I’d like to share with you an interesting side effect of blogging that I recently discovered… through Yoga.
During the last 10 years I was blogging pretty actively. To be precise, I’ve published more than 900 blogs here, at yakovfain.com. All these blogs were written in English, and the comments were written by English-speaking people from around the world.
During the last 5 years I’ve been also actively recording audio podcasts in Russian at americhka.us, where I published about 400 podcasts. These podcasts are commented by the Russian-speaking people from around the world.
The cultures of the English and Russian blogospheres are different. English speaking people are more polite. If they don’t agree with what I say or write, they try to express their opinion rather than just writing “It’s bullshit” in comments. This means my English-speaking readers respect me. Some people say that Immanuel Kant defined respect as the right for another person to have different opinion (this is not an an exact quote, but the meaning should be correct).
The situation in the Russian-speaking blogosphere is different. Pretty often people do not tolerate other people’s opinions, and you can find the “It’s bullshit”-type comments a lot more frequently there.
I’m not complaining – I have a lot of Russian-speaking readers and listeners who enjoy my podcasts and respect my opinions. I’m just sharing my observations. Five years ago I was caught off-guard by the harsh and sometimes insulting tone of some comments there. I even had to leave one Russian podcasting portal for the lack of any protection from these negative people.
When I opened my own site at wordpress.com, it gave me the moderation and banning features. I started controlling the content and banning offenders (I banned about a dozen of people over the last 5 years).
Now let’s switch the subject. Last month I’ve enrolled in Yoga classes. This membership allows me to attend unlimited classes ran by various instructors. I’m not a gym-type of a person, and decided to go easy on myself – I started attending only the meditation classes for now. The teacher is from India, and he spent more than thirty years researching studying of various Yoga masters. I like the teacher.
Many people who attend his class complain about being under stress. Yesterday, one lady came to the class being extremely angry with her husband. The other lady (I’ve never seen her before) spent five minutes before the class telling me how that bad brother-in-law came back into their family’s life. People have problems. They are coming to relax and meditate.
The teacher explains that the problems are inside each of us. If someone directs their negativity toward you, just concentrate within your inner self. Do not react to the offender.
I like attending his sessions cause he’s the wise guy. But on the other hand, I noticed that I’ve learned not to respond to the offenders by being in the open in a not-so-friendly blogosphere. I’ve learned to ignore angry comments. It seems that I’ve been already applying these meditation and protection techniques without even knowing about these Yoga studies!
So I want to thank Russian blogosphere for making me a stronger person. No, I haven’t reached the turn-the-other-cheek level suggested by Gandhi and Jesus. I’ll keep moderating comments. But I’ll remove the bans from those angry birds. Let them keep chirping.