I found myself entangled in another he said, she said, they said issue which, sadly, involves one of my closest friends.
Many would assume that I would immediately take my friend’s side because we are friends. But I prefer to handle situations differently. My friendship does not guarantee that I would not chastise a person for ill behavior. Honestly, I am harder on my friends because I know that they have an idea on how I think and they understand the reasons behind my words and actions. My friends already had a dose of my stringent rules.
The current issue, as I learned, stemmed from misunderstood statements which lead to indirect verbal attacks by the other party through social networks.
Initially, my friend paid no heed to what was posted because he was focused on class requirement. I had an inkling that these tirades are directed to this friend given the context clues in the statements posted. However, I chose to ask people to verify my gut feel. The initial investigation was less than fruitful. Most are tight-lipped on the issue. After a while, I ignored the whole thing.
When the tirades refuse to cease, I expressed my disappointment on the people involved because how they acted did not reflect who they proclaim to be to my friend. At that time, my friend already had an idea that the comments are directed to him. Eventually, he played their game, hurling words against them on social media including my statement.
The issue simmered down for a few days but it resurfaced involving parties which are not initially part of the ordeal. Now, everything is more than messed up. Some are accused of doing things connected to the issue when it is not exactly true. They now call for a dialogue to settle the problem.
A number of things crossed my mind now that the hidden links started to reveal themselves.
The lessons in journalism class also apply in handling real life situations. Verification. Chances of relaying erroneous information would have been minimized had they learn to verify. When skeptical of what was told, it would be better to ask again to make sure that you get the data straight.
Assumptions. (Pardon the cliche) I have heard and read that when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and Me. Avoid judging people too quickly. Minutes spent with a person do not reveal the person’s entirety. Some cases may be true to a number people, that does not automatically apply to everyone.
Integrity. Practice what you preach. Be mindful of your word and actions. Posting Bible quotes and causing pain to others by words do not blend together. It causes confusion and disappointment to many. It is understood that we are all works in progress, but we must be mindful of what we do.
Learning lessons. An issue like this did not happen just this once. Two years ago, another friend has been a victim of tirades due to a misunderstood blog entry. Haven’t we learned from that? There is a reason why the brain is placed higher than the heart (though, the latter is just responsible for blood circulation).
On hindsight, do I regret uttering those words that hurt them the most? No, I don’t. Those words are the expression of how I felt. Hurting them is not the intention. Let it serve as a wake up call to people who are too quick to mock or judge or cast aspersions on people most especially those who seem give off a pristine image.