Some of the criticisms were downright nasty and personal, and had nothing to do with the article I wrote. In one instance, one reader, upon seeing my picture, commented that I must be a "rich snob" who could easily "spew my views from an ivory tower." Another one commented I look "like a Mongoloid," while another dismissed my article on the first paragraph alone because I declared I wasn't that interested in sports and following teams around.
Then there are those that take the opposite view only because they know my style of writing and the topics I like to discuss; in other words, their opposition is still rooted in who wrote it, and not what I wrote about. Their comments begin with "I've seen his other articles...why do you even publish his pieces?" Or they even question editorial decisions by stating "you're really lowering your standards by allowing this fluff piece to be posted."
I take it all in. I have to.
Not because I am a masochist, but because it makes me realize that in this big, vast world, putting it out there can be returned with unpleasant words or ghastly reactions. Some of them don't even make sense, but by putting my posts up not just in my own blog but to a wider audience, I cannot be accused of simply "preaching to the choir" as my blog readers would make an effort to read my posts.
(Courtesy of the guardian.com)
And I stand in awe of every writer, musician, painter, artist who had the courage to state, convey and communicate what was in their heart and mind, knowing that by doing so, they can be ridiculed, made fun of, dismissed and branded a nuisance and time-waster. They have forged on because they needed to be expressed, these thoughts, songs, sculptures, and while public acclaim is great when you can get it, it is this ability to express one's insides, guts and all, that makes it worthy of doing, over and over.
Not everyone can do this, I realize now. If in some small measure, I was able to give a voice to those who thought like me but are unable to do so, for whatever reason, then I will have done my craft service.
And I thank all those who have taken time out to read my thoughts - and expressing their reactions - because what matters is that by doing so, we have made a connection.
That is a gift I am truly grateful for.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill