Ever since writing that post about stupid things people have been saying about the EuroMaidan protests in Ukraine, I felt like moving on from discussing stupidity – at least for a while. It’s not good for your blood pressure, for one thing.
But then the post started getting passed around – and some friends have e-mailed it to their friends – and as a byproduct of that, I ended up being very humbled. You see, I had arrogantly assumed that my anger at some people’s cluelessness wrt the situation in Ukraine would warn anyone off from trying to push more cluelessness on me.
Ha ha. Ha ha ha.
Dear Natalia, [name withheld to protect the guilty] gave me your e-mail address. I hope you don’t mind.
Well, I didn’t at first, but then…
I wanted to respond to you about the tone in which your post on Stupid Things Said About Euromaidan was written. I’m sure by now you are wondering “What does this strange woman have to tell me that I don’t already know?” And that’s fine. I completely understand that this is where you might be coming from. But the truth is, we don’t always know how our thoughts and writings can impact other human beings, do we?
Actually, when strange people write me in order to discuss my “tone,” my initial thoughts tend to be way less polite, but whatever.
Because he is her older brother’s best friend, my daughter really looks up to [redacted]. He on the other hand looks up to you. In fact, this isn’t the first time [redacted] recommends your writing to us. We have always found it inspirational, until you lashed out against some of the misconceptions people have about the Ukraine.
Also: “the Ukraine.”
I understand that misconceptions can be frustrating. But not everyone who is not completely informed is acting in bad faith. My daughter, for example, has been thinking about volunteering in the Ukraine. for a while Thankfully, your post did not deter her.
Also: “the Ukraine.”
But you may want to think about others your post might have affected. There are a lot of idealistic kids out there who may not get every single nuance of the situation in Ukraine. But they are enthusiastic and want to help. Would you really want to discourage them?
Why yes, I do think that people coming to an unstable country with a bunch of dangerous assumptions should be discouraged. Vigorously so. Sometimes, with yelling and screaming – and unladylike language and tone.
But at least she didn’t use “the Ukraine” in this paragraph.
From what I have read in the news, the Ukraine needs all the help it can get.
Nope, here it is again! “The Ukraine”!
And since you clearly happen to be a good writer, you may want to think about the impact your particular side of the story may have on others.
“I don’t think you bow and scrape enough in your posts. Think about that.”
I’m sure that should you ever become a mother…
You mean like that time in 2011 when I gave birth to my son?
…you will understand the importance of inspiring others first, rather than discouraging them right away.
YES. In fact, when my son wants to overturn a fruit stand at the supermarket, I don’t stop him or anything. Sure, what he’s doing may be dangerous to himself and to all of the people who will probably take a tumble after stepping in some slippery mango or whatever – BUT DISCOURAGING CHILDREN IS BAD.
That’s really all I wanted to say. Best of luck to you and to the Ukraine.
But seriously, with friends like there, why would “the Ukraine” require any luck?
… OK, you guys will have to give me some credit – I DID think this was a parody at first. I was convinced that someone read my original post and decided to REALLY make steam come out of my ears. But then I forwarded this to [redacted], and it turns out this lady is for real.
After everything that has happened in my neck of the woods lately (if you scroll down, you’ll know what I mean), my initial desire was to immediately reach for a beer. Then I thought better of it. Why let the idiots win? And so, with a smile on my face, I demanded the vintage cognac instead.