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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: December 13, 2011, 10:42:00 PM »

Hello beloved OC.net family. I just wanted to express myself a little bit here, hopefully in a Christian manner. I'm tired. I feel beat down, discouraged, embittered, frustrated, and quite frankly confused. This forum used to be a refuge from the worries and struggles of daily life, a place to learn more about Orthodoxy, a place to meet other Orthodox online friends, a place to hone my ideas and have strong, good natured debate. But lately I dread logging on to OC.net.

I realize that I have strong opinions and controversial views, and I have never shied away from them. I admit that I have not always communicated my thoughts in the most Christian manner, but I can assure you that I do try to choose my words carefully. But I get so worn down by the all too often occurence of people manipulating and twisting my words so that they can levy a personal attack against me. And then, when I dare to mention that I feel that I'm being unfairly attacked, I of course receive a flood of armchair psychoanalysis whereby I'm accused of feeling victimized, etc. I have only appealed to a moderator once or twice since I have been a member of OC.net. I feel that I should be able to defend my views against even the most unfair attacks without running and crying to a "referree." So I get quite frustrated with the frequent accusations from some people that I am playing the victim.

And one thing that makes me especially sad is this: I always try to separate the argument from the individual. No matter how strongly I may disagree with someone, I view everyone here as my Christian brother and sister. I make a special effort to find common ground with my philosophical opponents on innocuous threads like "Random Postings," "What Movies Are You Watching?," "What's Everyone Listening To?," etc. I often see people with whom I may have similar interests or tastes, and I try to acknowledge that in an effort to show them that I don't harbor any personal animus towards them in spite of our differences of opinion on separate threads. So it makes me sad when some people refuse to accept these olive branches that I try to extend their way.

I realize that for some people this is all a game. Online debate is merely an amusement for them, and the more they can get somebody riled up, then they feel they have "won." I guess I was naive about that. I didn't understand that. I take these issues of faith and morality, life and death, theology and Scripture very seriously. I am here to learn, and I learn by speaking my mind, putting forth my views, and hoping that I will be challenged, sharpened, and strengthened by others who are doing the same.

I am not looking for sympathy or even understanding. I just want to say how tired I feel lately. I am not going to be one of those people who posts "I Am Leaving OC.net," in spite of the fact that some may be praying for me to do just that. lol.

It may be best for me to spend less time here for a while. But I hate to see my views and words distorted and manipulated by others without defending myself and setting the record straight. You see, I don't use a pseudonymn. I use my baptism name and I have my own picture as my avatar. I do so because I don't want to hide behind a false name and a false image that would give me license to say things that I otherwise would never say. So what you read from me is the real thing- good and bad. It comes from an honest place, even if that honesty is not always tempered by Christian grace as it should be.

Anyway, I just felt the need to express my feelings a little bit. Believe it or not, OC.net is a sort of family to me. I feel a connection with all of you, which is why I am so disturbed right now. You all matter to me, because you are my brethren in Christ. So it dampens my spirit whenever honest disagreement turns into personal attacks and petty bickering. And I certainly accept my share of the blame for such.

Many of you on OC.net have been extremely gracious and kind to me. There are many of you who have some profound disagreements with me about important matters, and yet you have continued to treat me with love, courtesy, and respect. You choose to believe and assume the best about me rather than the worst. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your true Christian kindness. In fact, most of you here have treated me fairly and graciously.

Well, I don't want to ramble on any further. I usually try to compose my words with a little bit of flow and meter, so as to make them readable. But I'm just too tired right now to do anything more that type as it comes out.

I love you all, and I sincerely ask your forgiveness for my many failures to communicate with Christ-like grace on this forum. I am always striving to do better, and I certainly have a long way to go.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. And please, by all means, do pray for me a sinner.


Peace to all.


Selam,  +GMK+

 
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 10:51:30 PM »

Gebre, sometimes it's not a bad idea to take a break from the forum.

We are in the middle of a lenten period, so the purple demons are out. We are 12 days from Christmas. Maybe now would be a good time to take a break until the New Year.

Get some space, some distance, and some perspective.

Like you, I started to get frustrated by the tone of the forum. I took a break for a long time, and now I am picky about which threads to respond to.

The other thing, and you might not want to hear this, is that although you may consider OC.net part of your family, not everyone feels the same way. For many, the forum is just a group of people with anonymous screen names which they can have discussions about Orthodoxy.

The anonymity that comes with that, and the fact that we cannot see each other, causes people to be a little more brash with one another than if they were having an in person discussion.

People who would otherwise avoid confrontation feel safe doing so behind a computer screen because the person is not there to respond directly. It's easy to edit and ignore other people's comments when you don't like what they say on a forum like this. 

