Is Being Right Stupid?

Hi stitch readers, this is your wayward host who, unlike last year, had a Very Busy Summer. There were things I wanted to write about, but I just couldn’t find the time. My days were tightly packed, what with caring and catering for the vacationing brood, my City Dog who had great difficulties finding his footing out in the country, and managing a substantial workload. It was what it was, and I’m happy I was asked to translate this book. The timeframe could have used some work, but translators can’t be choosers, I guess. Anyway, a busy few weeks, with way too brief daily windows by the lakeshore (still, better than just a park in the city, no contest).IMG_0541So, I may have written about this network I’ve been a member of for more than a decade before. It’s a women only organization, and the members are professional writers, journalists, copywriters, authors, translators, proofreaders or editors. I joined when I was still in advertising, and it’s been an off and on relationship for me. Most of my jobs don’t come from there, but I appreciate being a member nonetheless. If nothing else, I’m learning things I would never have known otherwise, my professional life being sort of narrow. I’ve come to like a number of the ladies, even though I can count the ones I’ve actually met in RL on one hand. There are regular meet-ups and workshop weekends. I usually don’t go, but many of the ladies do, and some have been friends for years. That said, this is not true for all of them. It stands to reason, the network having about 600 members.

Just a few weeks ago, there was an incident I’ve been wanting to write about. One of the authors, who evidently used to suffer from a severe, chronic intestinal condition, posted a recommendation for a person offering alternative medicine who was able to help her with her ailment. So far, so good. Next thing that happened, another author heavily criticized the alternative medicine offering doctor for using medically unsound practices. An astonishingly violent kerfuffle ensued, the ladies had WORDS, and what could have been amicably discussed with a final „agree to disagree“ ended with personal insults, fat-shaming and the original poster leaving the network in a huff, after having been called out by a few members for unacceptable netiquette. She did not apologize.

My personal opinion on alternative medicine notwithstanding, I could see where both parties were coming from. One gleefully sang the praises of what, to her, must have felt like a miracle healing. The other was pointing out the dangers of these types of non-scientifically evidenced methods, having been subjected to terrible and irresponsible treatment for autism as a child. Both posters‘ educational backgrounds are in science.

Both insisted on being right, and since the first poster came from an emotional rather than science-based point of view, her arguments were not factual from the get-go. She was the one who dropped the slurs. The other poster, an expert on suspicious treatment methods, has been on the warpath against quacks who promise healing anything from cancer through autism to homosexuality (yes, this is still considered a treatable condition in some places!) for years. Her personal experience has been a bad one, unlike the first poster’s, who by all appearances, actually got better after getting the treatment.

Forgive this lengthy introduction. I need to give a bit of context, even though it has nothing to do with what actually gave me pause about this. This network is remarkable for the professionalism, the diversity (even if there are no men), and most of all, the overall kind tone of voice. There’s a serious zero bitching policy, and that makes it quite unique, in my opinion, for this is not true for a lot of other platforms! As my new favorite TV character, David Rose from Schitt’s Creek, so eloquently put it „The Internet is a breeding ground for freaks!“

So, long story short, both these ladies were so intent on being right that what could have been an interesting debate resulted in a heap of broken glass. It was the one who resorted to personal insult who chose to leave, btw. She was not even shown the door, that’s how kind this network is.

The question I’ve been asking myself is: What the hell is it that makes being right so important in the first place? Why do people risk friendships, or jobs, or even their lives for being right? Greater minds than mine have probably written Very Smart Things about this, I haven’t done any research. I know people have died for their convictions, Jesus Christ, Galileo Galilei, tons of political activists whose names are long forgotten … this is not the same, though, right. It’s just a simple difference of opinion, for f…’s sake, and frankly, the whole thing left me bewildered.

I’m no stranger to disagreement in my own relationship, Lord knows. But ultimately, there always comes a point where I say: You know what? We’ll just remember it your way, or, let’s just leave it at that, or, let’s agree to disagree. Why some people would rather be alone in their knowledge of being right than co-exist with others who see things differently, is beyond me. Is it really so hard to tolerate a view other than our own?

If you have any insight, I’d appreciate your explanation/s. And thank you for reading this far, if you did :-).

What else is there to tell? I stumbled upon a few days off the very last week of the summer break, as my client whom I’m translating the cookbook for up and went on vacation. He would have saved me some anxiety had he mentioned this before, and if I ever get hired by this publishing house again, I’ll be sure to discuss both the time-frame and the actual amount of work up front. As it was, I was simply happy to not touch the computer for a few days, and hang out with my husband and kids instead.IMG_1083

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IMG_1071IMG_1079 My birthday came and went, and there were no guests other than my sweet niece M. and her boyfriend – which was actually a good thing because I was forced to put up my feet, as I’d pulled a muscle in my calf a few days before and could neither walk nor drive or even stand for longer than a few minutes. F—ing painful, these injuries. IMG_0956.JPGMy gift this year (received a few weeks early) was the pup, and I’m so happy with him being in our lives that it makes him the Best Birthday Gift Ever, hands down.

I had absolutely zero time for crafts this time around, and all I did was whip up a tiny sock, as a voucher for my daughter’s friend’s birthday gift in the car back home.

I took the last pic the night before we came home – and to me it’s the most perfect memory of all the six weeks past. May you have a peaceful start into the new school year, and those of you lucky enough to still have vacations to look forward to, have a beautiful late summer.IMG_1081

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