A letter to commenters

by tamarjacobson

Dear Commenters,

Lately I have been wondering about comments and commenting especially since Tamar commented on my blog recently and mentioned liking that I reply. It got me thinking. I guess I do not write the type of posts that have people debating and discussing like I see at some other blog sites. Most of the comments on mine are supportive, or shared stories that are associated with what I have written. And some are greetings of one kind or another.

There are a number of reasons why I enjoy replying to people who comment on my blog.

The first is that I am terribly grateful. Each and every time I receive a comment I cannot get over the fact that someone has actually taken the trouble, not only to read what I have written, but to say something to me, to all of us, about it. It blows my mind!

At times, though, there are comments that are better left without a reply – are meaningful and interesting  in and of themselves and deserve to hang out there in space to be experienced without further comment. Just as in a support group like session we are silent after someone has said something profound or intense and we just listen to the other – actively, with all our hearts and minds.

Secondly, and I simply have to admit it, sometimes I just have to have the last word! It is such an annoying habit and I have been working on myself about it these past few years with some small success. I come from a family of strong-minded, opinionated people. Being the second to youngest I always felt like I was in some kind of competition about who is the wisest and sure-est. People around me always seemed so sure that their opinion or knowledge about something was the right – no, the only way things could be. I believe it is quite common for the youngest to feel that way. Something to do with growing up and becoming an adult. Once the little sister, always the little sister, struggling for her own voice above all those strong, knowing ones around her. But now that I am, in fact an adult and becoming sort of an expert in some early childhood matters, I fear and abhor that feeling I get when I simply must have the last word – speak what I believe is the final truth. And so, lately I work on remaining silent as often as I can stand it, and just listen to others without anxiety or discomfort. Hang in there and let go of that feeling of competition that rises seemingly out of the shadows of my brain. It’s the same thing with comments on mine or other people’s blogs. I try to stay silent and listen instead of find the wisest, most essential, final word.

Third, and finally, as a counselor and early childhood educator, I relate to people. It’s part of what I do. I have become skilled in what Reik calls listening with the third ear. That means I notice people and observe closely. Am keenly aware of things they are saying between the lines of their actual words, through body language or slips or twists of their use of language – metaphors or jokes. That does not mean I am always right – no sir – not by any means. However, it does mean that if you talk to me I will listen and then relate to what you have said. This can be a problem, for example in Facebook. If someone pokes me, I just have to poke back! I can never leave the poke hanging out there without an answer. Frank, surely knows what I’m talking about. I suppose I could work more on this one, too. But it is one of the things I quite like about myself and, believe me, there are not many of those!

Once again I have discovered that why I do what I do is not as simple as I first thought. It is compounded and complex and dependent upon situation, context or anything at all.

However, I must say, I do love it when you comment, and enjoy thinking about how best to reply when you speak to me.

Oh yes, and thank you so much for reading me right now.



A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Here I am