This past January I was engaged in a conversation on Twitter, some private and some public. It turned to mentions of activity of an extremist Christian organization (that I do not support) and eventually a civil exchange with a representative of that group.
I have no wish to involve the names of other people in this post, or provide links or screenshots, since I don’t know anyone who would want to be mentioned alongside that particular organization, so if this seems vague just mosey along or continue to read, as you wish - there must be a lesson here somewhere.
It has come to my attention that some people view my Twitter exchange that day with a representative of the sect asking if they had plans to attend an upcoming event - as a provocative action on my part, interpreting it as though I was inciting a protest by alerting them to something they could easily research on their own had they interest whatsoever, or could simply follow via the hashtag conversation on Twitter itself.
It isn’t a ‘secret’ event - there is a website, social media, etc., and if one does not know of the event it would be only due to the lack of a good PR job by event promoters and or lack of interest in the subject matter. To the contrary, I find they have done a diligent job of promoting the event. To be clear, I have no interest in or wish for this group to protest the event. The attendees, the respected organization behind the event, and the presenters don’t need protest drama, and I wouldn’t cast an evil spell like that on the venue even if I could.
While I find it intriguing that it appears to some I had the power to do just that, let me state for the record, I have no such power at all. Actually - no one does, at least to my knowledge.
In any event, the result is that 5 months later, very strong criticism of my Twitter exchange that day has surfaced. I find it unfortunate that the very individuals at odds with my comments are working hard to give them double duty, wide spread mention today along with a real SEO workout on some blogs. It doesn’t make sense to me that they would so freshly and widely promote information they wish to keep under the radar from this group. But alas, that is exactly the case.
I acknowledge that I have heard the words of those concerned, admire their passion and will take their point of view into consideration in the future. At the same time, I do not buy into fear-mongering or cave from it. I am in no way responsible for anyone showing up anywhere except for myself.
In the same vein, I encourage others to not fear criticism, to remain calm in the face of controversy, to refute peer pressure, to not assume charismatic or popular individuals are always thought leaders to be followed like sheep, and to be the architect of their own thoughts and opinions.
The best of success to you, and above all - think freely.