So take a break, get some space, and maybe once you clear your head you will feel better.

Have a blessed Nativity!
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 11:06:51 PM »

Dearest Gebre,

I don't usually join in much on the debates or discussions .  .  . mainly 'cause I can't hold a candle to the rest of you - but I'm thankful for them.  I still read them and I learn so much from them.  

Every time I've ever had any contact with you at all, I've always noticed immediately your consideration and and thoughtfulness.  

I hope for you deep rest in your spirit that you might come back to us fully refreshed and able.  Even if it is just a ten minute break. **wink**

Lord have mercy on you, Gebre, my brother.  May His peace be with you and fill you.  

« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 11:15:02 PM by quietmorning » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2011, 11:15:13 PM »

I will pray for you.

Please do take a break, it will be worth it.

Listen to sacred music and pray the psalms, as these will calm your soul.

Let us pray for each other.

In Christ,
Maria
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2011, 11:26:23 PM »

Dear Gebre,

I am sorry to hear that you are struggling.  You are in my prayers.

My best advice is to stay focused on your own sinfulness and steer away from focusing on the hurt that others have caused you.  It only leads to worse passions.  I pray that those who have hurt you will acknowledge their sin and seek forgiveness and friendship.  I pray that you are also able to acknowledge the hurt you have caused to others and to seek out those you have hurt, not just generally, but individually, in order to obtain the same forgiveness and friendship.  

If I may, I recommend reading the spiritual discourses of our Father St. Dorotheos of Gaza.  He was treated shamelessly by his monastic brethren, far worse than either of us have probably ever been treated.  His brothers went so far as to urinate on his head on one occassion.  His words in response to their evil deeds are greatly beneficial to those of us who struggle against pride when we are treated unjustly by those around us.

Your zeal for Christ is unquestionable, IMO.  Stay focused on Our Lord.  Everything else is a terrible distraction.

As a quick aside: You are not alone in your concern about some of the trends here.  This is certainly a different place from what it was a year ago, and not in a good way.  The devil never sleeps.  

John

« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 11:31:38 PM by Ionnis » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 01:02:22 AM »

Gebre, sometimes it's not a bad idea to take a break from the forum.

We are in the middle of a lenten period, so the purple demons are out. We are 12 days from Christmas. Maybe now would be a good time to take a break until the New Year.

Get some space, some distance, and some perspective.

Like you, I started to get frustrated by the tone of the forum. I took a break for a long time, and now I am picky about which threads to respond to.

The other thing, and you might not want to hear this, is that although you may consider OC.net part of your family, not everyone feels the same way. For many, the forum is just a group of people with anonymous screen names which they can have discussions about Orthodoxy.

The anonymity that comes with that, and the fact that we cannot see each other, causes people to be a little more brash with one another than if they were having an in person discussion.

People who would otherwise avoid confrontation feel safe doing so behind a computer screen because the person is not there to respond directly. It's easy to edit and ignore other people's comments when you don't like what they say on a forum like this. 

So take a break, get some space, and maybe once you clear your head you will feel better.

Have a blessed Nativity!



Thank you very much Handmaiden. I appreciate the very wise advice. I will try to heed it.

A blessed Nativity to you also.  Smiley


Selam
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"There are two great tragedies: one is to live a life ruled by the passions, and the other is to live a passionless life."
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 01:30:00 AM »

Dear Gebre,

Although your posts are highly opinionated and sometimes contrary to my own views, I do appreciate them.  You do have friends here that care about you and I am one of them. I see no reason for you to take a rest from this forum.  Although I am of the same opinion as you in that some people in this forum have it in their mind to denigrate your opinions when the opportunity arises, try your best to deal with it. Incorporate criticisms of people whose opinions are justifiable and ignore the criticisms of those whose opinions are specious and always recognize that the latter represent a small minority of readers of this forum. My emphasis here is that although you are imperfect, you are a better role model for some that read this forum than you detractors and that it is your duty is to remain here for that reason. This is, of course, just my intuitive opinion that I felt compelled to put to text.


Hello beloved OC.net family. I just wanted to express myself a little bit here, hopefully in a Christian manner. I'm tired. I feel beat down, discouraged, embittered, frustrated, and quite frankly confused. This forum used to be a refuge from the worries and struggles of daily life, a place to learn more about Orthodoxy, a place to meet other Orthodox online friends, a place to hone my ideas and have strong, good natured debate. But lately I dread logging on to OC.net.

