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Snowflakes and a melting community

Posted by Dinah on November 1, 2013, at 7:39:22

In reply to And off I go again, posted by Partlycloudy on October 30, 2013, at 19:02:53

FWIW, which likely isn't much because I haven't read every post, it appears that language and the interpretation of language is getting in the way.

Overall how it struck me is that Alex has been struggling lately with feeling out of step with the mainstream of her offline life, and looking forward to getting what she needs as a result of being diagnosed as different - or special if you like. Yet there appears to be a real struggle involved and it's a very current struggle, and hence a very tender area. I am interpreting, Alex, and hope you tell me if I'm wrong.

PC then posted something, likely totally unrelated to Alex's post, about none of us being special. Something that came from her own experiences and is valuable to her in helping her deal with the world. It's an interesting argument, and my own personal take is like Scott's. I think we come from a similar theological viewpoint, which likely influences that. We're a world of special unique snowflakes. Each of us is special. Each of us is unique. But we're among millions of other special unique beings. There it all turns on what it means to be special and unique and what it means to be like everyone else. And that might be something that differs from person to person based on everything from experience to theology.

That's why groups and friendships often form among those who are "different" in similar ways.

As far as Scott's post, I haven't read a lot lately, so don't know if his general posting style has changed, but I read what he said as something cool and detached but not unsupportive. Sort of the sort of thing Dr. Bob tells me sometimes that does indeed make me feel like he said "Don't let the door hit you on the way out." Even though I know intellectually that he isn't issuing me an invitation to leave. I took Scott's statement more as something like "Only you can know whether Babble feels safe to you or not. You need to assess that. Does disagreement and pressing each other's buttons make you feel unsafe? Because that's often enough happened here that it's likely to continue to happen. Can you feel safe when that happens? Can you find a way of feeling safe when people are upset at what you've said?" I didn't see his original statement as angry or rejecting, just an intellectual provocation to thought. Just as PC didn't mean her post as an indictment on Alex's posts lately, Scott didn't mean his post as bullying or an invitation to leave. It's just that we all are interpreting things in accord with what we each "hear", not what each of us "said".

I'm stating what I'm "hearing", which isn't necessarily what you're "saying" of course. So if I have any of you wrong, I hope you'll correct me - with the basic idea that I don't think any of you meant to cause anyone else any pain.

It was an unfortunate misunderstanding I think. But I also think that in a much smaller and self contained Babble it might be a good idea for each of us to stop and try to reassess what we've just "heard". I know Alex, and PC, and Scott. I don't think any of you meant any harm. So I ask all of you to stop and talk - really talk - to one another with the idea that what you "heard" isn't necessarily what was "said". All of us are special and unique, but we all have to live with one another here. We're special and unique, we bring our own sensibilities. But we are all in this together with our and everyone else's sensibilities and life experiences and interpretations. We are special snowflakes in a very small and increasingly small community of snow. We don't want *anyone* to feel like they aren't part of this community or that their viewpoint isn't valued - even if it isn't agreed with - as long as it is respectful to others. I don't see any of what was originally said as disrespectful to others. It isn't until *reactions* got into the dialogue that it got less respectful.




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