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Gaining a Perspective on Self Importance November 29, 2012

Posted by Wilz in Personal, Society.
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While participating in an online community, I wrote this (true) story in order to get two fellow members to stop a personal argument they have been carrying from one thread to another. Reposting the story here. For people unfamiliar with the Malaysian forum circuit, the LowYat forum is a very popular online public message board usually frequented by the tech community. Edits for anonymity in square brackets:

I was a moderator on a forum before. It was a community several times less mature than [this one], with significant numbers of mewling kids. The banhammer went up like about 6 or 7 times over contentious posts over the period of 2 years. (Many other times, but mostly for spammers or other problems we don’t have here – like posting pirated materials blah blah.)

I was also as vocal as [the moderators here] in threads and discussions, and I beat back a lot of people with argumentation / evidence / linking, etc. Kinda the same reason people dislike [one of the moderators] here I suspect.

After one of the banhammer cases, the individual being banned went to my Friendster page (it was that long ago, and many of the photos were embarassing for public viewing), downloaded all of my profile pictures, and put up a thread on the LowYat forums with all the pictures claiming that I was sexually harassing his female friend (or was it girlfriend? I forget) and trying to physically assault her. It was a warning thread to tell people to stay away from me.

After staring at the thread for a few hours, and writing a few paragraphs in self defense, and debating how much background information to divulge and so on…

I DID NOTHING.

I didn’t even create an account on LowYat. Friends active on LowYat asked me if they should go there and defend me, and I told them not to bother.

Because I stopped and asked myself – what good would that achieve? It’s his word vs my word, but more importantly, nobody cares. How much damage did he really do, considering the way he worded his post? Etc?

A few people posted and called me names, and some taunted him for not knowing how to defend his girl etc. Someone posted that there is no proof offered whatsoever, and after that someone else I don’t know actually gave the background information (I think this guy was banned from a forum that guy was moderating lol…). The moderator left the thread open in case “the guy being accussed” wanted to go and defend himself, and closed it after two weeks.

I didn’t bother. And it was one of the best things I ever did in my life. I grew up and learnt several very important things that day. To believe in fellow human beings. That idiots are not worth convincing. That non-idiots are not that stupid.

And most importantly: I AM NOT REALLY ALL THAT FUCKING IMPORTANT AFTER ALL.

Nobody remembers that, and I bet the guy doesn’t even remember it anymore. And I don’t remember it for the embarassment. I remember it with pride born out of humility. If I know who that guy is, I’d give him a hug, and tell him this story to thank him – thought it’s probably going to be hard for him to believe that I wasn’t being sarcastic.

LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR folks. It helps you live longer.

In case anyone starts thinking I have no feeling of self-worth whatsoever, a more complete description of my perspective would be: “I am only as important as what I wish to achieve”, but that came from other lessons.

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