In the time I been submitting my ramblings to LiP, I’ve noticed a vast difference from when I used to Post on the RAO Subic web site, on that site there was no reader feedback, except at beer joints, when someone would comment, but that was face to face, and if the comment was rude, I could answer and make a fool of the idiot on the spot, unless he had a good point or made a fool of me. So when Bob asked me to join LiP I wasn’t sure how I’d handle negative feedback, my first month I’ll admit it was shaky, but I figured it out.
I could be like a very few commenters (less than ½ a percent) who lash out from an undisclosed location, using an AKA’s name, and scurry back under their rock to hide. But since my full name and picture are posted along with my article, I can’t do that, I won’t refute the fact that sometimes I wish I could. “Paul, use humor” is what I came up with, point out with a little sneaky smile why I feel they are wrong.
I use a little humor when I write the article and more humor when I answer the comments. There will always be people who will nit-pick everything you write. Or as I think of them “The Attack Dogs” Humor has served me well throughout my life, if I were hassled by a person in authority, I’d respond in kind.
In the Navy we were required to salute officers. Some, not most definitely deserved a proper hand salute. I was crossing a Navy base with a Seaman walking beside me. I rendered a proper hand salute to a passing Officer, to which the “Zero”* ignored. I turned and said, “Sir when a Senior Chief take’s time out of his busy day to salute, military decorum requires it be returned.” The Zero started to bluster and said, “Chief, do you know who you’re speaking to?”’ I smiled and said, “Yes, the base Commanding Officer as soon as I get your name, and by the way “SIR” it’s Senior Chief, not Chief.” He saluted smartly and went on his way. The Seaman spoke not a word.
If someone asked a foolish question, I’d smile and return a well phrased response, as they walked away I’d watch them scratching their head, and asking themselves, “Did Paul just insulted me?.” Of course I did, and a few times I was called on it.
There are countless people in this world who are smarter than me. When someone I respect gets the better of me, I just smile, and scheme and plot forever. Just kidding, I really do take it well. (Don’t dish it out, if you can’t take it in return.) Some of my dearest friends did not start out that way, it was similar to alpha dogs meeting for the first time, if there is no compromise, and there will be a donnybrook. These were friends that have been in my life forever, and will always be there.
I once wrote to an Attack Dog, “You’re like a ray of sunshine in the Sahara, but who really needs it?” They were being negative for negativity sake. And I never received a response, no surprise there. A few times I just wrote, “Thank you for your kind words.” There are times when I just don’t understand what the person meant to say, and can’t tell if it’s an insult or an accolade, and wonder “Is he smart or just a negative Nick (no insult to those named Nick, as we like you a lot) to those people, I’ll answer “Thank you for your comment.” or “Say what?”
I have received a lot of pleasure both writing and reading on LiP, from the regular contributors, the guest contributors, and those who comment. I’ve found the majority to be intelligent, concerned folks, who share the love of living here. Albeit we all see it through our own perspective as each of us has that right. As an old friend would tell me; “Paul when they’re attacking you, they’re leaving an amateur alone, let them take their best shot.” I know there is no perfection here on Earth, but happiness abounds, everywhere, if you’ll take the time to find it, I found mine here, in a group of islands called the Republic of the Philippines, Dinalupihan, Bataan. And a sense humor helps. Mea Culpa again, to those named Nick.
And if you can’t say something nice… don’t make it personal, as my ego is very frail.
*Zero: Refers to a Military Officers pay grade Ensign = 01, LTJG = 02 on up.