my blog off of hot button issues, too.

I do, however, frequent a couple of blogs which occasionally have strong political/social/religious stands that I don't agree with. I visit them because I enjoy the rest of the blog content.


I have never seen anyone's mind changed by rude comments. TO me, it's a sure-fire way to get me to stop listening to someone's opinion.

Tina said...

Betsy, Its the teacher in you to want to sit on the fence and hear all sides before finding a solution to a problem..a very nice characteristic indeed..but some times its, also, just best to "consider the source" of those mean words and let it be!! Smile girl..there are tons of followers who love your style. :-)

Neal said...

I've posted on political forums many times so I know how people are, especially when it comes to politics and religion. I've been call a racist because I disagree with a lot of Obama's policies when, if fact, I don't give a hoot what color his skin is. It doesn't bother me at all because I think it shows just how small and intolerant the person is. Besides that, I don't really give a hoot what that person thinks of me.

Cheryl said...

Betsy I am drawn to your blog as it is a breath of fresh air! Seriously, it is so nice to read "nice things" as I have found in blog-land, in the blogs I enjoy and follow, and it is almost an escape from the day to day world to me. I write what I feel and if it offends someone, well, then don't read it! Seriously, I believe there are people out there who are just angry people who get a kick out of saying and doing "mean things". As someone told me when I was small "don't say anything unless you can say something nice" or something to that effect. I guess what I mean about all this is no one has to "attack" another, just be polite and respectful and remember that you are a visitor to the blog!

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I agree with your post and what the others had to say. It is your right to express your views. I will defend your right to do so my friend.

I get so much joy from visiting you. Your blog is filled with beauty. Keep on post all the love for us...hugs...m...

Lola said...

Betsy, remain as you are. I have gotten nothing but enjoyment from your blog.
I cannot believe that some angry soul had to vent his/her anger at you for voicing your opinion. That's exactly what most people do is voice their opinion. That is what we have the freedom to do.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Sadly Betsy, there are a lot of haters out there, who don't conform to your high standard of civility and good cheer. Don't let them change who you are, and yes, it's important for us to have opinions, and also be receptive of others. But let's face it, and I'll be the first to defend you: you're most always right! But that's just my opinion.

NCmountainwoman said...

Betsy, you have hit spot on the very reason I fear the direction communication is going in schools, work, and in other relationships. We are all so glued to electronics that we barely know how to talk with one another. And in writing we perceive things differently from what they are.

Janie said...

I'm upset by much of the nasty discourse we see in today's politics, which is one reason I don't express my political feelings online. I'll settle for a letter to my congressmen instead.

Wendy said...

It makes life interesting to have different opinions. Who'd want to agree all the time? Nothing would ever get changed.

Anyway - I think if you put your opinion down just as you have in this post "my opinion only" it makes it plain and clear that this is where YOU are coming from. And does nothing to take away from the other person's point of view.

If the other person then gets angry or mean - well, that is their problem. You have just stated an opinion. You didn't tell that person they were wrong, or foolish, or horrible or whatever. You just said how you feel.

And please do continue to give us (your loyal readers) your true opinion. I love this site. I learn from you. And I'm soooooo glad this is a joyful blog - that you and hubby are happy.

I stay away from hot topics too, simply because I have found out the hard way (haven't we all) that email or blog comments can be misinterpreted. So, better to have a face to face discussion where somebody can right away say "oh, did you mean.....?"

All this to say Besty - we love you! I love your blog. I enjoy reading your posts. And your opinions count! (oh, and you don't have a mean bone in your body. I can't see you hurting anybody!)
Hugs,

Marge said...

Hi Betsy - so sorry you've been through this. It seems a lot of people believe in free speech only if your opinion agrees with theirs. I'm sorry they made a personal attack on you, but you just have to consider the source I guess. Whether in politics or personal life, it's hard to learn to fight fair. To be able to stand toe to toe with someone and argue at the top of your voice (or blog voice) and not take it personal is difficult. To be able to say I love you; I respect you, but I don't agree with your opinion is much harder than riding the fence or keeping quiet. I know - being a fence rider myself! I, too, have strong opinions, but tend to keep them to myself. There are a lot of brave men and women that fought hard and continue to fight for our freedom and right to speak that opinion. Don't let a blogger's attack keep you from speaking your mind!

SquirrelQueen said...

While I might sit on the fence to listen to all the sides I am very opinionated. But I do like to have all the facts before getting into a discussion. Here in the blogging universe I try to stay away from controversial subjects, mainly religion and politics.

I have seen a few "discussions" on other blogs, seen but not joined. And from what I have seen most of the bullies tend to be very close minded. There is no possibility of having a friendly conversation with people like this once they have made up their minds. If everyone else does not come around to their way of thinking then the name calling and insults begin.

I guess I really don't have any advice just observations. But if you want a good discussion on politics or whatever we can give it a go and I'll still love ya after the dust settles.

Hugs,
Judy

Mary said...

