A Thank You Note to a Negative Critic

Woman  in black dress, holding blue notebook

Dear Critic,

Sure, there are about a handful in your group, but you are truly special.

You didn't try to go to extra means to call me out in front of your social media circle, hoping your friends could be used as attack dogs should I choose to be combative. No, your message was directed at me through a private sector and, for that, I must say, I commend you. You've got balls.

I'm serious! You've got some major balls.

And to go even further to commend your dosage of criticism towards me, you didn't even use any gender derogatory statements, no name calling, and you didn't even type your message in all caps, as if you were trying to scream at me. Seriously, thank you! Those tactics are stupid.

Now to address the subject, at hand, which involves your critical response to my last blog entry where you stipulate that I "seriously lack morals and values", I'll admit there was a bit of a sting to that receivable comment. However, it did ignite a message that inspired me so...

Thank you written in a notebook

This demonstration has forced me to open my eyes that we are living in different times now and that "When they go low, we go high" should no longer entail responding to discomfort with silence. It is not effective because it is either presumed that

A)I am weak


B) I simply don't care enough to hear what you have to say.

Trust me, I do care to hear what you have to say... And in return, it's an honor for me to share my voice with you and hopefully we will not have to issue a cease fire in the near future.

Woman holding notebook

Thank you for listening to what I have to say.

Now, I look back at our original exchange and I would like to apologize for my original, abrupt, response to you when sharing the status of my morals and values. Although I regret that you only received the one sentence version of my stance, it did raise the question of whether or not I should dig a little deeper...

Do I really need to come out and address this with everybody?

Is it necessary?


This is obviously a very sensitive time, socially, and perhaps your criticism brought up a very valuable point that I am now prepared to share with anyone who would care to know the center core of my morals and values. Here it is:

I have the experience and the responsibility of living in three entirely different U.S. cultures.

I will go to the ends of the Earth to honor, understand and respect individuality.

I refuse to judge and/or demonize anyone who's ethnicity, political and religious beliefs are different from mine.

Blue notebook - paper list "My moral compass"

Yes, You are special in the sense that you manage to not only endure the watered down version of that statement, but you respected it to the point where we could move past criticism and actually find common ground:

A) We both share the shame and disappointment that political ideologies have contributed to the bullying and violence that has irrupted across our nation over the past week.

B) Deep down and way deep down we agree that neither one of us were thrilled with the excess baggage our presidential candidates seemed to carry.


Sadly, it was recently brought to my attention that three women, I know, have been targeted for gender bullying near your neck of the woods by groups that have fit the description of the "The Good Old Boys Club" - And speaking of being in your neck of the woods, I'm a bit unsettled, at the moment, at the idea approaching your territory anytime soon. I speak my mind, I have a Jewish last name, and in case you haven't seen a photo of my husband, I have a thing for Latino men; So yes, when it comes to being bait for hate, I am practically a sitting duck. However, should I try to visit you and I am targeted by groups who would cowardly throw hate at me, at least I know in the back of my mind, someone in this town actually has balls. And while I am on the subject of the "Good Old Boys Club", our exchange has further validated my moral beliefs that boys compete, but men empower.

Yes, I just called you a man.

Woman lying on her notebook

And together we have achieved a victory that love trumps hate and it is one of the many reasons to be thankful for, this year. Give my best to your family and have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.

With lots of love,

J. R. J.

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