Chrissie, I read your introduction so far, but am frankly just overwhelmed at the moment.
I get your concern. And out of respect for your POV, which is perfectly legitimate, I reviewed my article and changed what may have come across as being tone deaf. I am trying very hard to not write about this Thing, and focus on things that might (0r might not) help us think about what we might do to improve our work and our options going forward.
Right now I probably have fifty articles that I’m reading, while at the same time I have developed a dry cough. It would be fair to say I’m distracted, especially since I have beloved, very vulnerable “family” from Ethiopia to Vietnam to Kenya to Iceland. Personally I have lost pretty much everything from my career to my moving plans to my travel dreams to every other single thing I had put my entire life’s energy into. And, since I have no savings other than my house and can’t sell it, I can’t do much about that either. And I have no way to reach, help or even talk to most of the people whose lives are precious to me, people who live in tiny, remote villages, ten to a room, and if they get an aspirin once a year from someone they consider themselves fortunate. I can do nothing. All I can do is sit with it.
I don’t question your values, nor do I take you to task over them.
The other day I wrote what I thought was a joke on an article by another Illumination writer and she completely, utterly misunderstood it. We ended up in a lovely exchange and we now follow each other’s writings. It taught me to be far more careful about writing something that might land badly. If you were to read your opening note and ask how that might land in an unsuspecting person’s box, you might understand my response. I get hate mail(male) all the time, pun intended. I am over it. I got a righteously vicious note from some 79-yo woman inventor who effectively said that that the virus should “end” people like me. Just…wow.
It is at times like this that all of us, and I include myself, can take things the wrong way. Which is why it really speaks to how important it is to hear our tone before we send something. Classic case of intent vs. impact.
I get the fear. I get the discomfort. That’s why I am not focusing on it any more, but focusing on what I know, what I do well, Chrissie. Right now I have my hands full. I read and write all day but for periodic exercise breaks.
To your question: I read as many of the bios that Dr Y published as I could, then I had to get to work. I don’t expect anyone to read my bio, nor my work. I am a nobody, but I am a determined nobody with a third book underway and a great deal to write about. I constantly update, change and with any luck, improve articles I’ve already published when I get sober feeback. I take is seriously,and in the close to four thousand articles I’ve produced on Medium I have often thanked people who took the time to PM me about something that troubled them.
I only ask that if something upsets you, write it down, walk away from it and see how it feels a little later. When I am feeling reactive, and I think that’s a shared feeling right now because of our general helplessness, that’s one way for me to release the energy. I don’t push publish. Or I do my best not to. Because if I can hold off, I usually find a lot more patience and empathy at my beck and call. I cannot and do not speak for you or anyone else. Only myself.