Monday, December 7, 2009
Apparently I Hit A Nerve
What a weird few days.
I did a radio show with my boss on a hot-button issue and the heavens split asunder, raining warm and fuzzy fan mail, while the earth's core also opened and hate emails were vomited forth in a seemingly endless stream. All aimed at me.
I'm the most eloquent voice on the issue. I'm a liar. I do an outstanding job and am an asset to the region. I'm a moron. I got my facts all wrong. I did a wonderful job explaining the issue. I should be featured more regularly. I should never be invited again.
I'm used to being in the public eye in a small way. This is way beyond my comfort zone.
It makes me realize just what the hot seat feels like. Very, very uncomfortable. It's not just where celebrities sizzle - it's where anyone who takes a side in a polarizing issue is tossed. Even if you don't take a side, someone will assume you did if you are put out in front and told to start dancing.
There are a couple of possible reactions. Mine is to withdraw. I'm not crazy about confrontation and if an argument can't be civil I just don't want to be part of it.
Others find it exhilarating - there's nothing like a good fight to get the blood pumping. Perhaps there are some who can maintain an emotional distance and simply debate the issue, refusing to get drawn into the heat and the venom. I'd like to be more like that, but I take it personally when I'm attacked.
I know plenty of people who take no prisoners when someone gets in their face; they don't take the first bite, but once bitten they turn into wolverines. It's very effective with bullies. I am horrified and secretly a bit envious.
I imagine it would feel really, really satisfying to bite back.
But that goes against my vision of what this life is supposed to be about. So I keep it civil. I maintain my outward poise. And I think I truly do make a horrible mistake every time I venture beyond my mailbox.