In between warm hellos, hugs, and light conversation at a local race, an acquaintance approached me. “I just want to tell you how mad I was when I read the Facebook post (blank) wrote about you. It was so wrong” she added. I blinked twice, shook my head and asked “I’m sorry, what?” Oh, I thought you knew. There was this post…and then…” I wasn’t following anymore. “Such angry person” she said as she ended her monologue.
“They are free to post anything.” I said. Another person approached me and I excused myself from that conversation.
The brief encounter resembled a yahoo chat group years ago where people engaged in angry confrontations and accusations about the senior management of the company we worked for. At times I would run into a person who had been the latest target of one of the insults and I would offer my sympathy. Little did I know then that any words of consolation meant nothing as long as I kept paying attention to the group chat. As long as I was a captive audience, the offenders were getting their way. It would be a while before we all caught on, stopped reading, and the chat died.
When I was little I used to watch the Kung Fu TV Series. How could I not? It was the only show in one of the three channels we had. In one episode David Carradine had visited a cursed town. A witch or medicine man (I can’t remember that far back!) had seized a town under their spell. They terrorized the residents of that area and had erected a cross on the ground convincing everyone around that whoever was touched by the shadow of the cross as the sun set, would be cursed and perish.
Carradine listened to the fear of the habitants. Asking to be taken to the forbidden place, he sat in front of it and waited for the shadow to cover him. His message was simple as he remembered the teachings of his master. “Be like the mirror that does not get burnt by the candle, instead reflects back its light”. By not believing in the power of the shadow, he was not touched by its curse. It can only hurt you when it’s given power by thoughts and beliefs.
So, I don’t pay attention. I don’t think of people whose existence I’ve forgotten, but I must ask as I laugh when someone brings up a similar incident:
“Oh, come on! Still? What the hell is wrong? Get a life and move on!!!”
No one cares. I certainly don’t.