Thursday, April 12, 2007

On Comments and Kindness

Have you checked out Cara's post today on blogging? Go check it out if you have not.

Lot to think about.

I know I don't have thick enough skin to ask readers to 'bring it on' and give me even constructive criticism based solely on what they read here. While I think you can get a general feeling about a person based on their writing you can not get the whole story of what is going on in their life. There are always going to be things that people do not blog about, that they should probably not blog about. It's really a fine line.

Regarding nasty comments.

I really don't get the need to leave mean comments. I'm more of the if you have nothing kind to say just keep your mouth shut persuasion. If the person is not hurting anyone else then just remove them from your reading list and move on.

I would like to think that I have not left any mean comments in other people's blogs. At least not intentionally. I know I've left some foolish ones, but never ones out of spite or to defame.

I try to keep my comments positive and supportive. There is so much angst and crap already in everyday life. Who wants more in their blog comments?

Knitting is incredibly therapeutic for me. I have things going on in my life, like everyone else, that I don't blog about. It's a really thin line that I walk deciding what to share and what to keep private. I really value the creative outlet that my knitting and this blog gives me. I get to write about my projects, post pictures and receive feedback.

Thankfully the feedback has been positive.

I know that not all of my projects are stellar. I don't knit with super expensive yarn. I don't always fix my mistakes. And yes I knit in acrylic from time to time.

But I'm enjoying myself. I'm keeping my hands and brain busy. Knitting helps me calm my brain so I don't fret so much about my worries. Even my most heinous, botched acrylic FO's bring me a bit of joy.

So I want to thank everyone who has left me such kind comments over the past year or so since I started receiving comments. I've found the knit blogging community to very friendly and supportive.

I'm going to wrap this post up with two memories and a quote that I lifted from Cara's post today honoring Kurt Vonnegut's passing.

I heard Vonnegut speak my freshman year of college at Wittenberg University. He spoke in one of the gymnasiums behind a simple podium in front of rows of folding chairs. A girlfriend and I got there early so we could sit in the front. I want to say we were in at least the second row if not the front so we had a nice unobstructed view.

I'll admit don't don't remember a lot of detail from his talk but I do remember feeling that he would make a charming Grandfather. He had this slightly gruff, yet warm, cantankerous, yet gentle manner.

My sister Allison heard Vonnegut speak six years later when she was a freshman in college at Ohio Wesleyan. We were emailing back and forth today as we usually do. I asked her if she had heard of his passing and she said yes. She remembered seeing him standing outside Grey Chapel smoking like 20 cigarettes. Ok, not as warm and fuzzy a memory but she did say she enjoyed his talk and thought he was cool.

I leave you with the quote Cara found through the NYT obituary for Vonnegut.

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”
You never know what is going on behind the scenes in the lives of your fellow bloggers. A kind word can really make someone's day.


Reyn Lee said...

Interesting blog...
check mine out @
Reyn Lee

Kim said...

Karen, I completely agree with your comments on Cara's post. That is exactly how I feel. I have found the knit blogging community to be very supportive and I'm not really sure I understand the need for mean comments. I knit to relax, not cut others down.

Sourire11 said...

very interesting discussions going on - thanks for sharing!

I don't really understand the negativity either but I do know that alot can be lost in translation over the internets because of the lack of facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. It's almost as if we need some new punctuation marks to make up for the lack of feeling in on line correspondance.