Thursday, June 05, 2008

Apply To Blogosphere and Day Care Program

I've been getting a series of anonymous comments submitted lately, and some not so nice.
Now, I used to have a policy that I would not accept anonymous postings, but I let up a little because I figured not everyone wants the inconvenience of being labeled or identified, especially in Northern VA where everyone is so afraid of losing his/her job for exercising free speech. There seems to be a trend in this neck of the woods that blogs can get you fired. I don't understand what that is all about, especially in an area so closely located near the place that should represent our Constitutional rights...D.C. Metro. But, I can understand protecting identity to a point.
That said, if I receive comments directed at me, asking for details of my life, and accusations that I'm being "politically incorrect" and even that I've insulted someone, I generally like to know who the person is. If I've insulted someone so badly he/she feels the need to comment on my blog, then I'd like to know why and how so I can explain. I like to do this in the open, not via some predatory email (which I've received before). If I feel I was a little over the top (which I can be at times, admittedly), I will apologize. If I was merely misunderstood, I like to clarify. And if I'm just being attacked, well....I will just delete the comment and move on.
So here is the scoop. This particular anonymous commenter (in the posting below the one I am writing now) seems to be upset that I'm discussing the misuse of county monies that has resulted in shortfalls which are being used as excuses to close an elderly center. This person goes on to explain how he/she has spent his/her lifetime serving the elderly and disabled and that he/she is offended etc. etc.
Now, this person may not like my interpretations of the "immigration resolution" and what I consider irresponsible use of tax dollars. S/he might be tired of my bringing up the resolution, and that's fine as well. But surely, if s/he truly does support the elderly and disabled, s/he can agree that closing an inexpensive program is unwarranted and unfair.
This person enumerates his/her lifelong dedication to service, which I admire greatly. S/he wants me to do the same. However, while I have worked with the elderly and the disabled over the course of my life (perhaps not as consistently as this person would like), I don't feel right listing all my volunteer and personal activities because frankly, I don't do it for recognition and believe it or not, I do have some very private elements in my life and in my brain.
Now, I'm thinking this person might really be asking what my motivation is for speaking up for the Day Care program. Perhaps s/he is just asking that question because there is a certain mistrust of "advocates" and their reasons for attempting to be one. If that's the case, let me say that outside of my previous life's activities, some of the people I feel closest to and love are over the age of 70. Some of those people are suffering as I write this. I don't like suffering, and closing the Manassas Day Care Program would bring little but suffering. Why do it when it costs so little to NOT do it?
I'm also thinking this person might be frustrated. Perhaps s/he has been working all this time and has not received recognition or appreciation. That would be most unfortunate because working with people, especially needy people, is damn difficult. It's draining because not only is it physically intensive, it is an act of love. Love takes effort. It's easy to lose patience, especially when exhausted. A program like the one in Manassas helps ensure caregivers at home don't get burnt out. But burn-out also happens to those working in the field, especially if they are not getting the kind of "thanks" and mentoring they need to keep going on.
As to this person addressing my "lack of PC," I can only say that I'm not always as PC as some people would like, and I am too much so for others. Using politically-correct-speak is one of those double edged swords--it can help reduce hurt feelings, but it can also reduce effective communications. So in a case like this, while I would try not to hurt feelings of people working in the field or people who need services, it doesn't do any good to gloss over the problems created by the BOCS's misappropriation of funding. Outside of that, I'm not sure why the words "elderly" and "disabled" are non-PC, especially when I refer to myself as having a disability. Someone enlighten me, please.
So I hope people do continue to visit this blog. However, I also hope visitors use their own names, explain where they are coming from, and help me communicate with them as opposed to sitting here guessing what they mean. I can't communicate if I don't know who you are, what you represent, or what the real issue is.
I'm someone who loves to solve problems (in case you didn't guess that already). I might not do it in the most popular fashion, but I try. In problem solving, sometimes, more information is needed. And if we disagree, then fine. You can see an example of that disagreement between Citizen Tom and me in the posting below. It's not a big deal because Citizen doesn't seem to be hateful or want people to suffer. As I said before, I'm not into suffering if it can be reasonably avoided.
But please....don't come over here, attack me, expect me to read your mind, and then move on. If you do that, I might wrongly assume you are hostile (and some people really are and have been), that you don't really want to discuss the problem or issue, and that you are hiding behind "anonymous" for the purpose of being a protected twit. All of these are wastes of my time and detract from the usefulness of blogging.
So, anonymous poster, if you feel you would like to have a reasonable discussion, please come back. If you are just over-the-top angry and want to take it out here in this forum in an irrational way, don't expect me to post it or respond. I'm not sure which you are at this point, so you are welcome to come back and clarify.
But please--tell us who you are and where you are coming from so we can really have some meaningful dialogue. And if you disagree with me so vehemently, well then, "walk away." No one forces anyone to visit a blog, and you are under no obligation to return. It's up to you. The door is open so long as you are not wielding the careless weapon of a raging, mean-spirited keyboard.
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