In publishing a blog, one meets many new people. Some are very sociable and some are not. Some have very clear ideas, others tend to stay on a dividing line never committing themselves to any idea or philosophy. In any case, although sometimes we blame social media for keeping people at home for too long, yet one does meet a lot of people. Meeting other people there is the chance of forming up a community especially when we share our main goal.

We are very happy that we have formed a very large ‘online’ community. We stick to the definition ‘community’ because we are growing up together in a spiritual way. Growing up could create problems though, as terminology, because indirectly it might imply that others are still infants or very young. In one sense, community explains our spiritual welfare but in other cases we prefer the term ‘journey’.

When one travels to another part of the country or a different country, one meets new customs, people, way of life etc….it doesn’t mean that others who are not travelling at the moment are less or more. Maybe they have travelled earlier, or they have travelled to another country. The main meaning is that we are discovering. We are in no position to feel better or worse than others. In fact reading some of the experiences of some readers have helped us to understand what was practically hidden for many years or better centuries!

Once a famous author (of which I have forgotten the name!), has said that relatives are the most people who might hurt us!!! Why? Because when we are close to a person, we get to know that person in a deep way. Now a person is very complex. There are various levels of growth and emotions. Obviously one day or another we are going to disagree. Shall we stop the relationship? Shall we try to convert him/her to our ideas? Shall we tell the person to shut up? Shall we go away? Shall we label her/him? Shall we accept him/her as he/she is?

These are all possible scenarios that we could find ourselves in. We do remember another famous author who once said that before one goes into discussion, one tries to remember that when we start a discussion we try to look for new ideas or for a different aspect which we have not taken into consideration. The main point is that what is so dear for us, for another person might be meaningless!!! We do not hold all the truth in our hands! We do realise that this is a very high goal to achieve because many discussions online turn into anything except the true meaning of the word discussion!

We know that some people online, maybe because their face is hidden, turn into bullies! They try to silence any opposition with their choice of words! Others feel that other people are given them a bad name or judging them. Others feel offended as soon as other people might disagree with their opinion. Some of our readers might feel offended why we did let other people express themselves in such a way. Yes we do acknowledge that some people need to change their choice of words or better, be more diplomatic when they are expressing themselves, but if we start to edit people’s opinion we would be on a dangerous mission because then who is going to decide what to publish and what not to publish? And on what grounds?

Others are really creative when they build up a whole story on a single comment….practically they give us the impression that there is a whole army against them! Unfortunately they don’t realise that it’s their mind who is playing games. Somebody wrote a comment…let’s stop there. Let’s not build a series of comments just on what he/she might imply with his/her comments!!!!

Some people give the impression that everybody has to agree with their ideas! Others think that whatever Mr X or Ms Y writes, is referring to them!! Some people in the USA live with a different mentality: sue people for things shared online. Well in Europe things are different. We do not sue people because we believe in the freedom of expression. To sue people is the same as killing all kind of discussion. In that case it’s better not to participate in any kind of discussion. Stay at home and build a fairy tale castle where everything takes place according to your own wishes!

All this points to an important point: we need to learn what a public forum or discussion on the internet means.

Educating adult people does not mean to teach them by heart some principles (as we used to think!). It’s a journey where they experience life and they form up their own principles. We cannot impose our values and principles. We try to give witness to what we believe. Jesus was the perfect teacher, yet not everybody listened to His message. So we can’t expect a better answer from our listeners!

On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that those who do not abide by our own way of thinking are bad or worse than us!!! The Vatican Council II has written a wonderful document dealing with the church in the world today. We should be in a dialogue with the ‘world’ (=people who believe differently). Condemning is not our option. Actually that is God’s work because He knows everything and sees everything.

One last note: all comments are vetted by me. This is because there is a lot of marketing going on. If we let readers to write directly on the blog, there would hundreds of them promoting any kind of product. So if your comment takes some time to appear it’s because I’m doing something else at the moment (I have to earn my living too because this blog is voluntary and it doesn’t pay my bills).

May God bless you all and thanks for forming up one single community notwithstanding that we might not agree on certain terms/ideas etc…

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