I realize that I have strong opinions and controversial views, and I have never shied away from them. I admit that I have not always communicated my thoughts in the most Christian manner, but I can assure you that I do try to choose my words carefully. But I get so worn down by the all too often occurence of people manipulating and twisting my words so that they can levy a personal attack against me. And then, when I dare to mention that I feel that I'm being unfairly attacked, I of course receive a flood of armchair psychoanalysis whereby I'm accused of feeling victimized, etc. I have only appealed to a moderator once or twice since I have been a member of OC.net. I feel that I should be able to defend my views against even the most unfair attacks without running and crying to a "referree." So I get quite frustrated with the frequent accusations from some people that I am playing the victim.

And one thing that makes me especially sad is this: I always try to separate the argument from the individual. No matter how strongly I may disagree with someone, I view everyone here as my Christian brother and sister. I make a special effort to find common ground with my philosophical opponents on innocuous threads like "Random Postings," "What Movies Are You Watching?," "What's Everyone Listening To?," etc. I often see people with whom I may have similar interests or tastes, and I try to acknowledge that in an effort to show them that I don't harbor any personal animus towards them in spite of our differences of opinion on separate threads. So it makes me sad when some people refuse to accept these olive branches that I try to extend their way.

I realize that for some people this is all a game. Online debate is merely an amusement for them, and the more they can get somebody riled up, then they feel they have "won." I guess I was naive about that. I didn't understand that. I take these issues of faith and morality, life and death, theology and Scripture very seriously. I am here to learn, and I learn by speaking my mind, putting forth my views, and hoping that I will be challenged, sharpened, and strengthened by others who are doing the same.

I am not looking for sympathy or even understanding. I just want to say how tired I feel lately. I am not going to be one of those people who posts "I Am Leaving OC.net," in spite of the fact that some may be praying for me to do just that. lol.

It may be best for me to spend less time here for a while. But I hate to see my views and words distorted and manipulated by others without defending myself and setting the record straight. You see, I don't use a pseudonymn. I use my baptism name and I have my own picture as my avatar. I do so because I don't want to hide behind a false name and a false image that would give me license to say things that I otherwise would never say. So what you read from me is the real thing- good and bad. It comes from an honest place, even if that honesty is not always tempered by Christian grace as it should be.

Anyway, I just felt the need to express my feelings a little bit. Believe it or not, OC.net is a sort of family to me. I feel a connection with all of you, which is why I am so disturbed right now. You all matter to me, because you are my brethren in Christ. So it dampens my spirit whenever honest disagreement turns into personal attacks and petty bickering. And I certainly accept my share of the blame for such.

Many of you on OC.net have been extremely gracious and kind to me. There are many of you who have some profound disagreements with me about important matters, and yet you have continued to treat me with love, courtesy, and respect. You choose to believe and assume the best about me rather than the worst. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your true Christian kindness. In fact, most of you here have treated me fairly and graciously.

Well, I don't want to ramble on any further. I usually try to compose my words with a little bit of flow and meter, so as to make them readable. But I'm just too tired right now to do anything more that type as it comes out.

I love you all, and I sincerely ask your forgiveness for my many failures to communicate with Christ-like grace on this forum. I am always striving to do better, and I certainly have a long way to go.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. And please, by all means, do pray for me a sinner.


Peace to all.


Selam,  +GMK+

 
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2011, 03:43:43 AM »

Keep your head up fam!
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2011, 06:38:57 AM »

If I have disrespected or insulted you, I would like to offer my sincere apology. If I can make it up to you, please let me know. Your charity to me I have found much comfort in, this place has been quite an oven recently but you just gotta put an oven mitt on, if you get what I am saying.

Anyway all the best friend.
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2011, 12:42:39 PM »

I know that I've been pretty rough on you from time to time (not just yesterday either). I think I have carried it overboard into personal attacks inadvertently (or just in the heat of butthurt). Its not very Christian of me, or is it very kind. No matter the very different views we have I should not attack you personally. Come to think of it, I've been pretty mean to habte too........

I do apologize as I know I've been a boor.
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2011, 12:59:21 PM »

Gabriel,

While you and I will probably never see eye to eye on many things, I have never meant for any criticism of your posts (or anyone's posts) to be an insult about your person. I try to confine negative arguments to the rejection of certain ideas, and not the people who express them, who deserve respect even in cases of disagreement. I don't know you, and even if I did, to argue from some other base would be incredibly inappropriate and mean of me. And perhaps that's what I've been (I'm not a very good judge of my own character, and have really no idea what other people will take from what I post; I only know what I'm trying to convey). So I apologize if I have personally offended you. I really did not mean to. I admire your zeal and obvious love of God and mankind, and think it is exemplary of how a Christian should live. I think this place would be poorer without you, though I definitely can understand and empathize with the need to separate yourself from it, as I have had to do that at other places. May God be with you.

