On QuakerPagans@yahoo.com, we were dealing with feeling put-upon by a new poster:
One Friend asked, "Um... I may be wrong, but this seems, again, like a post that is being made to be sent out to
a long mailing list of listserves and individuals. Is this a mass mailing, J_?..."
Which led me to say:
Thank you C_ for your words on these posts. I found myself angry and dismissive of them, but you are showing me a way
of kindness which I can use with other messages both across email and in person. Sometimes I feel like I'm being preached
to and I don't know why I dislike it so, but I'm now realizing that often I feel like the person speaking is not even aware
that I'm in front of them trying to listen.
This touches for me upon the issue of righteousness. For a long while I heard advice and even demands from religious
folk and politically activist folk to be righteous, and I even felt rise within me messages that felt righteous, but I held
back, or let forth with less than true peace -- uncomfortable with the concept of righteousness. Then I realized that it's
self-righteousness that I skitter away from; then I realized that the difference for me between a just righteousness -- that
power which may be divine -- and a self-righteousness is that a truly righteous person listens as intensely as they speak.