A man known in the cyber world as The Internet Monk, has died. Michael Spencer lost his battle with cancer tonight.
My prayers go out for his family and for all those who loved and will miss him. 🙁
I’m coming out of my normal hiding place to make a few comments.
The internet is a strange place. It is often a wonderful place, a helpful place, a unifying place. But it is also alienating, cold, and is the perfect medium in which to depersonalize others.
Through it, I have seen people reach out to help strangers in need, to offer prayers and kind thoughts to ailing friends of friends. And through it, I have likewise seen ever surprising cruelty that goes beyond rudeness, venturing into the ugly and hateful.
I find it so interesting to read Facebook and Twitter updates, because people use their freedom of speech to emote about all manner of things. Among my friends and acquaintances are political conservatives, moderates, and liberals. They are Christian, decidedly not Christian, and decidedly undecided. Full quiver, no quiver, vegan and meat loving, school teachers and home educators, people from every era and corner of my life are represented there.
I do not always agree with their comments.
I do not always agree with their lifestyle choices.
I do not always agree with the ballots that they cast.
But I will never elevate my own desire to be “right” over your desire to just be.
No matter how eloquently I may speak, without love, I am a clanging cymbal. And so, my mission is to be encouraging and loving in every online interaction.
Why is it so much easier for some people to be charitable face to face than it is for them to be that way in the anonymous blogosphere? I understand that when a person creates a blog, he or she invites a certain level of public scrutiny and criticism. But why does the very semblance of human decency cease to exist when one is hiding behind a pseudonym? If I were your neighbor, your co-worker, your high school honey, would you feel quite so comfortable calling me an idiot and taking joy in my suffering? And would I deserve such contempt simply because I dare to disagree with your political leanings?
There can be peace, even among those who must agree to disagree. This is not some wishy-washy surrender to moral relativism, but a real desire to live at peace with all people, as much as it depends on me.
As you probably can tell from the lack of content this week, I had a pretty rough week. I was in a lot of pain over the weekend, my stomach was swollen which made it really hard to eat, sleep, walk and breathe. They removed 3.5 liters of fluid from my abdomen this week, so I was able to get on the Internet for the first time in a week. Not feeling too chatty though, sorry! It’s hard to blog about the cancer but I’ll try to say more tomorrow.
“Politics is compromise,” says the actor, who campaigned hard for Barack Obama. But Damon feels his candidate has compromised too much. “I’m disappointed in the health care plan and in the troop buildup in Afghanistan. Everyone feels a little let down because, on some level, people expected all their problems to go away. But real change comes from everyday people. You can’t wait for a leader.”
It’s amazing how naive he sounds. You’d think he would have learned this lesson by now. The upside to the Obama election is that now naive people like Damon understand that the solution to our problems doesn’t come from political leaders, they don’t have the ability to solve our problems without creating others. I’m glad the electorate has gained wisdom from this experience 🙂