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Update!

Today is Friday! I usually do my Loose Bloggers Consortium post on Friday evenings, and I'll be doing the same this evening, at 8.30 pm Indian Standard Time. But this is my diary and I wanted to mention one or two things which have happened to me or around me today.

Firstly, I'm shocked that my friend Judy Harper from Alabama in the United States has become a crime victim. She was injured in a carjacking incident. I've come to know this amazing woman through her two interesting blogs "Sixty Is Just The Beginning" and "A Creative Writer in Progress". We are both members of the "Tuesday Morning Writings" group and the "Loose Blogger's Consortium". Judy's posts for both these groups can be found on her "Creative Writer" blog. She has lived a full and interesting life, she has been in the US Military, has successfully raised a daughter and is currently working as an accountant and is a loving grandmother to her daughter's children. I wish Judy a quick recovery from both the physical and mental trauma of this incident. I have no doubt that she will quickly put this dreadful incident behind her and move on.

Yesterday I visited a blog called "Out and About in New York City".  It seems to be basically a photographic blog.  The post was called "Waiting", and consisted of a photograph of a person in great poverty seeking financial help.  There was a view of the person, obviously sitting in a wheelchair, with a can for donations and a notice saying "Homeless.  Please Help.  Thank you.  Happy holidays to all."  Anyway, I was getting late, so in great haste, I posted a quick comment, just making my own observation.  I posted: "Beggars!  They're everywhere." and signed off.  What I basically meant was that living in a developing country which is tackling a huge poverty problem, I have seen a lot of human misery and the lengths to which many people will go to get some money.  .  It's all there on my recent post  on my other blog "Out of Ireland, Into India" called
"An Alternative Profession".I was writing on how hard it is sometimes to distinguish the genuinely needy from the frauds.  Around the same time my friend Braja, the blogging yogini from Mayapur posted on this, and although we both approach the same topic differently, I thing between the two of us, we have the area pretty well covered.  However, seeing this post on "Out and About in New York" made me realise that poverty is not only in the developing countries, but in developed countries also, and that struck me deeply.

Alas!, In my haste to leave a comment, I totally forgot that Daryl, the blog author of the "Out and About in New York City" blog is not a regular reader of mine.  He/she took me totally out of context.  This is what I received in my email this morning, courtesy of Daryl.

"What a nice POV ... have you always had a good life with food on the table and in your stomache?  Have you always had a home and a caring family and friends?  Well if the answer is yes, I hope it continues for you and should you ever encounter bad times, I hope no one ever calls you a beggar."

It seems that Daryl took the word "beggar" to be a form of abuse.  Is there another word I could have used instead?  I certainly wouldn't mind anyone calling me a beggar if I was one!

I was rather upset by that email.  I gave the following reply to Daryl, and I hope he/she reads it and understands.

"I was simply stating a fact, not passing a judgment.  I made that remark in sorrow, not in scorn.  How you perceived it is your problem, not mine.  I know what I'm speaking about.  If you care to check, this link, you'll see what I mean.

Is POV an acronym for 'piece of vitriol' by any chance?  It would be a good description of your email to me.  Well, thanks for the 'slap in the face' this morning. 

Like beauty, meaning is in the eye of the beholder, obviously."

I was both angry and sad when I wrote that email.

I suppose that this is a lesson to me to think twice before posting a comment, particularly when it is on an unknown blog.  I have always made it a point to leave a comment, however short, whenever I visit a blog, because as a blogger myself, I know how important feedback is.  When you write something, or maybe photograph something, you would like to know what others think.  I've left probably thousands of comments all over the blogosphere and this is the first time something like this has happened.

It's sad when someone misunderstands you.
.

Comments

  1. Yes, that can be the problem with written expression. It's hard for someone to understand how you are saying something you wrote.
    And yes, I've heard that "beggar" is, I guess, a derogatory term these days. Who knew?

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  2. Gaelikaa...It happens..in fact its happened to me a couple of times..when I've commented in haste without thinking it through. Fortunately I cleared up any misunderstandings on both occasions..and we are all good friends now. Don't let it worry you too much.

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  3. Elizabeth is an old bloggy friend, and her blog is great; fantastic photos....

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  4. Gaelikaa,seems this was a homeless person."Beggars" in India are mostly controlled by others who make money of them,That's not so there with govt welfare in place....guess he was in need that day.

