Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Dear Hearts and Gentle People"

Since I have discovered blogging, I've read lots of blogs written by "dear hearts and gentle people."  They write about their families, their hobbies, and their passions.  They write with love, humor, openness and for the most part, are thoroughly enjoyable.

Bloggers are not at all hesitant about stating their views on anything:  family, urban, national, global issues et. al., all are fair game.  To varying degrees bloggers have little reluctance to talk about whatever is near and dear to our hearts.  Some blogs are written by very strongly opinionated people who are able to state their views with a lot of gusto!  They are rational, just outspoken.  This type is a bit more serious than the light-hearted, feel-good blog.  Still it has its place.

That's precisely why blogging is so popular.  It gives the ordinary Joe (and Josephine) a platform to put their opinions and feelings into the public eye.  Each of us get our 15 minutes, so to speak.  We can say whatever we want.  Uncensored and unregulated, free speech at its most basic.  I support that enthusiastically.  You can find a blog to support almost any position on almost any topic.  Or you can write one yourself.  That's a good thing I think.  I would hope that it promotes understanding between people.  So write on, y'all.

However, every now and then,  one stumbles across blogs that certainly don't appear to come from gentle people. Clearly written by a fanatic or even worse, a psychotic, they are rabid, unpleasant, and are hard to read without screaming in dismay!  These folks scare me.  Really, really scare me.  I don't understand how they can get through the day when they seem so completely outside the mainstream.  Yes, I know that mental health problems abound in our country and cross all of society's levels.  Still, many fanatics are not mentally ill in the true sense.
A fanatic can be rich, poor, articulate, stumbling, educated, or nearly illiterate, insane or sane.  Their fanatacism can relate to politics, religion, environment, science, medicine, just about anything.  What they have in common is an absolute and total belief that they are completely RIGHT about everything they believe! They are not interested in  reason or open debate.  They are not interested in freedom of speech for anyone but those who agree with them.  They often seem to be capable of complete denial of reality.  They are engulfed by the strong conviction that their way is the only way....and if you disagree you will most assuredly reap the consequences (which are certain to be dire.)  Most scary of all is the lengths that fanatics will go to discredit any other belief. 

Now, please understand, I strongly believe that everyone has the right to their own opinions.  I do not believe that everyone who disagrees with me is totally wrong, a bad person, or a fanatic.  But the truth of the matter is that fanatics of whatever "ism" they follow are not helping society OR their cause.  Most importantly, they cannot force me or anyone to agree with them, change positions, keep quiet, or even to read their blogs!  I'll believe in and support whatever I want to and completely ignore, avoid, and refuse to indulge irrational fanatics who, unsolicited, try to tell me what to do.  

So when it comes to blogs, as well as every other aspect of my life, if nobody minds, I'll just stick with the "dear hearts and gentle people." 

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