Standing up

I wrote a blog. It was about the election and my fears of a Trump presidency. I posted it on Facebook. A few people read it.  Some commented. It was by no means earth shattering or controversial or even particularly well articulated. It was a blog post among many other such mundane posts about my life – and then, 10 days ago, this happened.

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Umm…no…not that – though pineapple on pizza is objectively good and my family needs to let me order it for the love of..!

This.

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Samhita – You are an embarrassment to your family, community and school. Please shut your big mouth and stop acting like a cry baby! Canada is only 3 hours away! See ya!

My 13 year old daughter got the mail and opened it thinking it was a holiday card.

And now I’m torn. On one hand I’m angry – only cowards leave an anonymous note. On the other I’m freaked out – are my kids safe?

I don’t want to ignore this and allow a bully with an inability to correctly use Oxford commas – intimidate me into silence. On the other hand, this person knows where I live with my family. Do I have the right to make that decision for them?

I want my kids to learn that you must stand up for yourself and not be scared to speak your mind. You have the right to express opinions civilly and the responsibility to do so on behalf of those who cannot speak. On the other hand, how angry is this person? Angry enough to write an anonymous note, look up my address, and mail it. Angry enough to go further?

I come from a family of Navy and Army and police officers, of freedom fighters, and teachers. I’ve never backed down without a fight for something I truly believed in and I have never really taken kindly to any attempts to bully me – as close to a superpower as I’m going to get (other than the ability to wake up at 4 am no matter when I slept). On the other hand, this is my kids we’re taking about.

You think I was overreacting? You think I’m a cry baby? You think I’m an embarrassment? I.Wrote.A.Blog.

You wrote an anonymous piece of hate mail.

Also, I sign everything I write, even the embarrassing posts. Writing a hateful note and not signing it just says to me that you are uninterested in civil discourse. The only thing that interested you was to lash out at me like a petulant child – which isn’t altogether surprising considering the petulant child for whom you voted.

For 10 days now I’ve imagined whom you could be – which I guess is the point of an anonymous note. You could be a complete stranger, you could be a colleague, you could be a student, you could be a neighbor, you could be the parent of my kids’ friends – all various degrees of unsettling options.

And then I went on vacation with my family, and I visited peaceful monasteries with waving prayer flags and the teachings of the Buddha painted on the walls, and I breathed in the crisp mountain air, and I took in the majesty of the centuries old Himalayas……and I relaxed. Because I realized that unsettling as receiving this note was – it’s nothing in comparison to how truly unsettled I must have made you, to write it in the first place.

So I’m not going to spend any more energy or time on trying to figure out who you are – it’s not worth my peace of mind. You are not going to make me distrust people – I love them too much. You are not going to prevent me from speaking my mind – I’ve got 44 years of practice doing it.

And you are not going to be a drain on my karma – the Buddha says to give “boundless love” to the world. It’s a little too soon for that, but I leave you fellow human, with many wishes for peace and joy.

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2 comments

  1. I’m most impressed by your willingness to voice your thoughts and admit your own idiocracies all in one conversation with yourself. I for one will remain an innocent and sometimes victimized bystander to your bloggerings realizing, my friend, that by pointing out the ridiculousness of our world, you encourage thoughts over actions, find peace, and avoid going “postal”. Besides, if someone is offended by what you say, just imagine how they’d feel about what you keep to yourself…!!! Protect your family by reporting this to the police and your school administration. Little may be done, but it should be documented. Peace!!!

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