How we express our feelings is just as important as the feelings we express

I shared this with the Men Who Don't Mind group and thought it might do some good to share it with the rest of Alopecia World as well. Of course, I'd love to know how you feel about these matters.

It's one thing for me or anyone else to accept the fact that alopecians -- or anyone else, for that matter -- may feel the way they do about something, but it's quite another thing altogether for someone to express their feelings in ways that show little or no regard for the feelings of others.
So, although Alopecia World is a place where 'acceptance' is all there is, by no means should this be (mis)interpreted to mean that it's okay for alopecians or anyone else on this site to say whatever is own their minds in whatever way they wish to say it. All members of Alopecia World, both alopecians and non-alopecians, should be considerate of others at all times, careful with their words at all times, and especially cautious when applying negative labels to others.
For example, while I 'accept' the fact that my fiancée has alopecia and sometimes struggles with certain issues because of the condition, both she and I do not 'accept' the notion that she should be free to express her thoughts or her frustrations or even her sadness in any manner she so desires, especially if she's being insensitive to me or others.
Of course, the same applies to me. In fact, we believe that the so-called Golden Rule is always in order, regardless of how someone may feel or the circumstances: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"; not before they do unto and not as they do unto you, but as you would have them do unto you.
Given how something like alopecia can adversely impact a person's life, and how it might leave them an emotional wreck, they might easily slip into believing that they have the right to speak to others however they wish about whatever they wish, especially when it comes to their medical condition. Moreover, struggling to cope with a condition as challenging and life-altering as alopecia may also make it hard for some to also attune themselves in to the feelings and needs of others.
Nonetheless, if unity, peace, harmony, respect, and order are to be maintained in Alopecia World, alopecians and every one else on this site must try our best to be as considerate and compassionate in how we express our feelings as we hope others will be in responding to our feelings.
This is why lately I've had quite a bit to say about bald fetishism and the presence of non-alopecians in Alopecia World. Comments and discussions about these matters have begun to degenerate to the point that non-alopecians, including me, are being offended unnecessarily. Again, while all members of Alopecia World are free to state their opinions, it would behoove all of us to also bear in mind that any freedom without restraints is bondage to excess. Therefore, let all of us be temperate and thoughtful in what we have to say as well as how we say it.

Views: 253

Comment by Katherine Green on September 2, 2008 at 7:01am
Once again Mr J; you make state your points so well. Personally speaking i have no (real) problems with non alopecians being in this group.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

I can live with that.


Comment by rj, Co-founder on September 15, 2008 at 3:34pm
Bogie, as a parent with three daughters, two of which are MySpace-ish and Facebookish teens, I believe that the best way to monitor your child's online activities is to not only configure their social networking privacy options, but to monitor their computer use, period. Such privacy options are provided by all social networking sites, including Alopecia World, but close and consistent online monitoring must be done by a responsible parent or guardian.

That said, it should be noted that Alopecia World also encourages its members to monitor our beloved community and report inappropriate or suspicious behavior, to which Cheryl and I try respond in a timely, judicious, and effective manner. Of course, that's why Alopecia World is a relatively "clean" site and shall remain so as long as we run it.
Comment by rj, Co-founder on September 15, 2008 at 4:21pm
Tamgirl wrote,
> "I feel that I will be bounded in expressing my feelings on here in certain groups."

> "I find it interesting how each one of us express themselves differently here, it gives me new insights."

> "Its good for people to be and stay positive, but I for one feel sometimes negative to and I wish I can express those feelings to, so another person can see himself in that moment so. So they wont feel alone, nor would i."

Tamgirl, thanks for such a heartfelt reply. You made some good points and certainly have legitimate concerns. However, I also sense that, perhaps in a roundabout or unintended way, your reply reinforces the point I made in my blog -- that all of us need to be careful and considerate in how we express ourselves regardless of the thoughts and feelings we are expressing.

In other words, nothing I said suggests that people must be "positive" or happy all the time. Neither do I wish to place any restraint on anyone except the restraints of mutual respect and thoughtfulness. Whether we are glad, sad, mad, delighted, disappointed, depressed or delirious, we still should be careful with our words and even more cautious and considerate when interacting with or responding to others.

Thus, we should only feel "bounded" to the extent that self-restraint and some degree of selflessness are always in order. With that in mind, you and every other member of Alopecia World should feel free to discuss whatever you wish regardless of how you feel about the matter. The key is to try to avoid offending others unnecessarily, NOT hold back your true thoughts and opinions.

I hope this clears up the matter and reassures you and all other members of Alopecia World that there is no censorship here, just a call for common decency on the part of all members of Alopecia World.


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