There is NO Perfect Diabetic Community

… 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.

This means...
  • 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.

I believe a “here, here” is in order. Very nicely said. Thank you for the reminder. :slight_smile:

Beautifully stated.

Well put Liz…

Thank you all, for commenting… :))

Beautifully expressed. The community is great.

I, for the most part, agree with you. However I do feel a healthy debate from time to time is good for me. There were a few yesterday that got shut down by the TuD Administration team that I was actually learning quite a bit in (even though I wasn’t posting because I didn’t have anything new to add to the conversation).

It’s important (in addition to what you’ve listed) to also remember that each of us has a different way of expressing ourselves. Sometimes things that are said in forums aren’t actually “meant” the way they are “said” and then feelings get needlessly hurt. So, I guess it’s also important to remember that yes, we all come from different faiths and different backgrounds and different lives- therefore we are all entitled to our say and entitled to say the things that we choose. Freedom of Speech? haha. I dunno what I’m saying anymore.

Basically, I agree with what you’ve said here… just moreso putting emphasis on allowing people to be judgemental of situations- and allowing people to have their emotions. Each person should be able to stand up and defend themselves, if a nerve is pressed too hard. Survival of the fittest?

Good blog post Lizmari

I completely agree with the sentiments on community: I believe it is important to treat one another respectfully, to not bully other people, for all of us to keep in mind that no matter how close the group, there will be disagreement over certain issues. I’ve been part of different online diabetes communities for most of the last 17 years, and in no case have I found any community that has perfect agreement on any issue. I think some disagreement is a good thing: If you did not know there is a different perspective (e.g. that diabetes could be viewed as a blessing rather than as a curse), then (IMO) it is not likely you will grow as a person. It is in how people manage their reaction to disagreement, whether they remain respectful and open-minded, that I think distinguishes productive debate from mud-slinging and name-calling (as happened in the recent health care reimbursment debate on Capitol Hill).

We’re all here because we’ve been touched by this dragon. A good friend of mine wrote a long time ago:

"It is the honesty of interaction found here that not only allows, but encourages each of us to learn from each other and improve our understanding and quality of life with dm.

Keep questioning… continue to learn. Even if we totally disagree with someone… and find their ideas to be detrimental to our own well-being, we have learned something just by being exposed to something new. (And most likely we have contributed to others as well.)"


Great points, Lizmari. We embrace diversity in TuDiabetes. It’s just a matter of debating about things we disagree on in a respectful way.

Thanks for sharing this post… and thanks (to all) for making TuDiabetes… TUDiabetes! :wink:

i enjoy some of the more lively debates, but I agree that we need to be respectful and refrain from personal attacks.

thanks a wounderful write