    But at least he wanted to say this in private and so emailed you.It's a misunderstanding- our blogs are our online address,we have to take the good with the bad.I know you were in a rush.

    Yes,we must be careful in commenting,there's a new search engine in town for commments!More folks are going to read this commment.

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  5. Big "Get Well Soon" to Judy!!!
    Ohhh... misunderstanding... well she could have had a glance at your blog before sending you that email! I hope she'll realise...

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  6. woops :) Elizabeth's is About New York, not out and about in NY. Her blog is here:
    http://www.elizabeth-aboutnewyork.blogspot.com/

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  7. I didnt know it was classed as derogatory. Lets call a spade a spade. If he was kind enough to follow the link to your blog in the first place before being all sarcastic (which i hate!) then the mistake i think HE made of taking you the wrong way could have been avoided. Thanks for visiting my blog btw :)

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  8. Gaelikaa, the term 'begger' was one we grew up with in Dublin. I see it in Belfast but less often than in Dublin. It is big business down there. I have seen three f a family dropped off from a big car to go sit in pre arranged spots to beg. Alas children are so often abused in this way.

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  9. Sad to hear about Judy.

    There is much more to the begging homeless here in the US. First, I have never seen one who isn't healthy and well fed begging, although I have seen thousands. The last I heard was that California state law requires local governments to give services to the homeless which frequently translates into payments on the order of $400/month. Church groups regularly help out with food. If they need to see a doctor, they walk into the nearest emergency room and are treated for free - it goes into the overall cost of the hospital and is tacked onto the bill of everyone who can pay. Most don't bother with begging, but a few do to supplement their income.

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  10. Yes, beggars are everywhere. I know there is hunger and homelessness in the US but most of the corner people here are groomed and dressed for the weather and seemingly well fed. For many, begging is their 'job'. There are true homeless in ned but those are not the ones you see on the street corners with their signs. It is unfortunate that the writer of that blog struck out at you so rudely. Don't take it to heart.

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  11. I wouldn't worry too much about the misunderstanding. At least it started some communication.

    I'm like you, I tend to leave comments on posts even when I'm short on time. They might not be great comments, but they let the writer know I've visited.

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  12. For you to still be upset I know it is bothering you, you are two kind and when you find out you may have hurt his feelings, it has upset you. I read your post about beggers and thought it was good. Here in the US, people tend to stand on the street corners with signs. I won't usually give them anything opting to send to local organizations that I know help the homeless and those in need. Next time you might try needy or needful. I think his response was unnecessary, to me, he should have explained rather than point the finger. If you want to mend the fence with him, try that, otherwise, you will never be able to please everyone. It's easy for me to say, "let it go". Because if he were to get to know you, he would know you wouldn't deliberately hurt someone. Thanks for your comments about my carjacking. You just don't know how much I appreciate your concern!

    ReplyDelete
  13. POV = Point of View

    I started reading your blog recently and I admire your honesty and confidence. I was born in Lucknow but Dad's Army postings took me all over India. Now I am returning to my roots from USA and i can't thank you enough for the way you candidly share thoughts and experiences in and about my homeland.

    Best,
    Manasi

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  14. I don't get why someone would leave such a nasty, personal response with you. The written word is so easy to misconstrue, they could have checked with you first. At least their response was not ambiguous. ;-)

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  15. I'm sorry your comment was so misunderstood. I think I would have been so taken a back and hurt.

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  16. Indeed. Perhaps he'll rethink his position if he does check out the link you gave him. I understand how badly you must feel.

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  17. I saw your comment on Daryl's blog the other day and I admit to taking that quick intake of breath - my immediate reaction to what I first perceived as harsh words.

    But, I am acquainted with you and with your writing and I know you to be a kind and caring woman, so I waved it aside mentally. Daryl is a good blogging/email friend of mine and I could have easily guessed that she wouldn't have taken kindly to the comment as I first perceived it.

    I get the misunderstanding but I'm a bit dismayed to see a private email exchange between yourself and Daryl posted publicly. Unless both parties agree to it, that makes me uneasy. I realize you and Daryl don't know one another but despite jumping to conclusions, she had the sensitivity to address you and this matter privately. I think she deserves that same consideration.

    I hope the two of you have since worked it out. And I especially hope that your friend Judy recovers quickly. That's a very frightening incident.

    ReplyDelete

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