Again, this is a post I wrote a while back, but in light of some things I’ve read, mainly today, I feel it necessary to go ahead and bring this one out and dust it off.
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Being in the public eye, a person has certain expectations imposed upon him or her. Temper tantrums are out. Screaming hissy fits are out. Calm, cool, and polite no matter what one is up against is all the rage. But, we’re human. We feel the normal range of emotions just like everyone else. We experience hurt and heartache, joy and anger. Being human is something we can’t change, but being in the position we are, I think it’s important to learn how to separate oneself from the emotion and see the calmer side of things.
There is definitely an art to it. One must learn to recognize when it’s wise to open the mouth and let it fly and when it’s best to step back and keep the trap shut. All too often, we see people in the public eye behave badly and make a very public ass of themselves. It is avoidable…well, for some. It’s taken me quite a bit of time to learn when to curb what I say and how I react. There are times, when this is more difficult to accomplish than others, but I continue to strive for that professional demeanor. Sometimes I’m a bit more successful at it than at others.
It’s perfectly fine to think someone is a complete idiot–it’s not okay to tell that person he or she is an idiot, especially in the day and age of technology because it will get out that you lowered yourself to that level. It’s entirely possible to get your point across without actually saying the words. Words are our friends, not our enemies and the meaning is all in the usage.
Sadly, it’s the scandals that get the good buzz, but you have to ask yourself is being cast in a negative light really worth it? Not for me. I prefer to stay obscure than to go down in history as the author who made an utter fool of herself because she couldn’t keep her mouth shut.
What does this have to do with? Nothing and yet everything. This has been the year of publishers going under and authors behaving badly. I will not name names, because I refuse to go there. I’ve had some issues of my own to deal with, and yet I have done my very best to remain cool headed in the face of adversary. Maybe I haven’t always remained as calm as I should have, but that goes back to that I’m only human bit I wrote about further up in this blog entry. My point is, there is a way to behave and conduct yourself in the public forum and there is a way not to behave and conduct yourself in the public forum.
Only you can make that choice–only you can make yourself look the fool. Don’t let others provoke you. Be the better person. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stand up for yourself, because you should, just think it out calmly and carefully before putting yourself out there. Time passes but memories last–and on the internet, the juicy bits don’t go away–they merely blend in with the numerous Google pages–but if one is persistent enough, it can be found again.
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And a bit I just added today. I’ll be nice and fix my typos that I missed when I originally posted the comment earlier today. Tomorrow, I’ll post an essay I wrote in college a couple of years ago (2 years ago Oct. 26th, in fact) that I feel ties in with the bit below.
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Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. It’s not for any one person to decide who is wrong and who is right since there can often times be more than one right way of thinking. It’s part of what makes us human and different. Words are just words–strings of letters put together to form a meaning. The message we give to others is determined by how we use our words. Some use words to hurt; others use them to educate or entertain. It’s the nature of the beast.
I think in some cases, people need to learn to ignore things and forget the person saying them even exists rather than to react and add fuel to the flames. Threatening lawsuits without proper knowledge of how the legal system works, makes one look idiotic and more like a petulant child than a rational, logically thinking adult. To me, the post is a reminder to stop and think about what is being said and who it’s being said by before retaliating. The words being used are a slave to the wielder and cannot be held accountable for how they are used–they are after all, only words.
The topic to which this is a comment can be found here at Dear Author–but be warned, the comments do not all relate to the post’s subject.