Woe! It’s Wednesday: The Truth is the Best Defense? Or the Only Defense?

Because most all my friends are nice and considerate people, I don’t generally see too many trolls online. But I have noticed an increase in admonishing and finger-pointing posts and comments.

Typically, someone posts about a problem solved or crisis averted or even asks a simple question.

Crazy-Socks
Yay! I learned to put on my socks!

 

Example: YAY! I finally figured out how to put on my socks. Those stripes and the ankle bendy parts were sooo confusing!

The replies vary from happy and encouraging:

  • Oh, good for you!
  • What’s the secret? So happy you figured it out.
  • So, share the knowledge!!?!

To … a bit less happy:

  • You’re such a dork. Glad you got it.
  • Yep, those “ankle bendy parts” are hard for blondes.

To downright rude:

  • Really? You think they’re hard?
  • Wow, I guess I never realized socks were so confusing. But I’m glad you persevered.

To completely inappropriate, not to mention irrelevant:

  • Don’t you know socks are ruining the planet? You should NEVER wear socks if you want to reduce carbon emissions and leave the earth a greener planet for future generations.
  • You’re posting about socks? That’s as irritating as someone’s picture of their dinner. You should only share news that’s worth sharing.

And worst of all, the BSP (Blatant Self-Promotion):

  • If socks give you trouble, check out my new website, just for the foot accessory challenged. I think you’ll like it! And pass it on.
  • I have a blog post about how to put on socks correctly for the post-modern parent. Here’s the link …

Maybe my posts are too bland to offend, but I’m blessed to say this is not a problem I have, just one I’ve observed.

I did have an interesting experience last week. A friend posted a list on a social media site, one of those, “I can’t believe stupid people out there exist who would say this” kinds of posts. It was a list of quotes, labeling all the speakers as uneducated bigots, chauvinists, and potential abusers and perverts. And all those quoted were identified by their political affiliation.

never respond to those kinds of posts. Never. Well, not since I got pilloried a couple of years ago for pointing out the inconsistencies in the poster’s own original statements.

Anyway, I rarely respond.

But this one irked me. I looked up a few of the people quoted and found what I’d guessed to be true: the quotes were either taken out of context, mis-quoted or otherwise erroneous.

I exhaled. I wrote a response. I deleted it. I walked around the room. I wrote it again. I edited it. Took a deep breath. And clicked Post comment.

My (edited to protect–well, me) comment:

There’s enough stupidity in the country to go around without labeling it by political party. After all, Joe B* said, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” If B* can be forgiven and voted for, I think the others should at least get a closer look at the circumstances and context. W*** was quoting B* K*. A* spoke without thinking. A friend and I were talking once about date rape and she mentioned “rape-rape vs. date rape.” I said, “But date rape is rape-rape.” She realized immediately what she’d said and felt horrible. I would never bring that up years later to humiliate her. I also wouldn’t bring up B*’s plagiarism all these years later. Oops, except I guess I did.

I expected to be mocked, derided, and condescended to.

In fact, I heard … nothing.

FieldCricket
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

Crickets.

That’s it. Mine is the final comment on that post.

And I had a little epiphany. When you respond with the truth, there is nothing else to be said.

Oh, how I pray for wisdom and discernment to be able to speak truth when appropriate. And when to shut up because it’s not the time.

Who’s with me?

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