Life is what happens when you have other plans

Sometimes I think that I’m a generally clueless maybe even naive person, always caught off guard by the things occurring around me. And now, belatedly saddened by the things occurring around me. I’m troubled by the events of the past few days, alluded to, whispered about, bandied about really – by people who actually know nothing but ‘what they’ve been told.’ If I had a linden for every time in the last few days I’ve seen someone state in that hotbed of intrigue, Plurk, “I heard that this person did this or that” I’d be SLrich. It’s almost impossible to defend ones self against a rumor. There is no proof. There is only, “well my friend such and such told me this or that, and of course I love this person dearly and they’d never lie.” Or, my other favorite generalized statement, ‘this person is crazy (or a moron, or a thief, please fill in the blank.)” Oh rly? I’m still waiting to see the proof of all these various allegations. And so should you before you say more or share the statement with someone else. Did you know that there are REAL people in SL? No really it’s true. We’re all anonymous of course. Which is nice. But our very interaction within SL creates a persona, a brand, a reputation that over time, becomes something that we wish to protect. Or, give up on protecting because the pain, anger and sadness of trying to deny a rumor becomes too much. At present I’m sitting in my family room, typing this on my laptop computer while my avatar, or the virtual representation of my REAL SELF, is sitting in the particle lab on Teal. See, here’s the thing, I’m a real person. I have real feelings, I am by turns jealous, angry, and happy, I have faults, habits, and doubts. Oh and I can be hurt.

People perhaps criticizing my work, or making denigrating statements about things I like can hurt me, or the people I care about. And I can react in a variety of ways that are available to this virtual world that we live in – I can create a blog post, make a Plurk entry, make a statement in the SLForums, shoot tiny pastes like little atom bombs all over the interwebs, IM everyone on my friends list, etc. about this hurt I have. I can just let it go, if I want. It’s too terribly easy to do this.

Over the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to many, many people, about many, many things, and I’ve been struck by several things. Five different people will perceive the same event in different ways, myself included. I’ve been able to witness first hand, the hurt and pain that can be caused by baseless rumors and innuendo. And I guess I want to say this – Think. Please stop and think about the rumors, the stories you hear. Challenge them. Challenge the person who’s telling it. Ask questions – don’t accept – ask to see the evidence of their statements. Because the truth is this – the next time a rumor runs rampant like a destructive wild fire through peoples lives, it could be you or the people who you love that are burned. And like me, you too could lose a friend.

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11 thoughts on “Life is what happens when you have other plans

  1. As always a fantastic picture and some very true words that need to be said. 🙂 Having you as a friend is a blessing.

  2. I think when I first started blogging, I took things at face value. But I’ve seen things and people accused of things which later were found to have no basis in fact. I am the kind of person who votes but has no political affiliations. It’s the same in SL. I am so busy on weekends that I missed whatever accusations everyone seems to be going on about. (or its something which maybe I already dismissed as drama..)

    I remember a song from the 80’s called the politics of dancing… just because someone puts something out there doesn’t mean it’s true.
    and even if it is …. everyone has the right to speak.

  3. But just because you can say something, doesn’t mean you should. I so agree that people should always remember that a human being is behind every Avi. The power of words is very strong. We need to not be careless in how we use them..

  4. Yes, I think that’s point I’m trying to make – that words are powerful, and we are all real people sitting behind the keyboard. Thank you for your comment!

  5. Wow! It’s like you were just looking into my head Mouse! I’m sure I have no idea what the current *drama* is and I’m sure it’s probably best but I’m also sure …. most people forget the power of the pen.

    As long as there are roses there will be thorns.

  6. Yes, it’s so easy to forget that actual people are behind the avatars – not omniscient people who make the rules or set the standards. It’s important (I think) to have a questioning mind – challenge everything – and not just in Second Life. Thank you so much for the comment.

  7. Very well said. I’ve been challenging people to do the same thing for the past week, but it seems to be easier to let others make your minds up for you. God forbid someone have a differing opinion and dare to go against the herd. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and may more people begin to see the light. *hugs*

  8. Really terrific post, Mouse … and you are definitely not alone. I’ve been more troubled in recent days than I usually am. I think you hit on one of the things that is tremendously powerful in these situations, but I’m not sure we have always recognized it. I have a difference of opinion about the character of a person with someone who is extraordinarily dear to me, whom I trust completely. He bases his opinion on information he has received from someone he likes and respects and has known for some time. She has heard things from someone else who she trusts… well — you get the idea. I don’t think you could take one person in that chain and charge them with anything nefarious … yet I think what comes out at the end is a horrible, tortured version of the old “gossip” game many of us played as a child. Altho’ I am reluctant to disagree with the judgment of someone I love and respect — I really, truly can only go with my own experience — it is just all I’ve got. Thanks again for putting your thoughts out there. (and LOVELY picture)

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