Sunday, April 12, 2009

On being hated... and loved

I recently found myself embroiled in a bitter exchange of emails with someone whose anger I had unintentionally aroused. It got pretty ugly.

I mentioned to my family that I was taking flak from someone I didn't even know, and they of course, reacted with the sort of indignation that families are known for. I more or less expected that.

What I didn't expect was the reaction I got on Twitter. I didn't want to burden my followers with the tawdry details (nor will I do so with you). I simply said that I had come under fire from a hater. I got immediate public and private messages of support.

One person said: Let us know who it is Karyn - you roll with a large crew....
Another said: Try not to feed it. Their problem.

A few offered help. What could they do, they asked. Kathy Sierra, who knows more about this kind of thing than anyone, sent messages of encouragement, which I deeply appreciated. Most of the private messages told me how valued I was. Some even said that it hurt them to think of a person like me being treated badly by anyone. How sweet is that?

It made me realise that I have come to matter to my Twitter friends. That we have moved beyond a shared interest in learning-related stuff.

Thanks, guys. I am deeply touched.

The exchange of emails (for reasons I won't go into), took me on a trip back down through the years of my life. I had an unhappy childhood and, to make matters worse, I made some pretty poor choices along the way. I should be a wreck. I should be miserable. I have experienced more than my fair share of body blows along the way. But I am not. I am actually quite a cheerful soul, with more bounce than the average rubber ball. My life is a million miles away from where I was heading. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know about my faith, and will know why I believe this is so. But the point is that many (most?) of us don't turn out the way people expect we will.

Don't write anyone off, okay - 'specially not today. Today is a Resurrection Sunday. Whether or not you share my faith, this is a day which represents a complete turnaround from defeat to victory.

I have shaken off the hatred which flooded my inbox for a while, and I choose to embrace all the affirmations of genuine affection which followed it.

As I said: bounce.


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