Offering opinions always sets us up to be attacked by someone with a really strong one and no control. It is never "right" to hurt other people, no matter how strongly we feel about something. If we don't agree, we can say so politely and express why. Personal attackes have no part of an argument. Shouting is never necessary. I recently had someone accuse both Mike and I of "yelling at her"...we were all discussing something mutually and I do have a tencency to get loud sometimes because I'm hard to hearing and don't realize my voice is loud. I had no idea that she felt I was yelling until she said so, but instead of just asking me to talk more quietly, she attacked me and called me a couple of names that hurt. Even though we have more or less gotten beyond this, the name calling is still sitting there in my subconcious hurting me. One of the best quotes I ever saw says: "We treat the damage we do with our lips very lightly because we do not see the corpses we leave behind." No wonder the Bible talks a lot about "taming the tongue"....we all need to see our words on a screen in front of us before we say them out loud. As far as offering opinions goes....with some people you just can't. They only will accept their own.

storyteller said...

Looks like you hit a nerve with this one given all the lengthy comments. I'm arriving late but figured I'd add my two cents ... just because. Mostly I blog for fun and tend to avoid controversial topics, but occasionally something arises I feel compelled to address. When commenting on the blogs of others, I try to keep 'the golden rule' in mind and choose my words carefully, realizing the printed text is easily misunderstood because there are no other 'cues' to clarify intent. I choose to believe that we're each doing the best we can in any given moment and I try not to give (or take) offense. As Don Miguel Ruiz wrote in THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, being 'impeccable' with your word, making no assumptions and taking nothing personally DOES make life simpler ... even though doing so is often quite challenging.
Hugs and blessings,

Rosa said...

Yes, we all have those moments when we have to let go on our own blog. Whenever I write a "controversial" piece, I'm always ready for a fight. As I've seen them out there. But, as I have learned over the years in the blogging community, but much more in life itself, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. Walk away. If I don't agree with someone, I just click off and move on. As you said, we are ALL entitled to our opinions. For some reason, the written word is taken to heart a lot more. As I said, I have been lucky that most of my blogging friends are courteous in that respect. If they agree, they say so. If they disagree, they just click off and come back later when I've changed my mood. lol You live and learn. xo

Jo said...

Betsy, you are a special and dear person. Never change, we love you as you are. Good on you for "turning the other cheek" (here in this post) Do you think the slanderer has read your blog and all the comments today? (((Hugs))) Jo

Denise said...

Well I can't help saying it Betsy, but I truly am sorry you were personally attacked on this one. When I grew up my Dad always used to say, "Young ladies do not talk about religion, sports or politics. Young ladies just don't do that." That old Victorian feeling puts the breaks on a lot of my opinions to this day. I still feel very uncomfortable expressing them on those subjects. I married into a family who expressed their opinions freely and quite heatedly on just about EVERYTHING, but never with malice thank God because they truly loved the debate. However, to this day and because of my dear beloved father's own Victorian upbringing about the way young ladies 'should behave', I still feel uncomfortable about expressing my opinions. In some ways I feel that I should get over it but things you learn from the very beginning of your life are hard to 'get over'. I saw often enough the ill feeling they caused between my family members. So I became a great observer and you only have to look on the roads to see the occasional rage issues people have and with that attitude, put it into the context of anonymity, Pandora's box has been well and truly opened. People let rip without fear of being bopped on the nose. The headlines lately are full of it. Graciousness and politeness, kindness even, seem to be a dying art, but I am going to do my best to keep it alive and well in this family at least, and it does after all start in the home. Good grief! Have I just expressed an opinion? Well, it wasn't about religion, politics or sports so I guess I am okay and yes, I am saying all that tongue in cheek. Sorry for the long ramble. Happy blogging my friend, let's hope certain people will be a little kinder when they find you have an opinion different to theirs.

Salitype said...

hmmm, unfortunately,there are people who's only opinion that matters are theirs. don't dwell on those kind, they are not worth your precious time..

Shelley said...

Hi Betsy,
I think sometimes people forget that a blog is a personal journal of people's thoughts and feelings - they can't be wrong. And when they allow comments - as long as someone makes them respectfully - they are allowed to place their opinion too. Anyways, my heart aches for you. I think you know I got attacked for a post on my birding blog - and to the point where they got the Michigan Audubon Society's director to contact me. I cannot tell you how angry that made me. So I empathize with you - and you are allowed to have an opinion. Don't let anyone bully you. (IF they do, let me know and I'll TALK to them! tee hee!)
Love,
SHelley

Rosa said...

PS I meant to add that no one has a right to attack anyone. That person should be ashamed. They obviously don't know you and your sweetness at all. Hang in there and try to let it go. xo

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Betsy, I've been absent from the blogging world for over a week, but the title of this post caught my eye as I was trying to catch up.

I think you are right that some people feel a certain degree of freedom to type away the things they wouldn't dare to say in person. And I've often worried about how someone might perceive a comment in print without being able to hear the tone and inflection that I hear as I write.

Here's hoping you have many more joyful interactions with bloggers in the future!
Adrienne

Patty said...

There are some people that if you say the sun is shining, they will say it is raining.

You can't always avoid crazy people but you can sure avoid letting them control your thoughts and actions.

We run into people like this in real life and on blogs. My thoughts are, I am so happy I don't have to live with these people. Whoo hoo! And I move on to something happy.