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      Hi everyone,

      I’ve been moderating a lot of the posts today and have seen a
      wide range of comments on one particular subject from strong
      support to *potential* guilt trips.

      Please remember, everyone, this list is pushing 1000 strong now,
      and as a result, feelings can become quite heated at times. If
      you have a thought you’d like to express on the subject, remember
      that there is a caring, feeling human being on the other side of
      your monitor somewhere in this world, and s/he will feel the words
      you’re sending far more than you might realize.

      My thoughts are going quite a bit toward the borders of cliché
      perhaps, but these things are important to be said. A native
      American saying cautions us never to judge a man till we’ve
      walked a mile in his moccasins. And the late Indira Gandhi said,
      “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”

      I know how those words can hurt. As it happens, on a completely
      unrelated topic in a forum (not a list) yesterday, I was banned,
      not because I was rude or insensitive, but simply because the
      people “running the show” seemed to be intimidated by the
      knowledge I possessed in this particular arena. Today, a 237-kb
      thread in which I had written very detailed posts relating to a
      particular technique was deliberately wiped out by the owner of
      that forum, simply because she was angry at me for my having
      expressed, calmly, my opinion that she didn’t like.

      As a result,
      more than 500 people will lose out from the benefit of learning
      that technique. Don’t worry. I have the thread on my hard drive.
      I had a feeling she might do something like that, and the letters
      of support have been pouring into my email box today, for which
      I’m very grateful.

      When I saw that thread wiped out in the split of a second, I felt
      my heart sink to my toes, and I had to fight back the tears. That
      woman who did this to the thread could have cared less because
      she had a reputation for selfishness. But here on Budget101,
      despite the size of this group, I believe we’re a family.

      Yes, families argue and families make up. But sadly, sometimes
      the words we’ve spoken will never be erased from someone’s
      mind–especially when the speaking comes in the form of the
      written word.

      So I’ll beg of you now, please think twice before you say something
      in anger and simply click that send button. Whether or not we all
      agree, we are each owners of our feelings, our actions, and our
      opinions. We may not like what another says, but we need to at
      least be sensitive to the person on the other side of that screen.

      Warmly,
      Michelle

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