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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2011, 03:34:25 PM »

Hello beloved OC.net family. I just wanted to express myself a little bit here, hopefully in a Christian manner. I'm tired. I feel beat down, discouraged, embittered, frustrated, and quite frankly confused. This forum used to be a refuge from the worries and struggles of daily life, a place to learn more about Orthodoxy, a place to meet other Orthodox online friends, a place to hone my ideas and have strong, good natured debate. But lately I dread logging on to OC.net.

I realize that I have strong opinions and controversial views, and I have never shied away from them. I admit that I have not always communicated my thoughts in the most Christian manner, but I can assure you that I do try to choose my words carefully. But I get so worn down by the all too often occurence of people manipulating and twisting my words so that they can levy a personal attack against me. And then, when I dare to mention that I feel that I'm being unfairly attacked, I of course receive a flood of armchair psychoanalysis whereby I'm accused of feeling victimized, etc. I have only appealed to a moderator once or twice since I have been a member of OC.net. I feel that I should be able to defend my views against even the most unfair attacks without running and crying to a "referree." So I get quite frustrated with the frequent accusations from some people that I am playing the victim.

And one thing that makes me especially sad is this: I always try to separate the argument from the individual. No matter how strongly I may disagree with someone, I view everyone here as my Christian brother and sister. I make a special effort to find common ground with my philosophical opponents on innocuous threads like "Random Postings," "What Movies Are You Watching?," "What's Everyone Listening To?," etc. I often see people with whom I may have similar interests or tastes, and I try to acknowledge that in an effort to show them that I don't harbor any personal animus towards them in spite of our differences of opinion on separate threads. So it makes me sad when some people refuse to accept these olive branches that I try to extend their way.

I realize that for some people this is all a game. Online debate is merely an amusement for them, and the more they can get somebody riled up, then they feel they have "won." I guess I was naive about that. I didn't understand that. I take these issues of faith and morality, life and death, theology and Scripture very seriously. I am here to learn, and I learn by speaking my mind, putting forth my views, and hoping that I will be challenged, sharpened, and strengthened by others who are doing the same.

I am not looking for sympathy or even understanding. I just want to say how tired I feel lately. I am not going to be one of those people who posts "I Am Leaving OC.net," in spite of the fact that some may be praying for me to do just that. lol.

It may be best for me to spend less time here for a while. But I hate to see my views and words distorted and manipulated by others without defending myself and setting the record straight. You see, I don't use a pseudonymn. I use my baptism name and I have my own picture as my avatar. I do so because I don't want to hide behind a false name and a false image that would give me license to say things that I otherwise would never say. So what you read from me is the real thing- good and bad. It comes from an honest place, even if that honesty is not always tempered by Christian grace as it should be.

Anyway, I just felt the need to express my feelings a little bit. Believe it or not, OC.net is a sort of family to me. I feel a connection with all of you, which is why I am so disturbed right now. You all matter to me, because you are my brethren in Christ. So it dampens my spirit whenever honest disagreement turns into personal attacks and petty bickering. And I certainly accept my share of the blame for such.

Many of you on OC.net have been extremely gracious and kind to me. There are many of you who have some profound disagreements with me about important matters, and yet you have continued to treat me with love, courtesy, and respect. You choose to believe and assume the best about me rather than the worst. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your true Christian kindness. In fact, most of you here have treated me fairly and graciously.

Well, I don't want to ramble on any further. I usually try to compose my words with a little bit of flow and meter, so as to make them readable. But I'm just too tired right now to do anything more that type as it comes out.

I love you all, and I sincerely ask your forgiveness for my many failures to communicate with Christ-like grace on this forum. I am always striving to do better, and I certainly have a long way to go.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. And please, by all means, do pray for me a sinner.


Peace to all.


Selam,  +GMK+

 

Take a deep breath, dearheart, and a good long time of prayer and ask "Is writing here truly in service to God?...Is what I present here true?...Is it is service to His name and in His name?"  Get yourself way out of the way and ask plainly "Is what I do of service to you."...Then see what comes back.

If the answer is yes, your weariness will not be so wearying and worrisome any more.  It won't matter.

M.
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2011, 11:30:26 PM »

I am deeply appreciative of everyone's thoughtful responses, and I certainly appreciate all the wise advice as well. Thank you all for your compassion and encouragement. I feel very edified from everyone's responses. I know that self-reflection, humility, and repentance are the answers to most problems in our lives, and I recognize that I have strayed too far away from these things in regard to this forum. All of your responses have kindly and graciously reminded me of this, and for that I am most grateful.

Please do continue to pray for me, a sinner.


Selam
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Selam, +GMK+
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