I get lot of comments about this blog, although most of them never appear here. Friends email me, I get texts, fellow teachers and students relay comments to me in the Do Jang, while only a few world-wide readers actually post their thoughts online.
Some comments are not fit for a family-friendly audience, so I “moderate them,” which is a subtle way of saying delete.
Every once in awhile I will get a comment from a reader that is upset with my writing, a position I’ve posited, or possibly life in general. Now when I say the commenter is upset, I don’t mean in a “Cheerio my good man, I find your posting to be a bit off the mark” kind of upset. No, I mean angry, inconsolable, name-calling kind of upset.
Name calling? Seriously?
Let me get this straight. Presumably, you are reading this blog because you are engaged in the martial arts. You are either a student or a teacher with some amount of time, probably years, “under your belt.” One of the tenants of the martial arts is that a person’s self esteem, confidence, and sense of well-being will all improve.
As a result of our training, we simply won’t get violent over silly things that don’t matter.
So it always surprises me a little when a reader chooses to comment, and rather than demonstrating an advanced cranial executive function or a highly-developed frontal lobe, they choose language which is confrontational, aggressive, and insulting.
Personally, I love to spar. I love the give and take, the back and forth, the exchange of attack and defense. I also love verbal sparring with a give and take of well-reasoned perspectives based on verifiable facts.
However; colorful metaphors, and derogatory personal pronouns are not verifiable facts, and do not qualify as reasoned debate. These last bastions of the uniformed have no place in the writings or responses relative to martial arts. Surely our training and discipline have elevated our minds to a point where name calling is beneath us.