When I was in junior high people started writing slam books-these books that contained comments about you, good, bad, cruel, flattering. The slam books were started by really popular girls and if you crossed one of them you were liable to get slammed very, very hard. They had the quality of a car crash, horrible but hard to to ignore. For some reason I was not a victim of these things. The comments about me were relatively harmless or even nice. But other kids were thoroughly trashed and it hurt them and it was a terrible thing.
I have never allowed fear of what other people think of me to guide my behavior. I was brought up by people who stood firm on the side of the underdog, who were not interested in agreeing with behavior or ideas they found objectionable. I admired my parents for that and am grateful I was taught to respect other people. Of course, I sometimes feel like a canary in a coal mine. I find myself in situation that don't directly affect me but I feel are hurting those I care about. So I put up my hand and say something and I take the brunt of the reaction and even though it might not feel good, I'm still glad I did so.
I started this blog as a way to channel my inner whining and/or complaining into something constructive, something that had legs as opposed to finger pointing. I just had a strong response to something I wrote and I'm glad. I'm glad despite the high school slam book of 2010 which is FACE BOOK. I'm glad even though the person who responded wrote something filled with name calling and based on something that never happened. But I called out bullying behavior and that's all that matters. I do think it's true that if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. I didn't write in those cruel slam books but I didn't speak out against them either. But that was high school and I was afraid. I'm not afraid anymore. Being liked is not something I worry about. I still think that early slogan for AIDS applies: SILENCE=DEATH.