A reader had the following comment regarding my April blog about Filipino ego:
- "From my 3 year experience here in the Philippines, I completely agree with you. I'm surprised you were [not] flooded with hate mail. Because that always happens to me if I speak up about certain issues."
The ego article link is here.
The comment caused me to muse about why that might be, that I do not get a lot of hate mail.
Now when I was commenting on Get Real Post, the GRP thugs would come at me relentlessly, like bees from a hive I had knocked about. And way back on Filipino Voices, I'd be told to go back to America. One attorney repeated the call often.
Yet, on my own site, the criticism is fairly thin and isolated. Mostly people agree or reinforce my ideas with observations of their own. Certainly very, very few people come at me with the venom of those GRP thugs, Parallelaxe, trosp, dude and a few others.
So I got to thinking about the matter of courage and numbers. Like, when I pass one guy on the sidewalk, he ignores me. If I pass two, one may mutter something to the other. If I pass three, one is very likely to yell "Hey Joe", or crack a joke to his buddies about my height (6'4"). If I pass four or more, I can be assured that one in the bunch will turn the monkey, prancing about to amuse his buddies at my expense.
So did I get a lot of crap at GRP because people knew they were in the presence of their supporting thugs? They'd get some help if they got into a pissing match?
And are readers silent or polite here at the Society of Honor because it is one on one? Or are they simply not that confident of their English and don't want to mix it up with a guy who wields his words like a finely honed stiletto? Or are they polite visitors to my "house", refraining from tracking mud onto the tiles?
I'd like to think my readership is not shy or humble or fearful. Some of my articles get good readership but few comments. Even when the articles are shrill and certainly open to criticism. So I have no idea what mental mischief is going on in the silence. I can't help thinking I am missing some good ideas, even if they are opposed to my own.
And if someone doesn't do English well, how hard is it to type: "You're full of it on this one, JoeAm"? Or they can read me the riot act in Tagalog and I'll get my sweet translator to unwind it for me.
Well, I don't know why people aren't harder on me here, but I do have a "self-improvement" exercise for you. To prove to yourself and me that this is not a matter of "courage", but a matter of choice.
Sometime during the month of July, I'd like you to read what I write, find something you think is not accurate or could be stated better, and tell me so.
Yes, I'm asking for criticism.
It is good practice for me, you know, to figure out how to respond constructively to a comment that I might easily take non-constructively. That, too, is choice. When criticized, a person can take the criticism as negative or positive, rejecting it or reflecting on it.
And it will be good for you to be frank, forward, direct. Don't let sleeping dogs lie. Kick one now and then. Be a man!
Unless, of course, you are a woman.
And if I respond badly, the ball is in your court. You can take my remark and try to wend it down a constructive path instead of embark on one of those win/lose esteem battles you see so much of hereabouts.
We can both practice being direct and constructive , yet considerate, instead of defensive and emotional.
That's my idea. That's the reason I issue this challenge:
I double dog dare you to pick my writing apart. To tell me I'm wrong, to tell me I only have a small part of a big picture, to tell me my thinkin' is stinkin'. Whatever.
July is "Jaw at Joe" Month.