The vitriolic response to my post yesterday met my expectations for my social experiment. I really hoped to be proven wrong, but a trend I’ve seen in larger forums was confirmed in the intimate community that is this blog.
I want to say thank you very much to those who reached out and told me deeply personal things about your own situations that were none of my business. Those words came from a deep well of compassion. You embody the little hope that I have that our world could one day be better.
Yesterday, I wrote:
I was disappointed by the lack of response to that post. I can think of a lot of very valid reasons why people chose not to contribute and so that’s not what bothers me. What does bother me is that the post was almost completely ignored.
The comments I got yesterday completely ignored that, but gave me exactly what I was hoping to get from the original post,. So I guess I should thank you, too, after all?
I am going to address comments right here so that they and my responses are not lost.
Linda in NE wrote:
I will admit that this one rubbed me the wrong way. Instead of going into all that I would suggest that your friend really research the cost of living in blue vs. red states. I believe she will find the cost of living much lower in the red states.
Jersey, also a very long-time friend of Bast’s, responded to that:
Red states are THE poorest in the nation. Their social programs generally are awful and likely to get much worse. In many Blue states, there is better public transport outside the cities, more job options, better township, county, state social services. Perhaps Linda wouldn’t have made that comment if she’d known Bast has lived all over the US, and is well aware of cost of living.
Thank you, Jersey!
I will only speak for myself. I ‘ignored’ that post because it was ridiculous.
Ridiculous: deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd.
Yes, you’re right that it is deserving of derision and mockery and absolutely absurd that a family living in the Western world cannot get access to things like healthcare and food.
Yet you eat out in restaurants frequently, at least once every couple days – something our family rarely does, because to us, that’s a major luxury.
I really love when people comment on how much I eat out without considering the rest of my budget or their own budget for that matter. It shows the exact kind of tunnel vision that I expected.
But you feel it’s okay to ask your readers/friends for cash to fund your causes? And when no one responds you feel ignored. The word that comes to mind is hypocrite.
Hypocrite: a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
Being a hypocrite would be bringing up this basic income idea without contributing to it. Shall I show you how much I have helped Bast and her family over the last 15 years or so? Even when I literally have had no food in the house, I have always had more than them and have given them what I could.
Why are you judging your readers/friends?
If you are feeling judged, that is very telling.
And to me, this sentence from your post says a lot. “I was really hoping to go do a Women’s March today, but really couldn’t get away…”
Try freelancing for a couple of years and turning down a huge job for a major client after a month-long dry spell to go marching instead, and then come back to me on this.
Marched in San Diego today with a bad knee and hip. Just brought my cane and took it slow.
And then Cindy Brick came in with a lot of ideas of how to survive without a furnace. Bandaid solutions for a greater issue.
I do not feel ashamed or chastened or angry this morning reading your comments. No, I genuinely feel sorry for those of you who are utterly lacking in compassion and unable to see past your own past situations. I shouldn’t have to say this again, but I will — I’m not talking about the lack of financial contribution. What saddens me is that instead of saying, “Wow, I’m sorry this family has gone through this. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for them to swallow their pride and let you do this,” you felt an appropriate response was to call the request ridiculous, hypocritical, and ignorant. Please take a long look at yourselves.
What will stay with me most about this experiment is an email that I received after my original post that detailed why this reader had decided to contribute. You know who you are and I cherish that email. I don’t think it’s right to reproduce it here, even without citing you, as I believe you would have commented if you had meant for it to be shared. But I will say it is one lovely missive that embodies the spirit of my request and that it trumps every one of the hateful comments I received thereafter. You are a flame of hope in a very, very, very dark age. Please keep that fire going as it is badly needed.