“Be Careful of the Company You Keep”

My late mom’s advice echoes in my mind from time to time, and since it was always good stuff, I don’t really mind. The gem above, in the subject header, was the one that sprang to mind tonight, after reading my blog feeds in Bloglines.

You’ll recall a few days back I got tagged by Susan Cartier Liebel with a meme asking for “wild goals.” I loved the meme – still do, and think it’s a great idea. I’d added the author of the meme to my blogroll after having read a few of his other posts. Tonight, however, I saw a post that made me take that blogger off my feeds subscription list, and remove his links (and name) from my blog.

Why? Well, I don’t want to give any more energy than absolutely necessary to the incredibly childish, immature, and sexist post by this young man – suffice to say, when I read it, the first reaction was laughter – I thought it had to be his April Fool’s Day joke. When I realized it wasn’t, I was just disgusted. But when I realized this was the same person I’d linked back to – the one who’d created the meme – I felt sick.

I hope he grows up soon. I hope no one is hurt by his profoundly ridiculous beliefs – including him.  But I believe, as mom said, I am evaluated (rightly or wrongly) in part by the company I keep. If I thought there was a chance I could help this person evolve (humorously, his blog is allegedly dedicated to “personal development” – ah, irony), I would attempt some sort of dialog.  But it’s not my place to teach this person how to think about and treat women. It was his parents’ job – and whether they failed or he failed to listen or whether subsequent events overtook that effort – I don’t know. It’s not my place to make those conclusions. It is my place to decide on the company I keep – and to choose wisely. This, I think, I have done, although it brings me no pleasure.

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2 comments so far

  1. […] *UPDATED AGAIN – and further explained here. […]

  2. Vickie Pynchon on

    Sheryl,

    Beautiful blog. Makes me want to slide into a reverie. Very calming.

    As to poor Alex, I suggest that a member of our blogging tribe is suffering. Hurt and bewildered, Alex is doing what we all do when injured. Looking for the lessons to be learned. Universalizing his experience with one women to all women in an attempt to predict and control the future; to guard against heartbreak.

    I suggest we (women) give poor Alex a break. As if we (women) don’t all too often sit around generalizing about men in none too flattering terms, also generalizing from our individual experiences to the entire gender in an attempt to, well, predict and control the future; to guard against heartbreak.

    I don’t judge you by the company you keep because that company is like the rest of us — fallibly human — that is what most connects us — our fallible humanity.

    As James Agee wrote in Let Us Now Praise Famous men — each one of us “is a new and incommunicably tender life, wounded in every breath, and almost as hardly killed as easily wounded: sustaining, for a while, without defense, the enormous assaults of the universe.”

    Best to you, your legal practice and your lovely blog,

    Vickie Pynchon


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