When I first starting sharing blog posts, I wondered how I would feel when the day came that someone responded by attacking me personally. The wait is over, thanks to my recent post, Why I Can't Sell Girl Scout Cookies.
Before leaving for dinner on Saturday night, I checked my personal e-mail, observed I had a comment from the Forks-Palmer Patch and excitedly opened to read. I have to admit seeing it for the first time was a bit jarring. A woman attacked me for a misleading headline, called me a “homeopathic quack-job” who wants to “change the world” and then wished me luck on my “bran and sawdust fundraiser.” (I’ll have you know that I’ve never once considered mixing bran with sawdust. Every vegan knows that sawdust only goes with spelt!)
I X'd out of the e-mail and paused for a moment. I reflected back on what would have gone through my head reading my post five years ago. I probably would have thought the same things about me (though I would have chosen to express my point of view differently). When we’re not in the “zone,” every health enthusiast seems nutty (think Richard Simmons). This helped me put her comment immediately in perspective -- “It’s a grain of sand in the Sahara,” I thought.
I replied positively to her and even shared a recipe so she could get a glimpse into how a “homeopathic quack-job” enjoys a real dessert.
Nothing could have prepared me, though, for the comments I woke up to the next day -- one accusing me of being “politically-motivated,” and another labeling me a "liberal" and suggesting I be muzzled. My “agenda,” as it was called, had even been linked to gay rights.
In Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher wondered why absolutely everything in our country is politicized. I thought about that as I read the new comments.
Good health should be non-partisan. We should all want to achieve it. When our health is thriving, we are free from hospital stays, doctors’ appointments and prescription medication. We have more money in the bank because we aren’t paying for regular healthcare services. We have more time because we aren’t tied up fighting with insurance companies over denied claims. We have more “oomph” in our step and can enjoy more activities with our friends, children, grandchildren and other family members. As my mom always says, “When you have great health, you have everything.”
While I would love for everyone to be “in the know” as it relates to the mounting scientific and clinical research supporting a whole-food, plant-strong lifestyle, outside of my immediate family it’s not my “agenda” to make sure my neighbor keeps his cholesterol under 150. If after my reading one of my posts, my neighbor is inspired to learn more about alternatives to the Standard American Diet and ultimately make more healthful dietary choices, that would be fantastic and I would support him in any way I could, if asked. But the choice is his. I’m certainly not looking to purge his house of Girl Scout cookies or anything else he may enjoy eating.
I try to remember that change can be hard and that many of us fear the unknown. As a result, we sometimes react defensively when we feel our lifestyle is being threatened or attacked. I want to make it clear that my intention has never been to assail anyone’s choices. I welcome all points of view. I simply want to educate and motivate by sharing our experiences and lesson learned with those willing to listen and have meaningful conversation.
Before I close I want to add that while this post focuses on the negative comments I’ve received, by and large the responses have been positive, with many simply thanking me for the information I’ve shared or asking me for more help and guidance. I love the correspondence and what I’m learning from everyone who takes the time to write. Keep your comments coming!