|Who's Looking - thursday 2002-10-17 0413
|last modified 2006-01-29 0407
|TrackBacks Sent: None
The mysterious journal reader has been discovered, along with another mysterious reader. It was like putting out a bird feeder to wait for an up close look at robins and getting a blue jay as well (but I'm no ornithologist, so pardon me if robins and blue jays don't live near each other or don't eat the same things). Nice to meet you two, hope I haven't disturbed or offended or anything - yet...
I'm mildly surprised that people read my journal because I don't write it for anyone in particular, besides me. I'm realizing that I should be watching my words much more closely, though. Today the owner of a grocery store inside the MIT Student Center contacted me via my contact form because he'd searched on Google and found this entry, which bears no relation to him, but at the end I commented with a parody of my words to talk about his store, in response to someone else's comment. Apparently, that comment is all he read, because he wanted to know why I was organizing a protest against a non-existent 'propaganda machine' (I since removed the comment in full, though his summary was about right). It may seem ridiculous that anyone would believe imminent riots were about to occur over poor service at a grocery store, but I guess that's what happens when things get read out of context. It got me thinking - if that's all anybody reads on my site, in particular this man - they're going to think very lowly of me, even if what I wrote wasn't serious.
I've been thinking about Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 10:22-23 off and on, about how "'everything is permissible' -- but not everything is beneficial." My words about the grocery store weren't meant to hurt, but whether they did or not, they sure didn't help.
It's broader than just words. Lots of things can be permissible in a moral sense, but if they don't help anyone at all, then why do them, if something that is helpful can be done? I don't like it when people say something isn't hurting anyone, precisely because they could put in the extra caring to try to help someone instead of following the status quo. Usually those 'people' really just means me. It's easy for me to get stuck just doing unharmful, permissible things and not going the extra mile to do the beneficial things. I'm finding I'd rather not settle into that easy road.