Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Feathers In The Wind

There's an old story about a man who gossiped about someone he knew. He only repeated things he had heard about the man, but he later discovered that the rumors were not true and felt bad about what he had said. So he went to his rabbi to ask the wise man what he should do.

"Take your best feather pillow up to the top of that hill," said the rabbi, "and rip it open. Scatter the feathers to the wind."

The man did as he was asked and returned to the rabbi. "It is done, Rabbi," he said.

The rabbi replied, "Now go and gather up all the feathers from the pillow and sew it back up again."

"But Rabbi," protested the man, "the wind has blown the feathers all over town! They will be in every yard and every field, and some of them may be lost forever!"

"So are your idle words," replied the rabbi. "You cannot get them back once you have scattered them to the wind. In the future you should avoid gossip, because you can never make right the damage that gossip does."


I dreamed last night that I went into a shop that was having a sale. While browsing the shop I found a brochure the owner had written. To my surprise I found my name in it. The owner was holding me up as an example of the most horrible wickedness. I had never met the owner and was surprised to read these allegations about me in a brochure that was being publically distributed. Most of them were outright lies and the rest were gross exaggerations. Obviously the owner did not recognize me, because we chatted as I shopped and she seemed to like me. At the end of our transaction I introduced myself and watched the surprised look on her face, right before I woke up.

I sincerely hope that I have written nothing on this blog that has personally insulted someone. I'm not talking about what passes as "insult" nowadays (getting all huffy because you disagree with my viewpoint), I'm talking about ad hominem stuff. I try my best to avoid that sort of "argument". A lot of bloggers, especially conservative bloggers, take a sense of personal satisfaction out of writing things like "Hillary Clinton is a power-hungry bitch," while some liberal bloggers like to write "Michelle Malkin is a c---." I don't write stuff like that. I don't personally know Mrs. Clinton or Michelle Malkin so I don't have an opinion on whether they are bitches or nice people who would give you the shirts off their backs-- or (like me) some of both. My experience has shown that when you actually meet people, they tend to surprise you. There are always more facets to a person than you can see.

If, however, I have slipped up and personally attacked someone, I would ask that you bring it to my attention so that I can try to put as many feathers back in that pillow as I can.