I’ve known Bruce Gerencser for several years now. As fellow ex-Christians we have a lot in common.
He’s jumped in and out of blogging over the years. Every time he goes away again I feel sad, but I’m also pretty sure that he’ll be back once he’s gotten a better handle on the things that cause him to step away.
Bruce has always publicly responded to his critics. Recently it happened so much that one of his readers told him to stop giving them so much attention. (No, that reader wasn’t me. I don’t tell other bloggers what to write about unless they specifically ask for ideas. 🙂 )
All of his posts make me think, but that one in particular has been rattling around in my mind this past week. My personality is quite different from Bruce’s. He (usually) enjoys jumping into the fray. I stay the heck away from it.
But even the angriest comments or emails are an invitation, not a summons.
You can respond to them in a public post.
You can write back privately.
You can ignore them entirely. (Well, unless it’s a Howler).
I don’t blame Bruce for responding to his critics. If I received as much hate mail as he does, I’d be really tempted to get sucked into it as well.
There’s real freedom to be found in exploring all of your options, though, and silence is always one of them.
5 Responses to It’s an Invitation, Not a Summons
Thanks for the mention, Lydia. For every critic I pay attention to, I ignore ten. 🙂 Especially those who email me. I usually don’t email them back because I don’t want them to have my email address. Jason and I were talking the other day about what is called the “call out” culture. People take to blogs, emails, comments, forums, letters to the editor, etc and call me out. Being a fighter, there’s that personality difference, I want to respond to every person who calls me out. But, I am learning, well at least I hope I am learning, that not every a**h**e deserves a response. I try to be judicious, but, as you know, I can let them get under my skin. When this happens, I am on dangerous ground. Physically and mentally, I am not strong enough to engage in protracted battles. Like with Joshua Whipps. I could have went back and forth with him for weeks. But, to what end?
I consider you a friend. If you see me getting out of sorts, I hope you will tell me. You can even tell we what to write. 🙂
*could have gone 😉
You really should moonlight as an editor, LOL.
I consider you a friend as well Bruce. Now that I know you’re ok with it I’ll give you a heads up if I think you’re engaging with your critics too much in the future. 🙂