… Because we are all human beings, and human beings are flawed.
I love the TuDiabetes community. There is so much I have learned from here, and from the wisdom of so many others who have lived with D before me. It's comforting, and easy, to come online and instantly find a topic or point of interest in which we can connect with others, ask our questions, give our input, and instantly feel reaffirmed in our own life experiences and circumstances. That's the power of community! There are so many ways in which we can connect and feel as though we are not so alone in our daily battles... and that's wonderful! We need all of that when we are newly diagnosed...
Unfortunately, sometimes, we tend to focus so much on those newly found commonalities, that we forget we are all diverse people: human beings who happened to get Diabetes, but who still hold very diverse points of view, and ways of seeing the world. Diabetes has only managed to bring us together; it has not managed to make us all the same. And as it goes in the ways of diversity, like in every other community (who doesn't have to deal with Diabetes), there are going to be supportive people, indifferent people, careful people, careless people, shoulders you can cry on, shoulders who try to bully and make fun of you, people with great faith, and people with no faith, people who love red, and people who love blue. There are simply just going to be a LOT of different people... and all those people, need community, too.
Our community happens because we CHOOSE to be community. Not because we are all the same, nor because we are all perfect people. We don't have to all like each other, we don't have to all agree with one another... but we all have to be respectful of one another, and if we are here -- we all need to CHOOSE to be community, to one another.
- Staying away from controversial/disrespectful/incendiary topics that only lead to outrageousness, hurt feelings, accusations, and no common ground. As I read once before: "Care enough to value another person's hurt feelings, over stating your own opinions out loud";
- Personal attacks on others, for all reasons, and in particular because they do not adhere to one's ideas of how D should be treated, or because they prescribe to a tighter or looser control than ours;
- Bullying others, and making them the target of our frustrations -- or making their emotional comments the 'comedic relief' talking points of other threads. I have seen this happen a lot, lately, and unfortunately it has been done to me, as well;
- Assuming that others are bad, or awful human beings, because they do not have the same values, political ideals, agendas, notions, as ourselves. I know that I am often guilty of this, and I'm sorry;
- Acting in ways that invite others to be rude/abusive/disrespectful to the people that we disagree with, simply because they are different, or view things differently than ourselves;
- Behaving as adults do, who have to face one another, in the same room and in person... All dealing with the same D, and all needing the same respect that we want to receive.
This is OUR war... and we need to CHOOSE to be community to one another; we need to CHOOSE to be each other's soldiers, and have each other's backs. We need to CHOOSE to be the support that we expect to receive. In these ever changing times... of religious, political, and ideological dissension... Let's not forget what our purpose truly is: Not perfection... Not best friends... Simply COMMUNITY.