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Under scrutiny

May 23, 2012

I woke up this morning to an e-mail about my blog post, “Getting Out”. It seems that a few PCVs who are still in Ukraine have taken issue with it, and reported it to PC. I was asked to either password protect my blog or be more “culturally sensitive” in my entries. A few people “defriended” me on Facebook, and one wrote harsh (and inaccurate) criticism on my Facebook wall, which I had to delete.

Perhaps I could have been more tactful when I wrote that entry. However, I was being completely honest, whereas usually, in my blog posts, I self-censor, because I am fully aware of the impact of what people write about other cultures. When a person is frustrated, however, the filters usually are removed. 

What I cannot help but think, though, is – who are these people, who think they have the right to sit in judgment on my experience?

Here is what I have to say to the people who have felt that they have the right to criticize me – before you cast stones, look in the mirror. Very few people in this world are so without fault that they have the right to criticize others. Also realize that we all have very different experiences – whether it is in Peace Corps, in every day life, or just on an errand to the grocery store. We none of us have the right to judge another. If you want to “defriend” me on Facebook, you are not really my friend anyway. If you do not understand where I come from, and the person I am, then we should not be in contact. I work every day to be authentic, to be kind, to be patient. Guess what – I am human, and sometimes I fail at my efforts. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I can say that I try. 

Can you say the same?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2012 11:44 am

    Careful with what you say in a blog, for our words carry farther on in life than we do. Tact is very important when dealing with situations that we do not enjoy. Perception is a powerful weapon in the hands of others, no matter what the truth really is. If I were you, I would completely nuke your Facebook account (I did so last year) – because half of FB is advertising and games and people putting up posts of where they are visiting and what they are eating (the “look at me!” syndrome plaguing the generations), the other half is filled with interpolation and interpretation of words – of characters in sequence on a computer screen. Better to keep things to yourself than to shout out to the world, as things have a way of creeping up on us. Remember that our legacy is half perception – and in the professional world we must still rely on reference to our past positions and colleagues.

  2. Mom permalink
    May 23, 2012 11:59 am

    Facebook is for people who don’t have anything else to do anyway. Remember the old saying about geting along with some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Forget it and go on with your life.

  3. Lisa permalink
    June 4, 2012 10:13 am

    I disagree with you having to be “careful” about what you say in your blog. It’s your blog after all, and unless you plan to run for office, so what. Part of what makes your blog interesting is that you are willing to be authentic and to let strangers see you. Who hasn’t been frustrated with crappy customer service? I felt your pain. Sometimes, the only way to create change is to bring it into the open. All airports should review their procedures.

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