Friday, June 12, 2009
Recently, Guy turned his mom onto my tripe of a blog, and she read this post and asked about the infraction I referenced on it. After sending her the web link that mentioned the legal infraction attached to her name, we all discovered something really, really, odd. It appears that despite the really rare nature of his mom's name, there appears to be one more gal with her name--first, last, and middle initial--who actually earned the legal infraction that we thought belonged to Guy's mom. Had we done the math on the stated birthdate, we would have seen that the woman on the website was too young to be her.
While there's nothing on my blog that would ever allow anyone out there in cyberspace to be able to figure out her actual identity, it's still worth a correction that the infraction we thought was hers was not. Instead of asking her why she'd never mentioned this (erroneously attributed) infraction to us, we all just assumed that she was embarrassed and didn't say anything about it, having moved on. I could certainly identify with that interpretation--I've done plenty of things fifteen, ten, even five years ago of which I'm not proud and would never do again, and I don't discuss them because I'm not that person anymore.
I'm also (hopefully) slowly becoming the kind of person who thinks before they act. I'm certainly better at that than I used to be--I can't tell you how many times this week I've taken a breath and been civil with Howie and Bosley when they've been seriously rude and out of line, and the Pixie of five years ago, even two years ago would have scampered to the bathroom to weep. I've been through enough to stand firm on the things that I believe: that organized religion does its followers a disservice by controlling their thoughts and only allowing for black-and-white/divisive thinking, which forces them to be judgmental of others in just the way that Jesus says not to be; that the modern-day white collar workplace is based on nineteenth-century management concepts that infantilize adults and fails to address advances in communication technology; that we as a culture and a planet have a serious civility crisis and cannot communicate kindly and respectfully to each other; that punishing the poor does not make them go away; and that animals deserve just as much kindness and respect as humans.
I stand firm on my beliefs, and I stand firm on the right to state those things in this venue because this blog, like any blog, is like an open journal. Those who are interested may read it, and if a reader finds my thoughts disagreeable, offensive, or unpalatable, there are plenty of other websites and blogs to read. Because it is ultimately my inner thoughts, I am allowed to blog those thoughts and opinions. However, I don't have the right to say untrue things about anyone. I cannot present my opinion as fact, and I cannot present inaccurate or inadequate information as full fact. And that's not because any of you will ever go do the research and find out and catch me in a lie--there's plenty of nonsense I could pass off as true and y'all would never know the difference. I don't have the right to present inaccurate information as fact simply because it's not right. It's not the karmic or just thing to do to anyone or anything. I cannot present inaccurate information about Pruitt-Igoe as truth, and I cannot present inaccurate information about people you'll likely never meet because it's not right.
This weekend will be spent meditating on the goodness of others, on second chances to make things right, and on speaking truth without doing harm. It will also be spent working on my beleaguered balcony garden, which has been languishing in this weird, cool weather Denver's been having.