Comments and personal e-mails are welcome
After I posted and added comments to the previous entry, “A request to readers,” I said to my friend/caregiver/angel that I’d bet many readers would interpret it to mean that I did not want to receive any more e-mails. My intuition was instantly confirmed when, a few minutes later, my friend received an e-mail from another friend in England saying that he was writing to her rather than me because I had indicated that I did not want to receive anymore e-mails! Of course that was not my intention. I enjoy hearing from friends and readers. I was speaking of specific types of bothersome emails, which I specifically described, mainly comments in which the correspondent is focused on his own preoccupations, his own worries about me, his sense of inadequacy in finding the right words to say to me, and so on; or is outright hostile to me.
Look at it this way. When a friend or family member is seriously ill and you visit or call him, do you focus the conversation on him and his situation, saying things to comfort him, to entertain him, to distract him, to make him feel better; or do you talk about yourself, about your worries and grief about him, about your painful sense of inadequacy in finding appropriate words to say to him? If the latter, you are caring more about yourself than him. Or do you ask him to provide a report on how’s he’s doing? That’s inconsiderate. To give a complete health update to each person who asks would be an enormous and redundant task. That’s why I periodically give health updates at the site, so all readers can known what’s going on.
Or—a Seinfeld-type question—when you learn that a relative has brain cancer and is likely to die soon, do you call him on your cell phone while you are driving in your car and then right in the middle of the conversation about his mortal illness interrupt the call to take another call? When you do that, you are sending a message that don’t really value him, contradicting the ostensible purpose of your call. A niece did that to me a few weeks ago. And she’s no kid; she’s 41 years old.
In any case, with the exception of the dysfunctional and self-absorbed e-mails I’ve described, e-mails are of course as welcome as ever.
It’s funny. People regularly praise me for the clarity and the lack of troublesome ambiguity in my writing. Yet in reading me they jump to some imaginary conclusion as to what I mean, rather than trying to understand what I am so clearly stating.
Last night before going to bed, for some reason I decided to watch a Seinfeld re-run for the first time in at least five years. What was one of plot-lines in this episode? Jerry giving Elaine a hard time for calling her grieving friend on a cell phone and later for taking another call while on the phone with the same grieving friend. No doubt it was pure chance (hah!).Doug H. writes:
You are a clear and precise writer and despite all your work at being clear and precise sometimes you are misunderstood Ah but that’s only in the small moments, only with a sentence or two, someone is bound to read you wrong.“Charles Martel” writes:
I have been a reader of your blog for several years but have never written. I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and how much it has meant to me. While your political insights are incisive and profound I’ve been most impressed by your kindness, tolerance, and forgiveness when dealing with insensitive or unkind communications. Those attributes are difficult to muster under the most ideal circumstances and even more so given your current situation.LA replies:
As you can plainly see, I am not always forbearing, forgiving, and tolerant. When someone goes over the line I deal with him accordingly.Rick Darby writes:
How could anyone with the intellectual resources to follow your writings misunderstand what you wrote? Clarity has always been one of your strengths.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 12, 2013 12:27 PM | Send