Sacrificing My Soap Box

Welcome to Abby Gabs…home of the silly Photoshopped picture. I’m sure this is one of those blogs on your list that you visit looking for a laugh. I’m rarely serious. I never take on political issues or rant about rant-worthy things here on this space. I like to keep things light. Fun. I like to think that this little corner of the internet is somewhere people can come to kick back, relax, and giggle about things that have nothing to do with the front page of your newspaper.

Sure, I have my not-so-funny days. I’ve shared with you my struggles with infertility, weight loss, and depression. But for the most part, I just tell funny stories about day-to-day life, illustrate them in a way that I think will make you laugh, and hit publish hoping that I’ve been a bright spot in an otherwise regular day. 

There’s a part of me that envies the bloggers who tackle the hard stuff–those that share their beliefs and their convictions with such heart that their words strike a chord with whoever reads them. I’ve always wanted to be one of those bloggers. But I know that it’s not my strength. And so, I write what I know. And I like to think that I know humor. 

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Passions. Things that I believe in so strongly that I want the world to know where I stand. I do. And I share them on other forums. But this place…this sacred place…I choose to keep it neutral. A safe space for everyone. A safe space for me.

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I can’t help but wonder if, by choosing to leave my political and religious beliefs out of my daily writings, that I’m somehow muddying the causes I support. That somehow my silence speaks more loudly than the causes I carry closest to my heart. Is it my duty to shout from the rooftops, to argue until I’m blue in the face, to post pictures and videos and diatribes to the point of exhaustion, just to make my point? Or is believing in something, with every fiber of my being, and living my life in support of that belief enough?


All I know is that the internet is beginning to feel like shark-infested waters to me. I never know, whether Monday or Friday, what sort of political debate is going to be shoved down my throat on Facebook. I can never judge if a bold statement made on Twitter is meant to be open for argument, or if it’s purely rhetorical in nature. Do I jump in? Do I agree? If I disagree, do I get involved in a discussion that, at its end, should be referred to as an “altercation” instead? Do I have to head into my News Feed everyday, dressed for battle?

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It feels like individuals can no longer put their opinions out into the world without opening themselves up to bigotry, hatefulness, or spite. And with everything going on in the world outside, paired with the growing pains of my own little world, some days jumping into the conversation feels absolutely daunting and exhausting to me. I choose to use my “social media filter” instead, panning for the conversations that feel safe, discarding those that feel hostile to save my own sanity.

I’m saving my soul by sacrificing my soap box.

I can’t help but wonder…does it make me close-minded that I’m unwilling to debate the concept of basic human rights? That negating free speech is a major deal breaker? That I would rather avoid conversations about religion rather than bicker with someone about my very personal, very private beliefs? That there are some things that are so resolute, so much a part of me, that no argument will ever change my mind?

I’m choosing to believe that the axiom “Be nice to people and they’ll be nice to you” is still the right one to live by. And that, just as it is my right to speak out against those seeking to prevent our nation from growing into what I know it can be, it is also my right to speak softly and carry a big stick. It is the sacrifice I make to maintain my voice, and to maintain my well being.

And so, Abby Gabs will continue to be what it is, what it was created to be. I’ll still read those other blogs, and I’ll still envy those other bloggers. And I will read their words and want to comment. But I will refrain, because confrontation is not my strong suit. I will return home, to my little blog, and settle into the comfort of laughter and the safety of silence, carrying those burning torches where they are safest–nestled next to my heart.

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12 thoughts on “Sacrificing My Soap Box

  1. Walt Who Loves You

    I was listening to Micheal Savage on the radio one day. He was giving a seminar what it takes to be a talk show host. Callers were given 3 minute to take their shot at it. Many didn’t last the 3 minutes. Mike had two main points to make.

    1. Always give your audience something to talk about. Even if it sounds like you’re picking a fight. Make them feel like they have a dog in your hunt.

    2. Always keep your on air (on line) persona separate from your IRL persona. Never forget where that line is. Good actors try to give a little of themselves in their performances. But never lose track of when you’re on stage and when you’re in real Life.

    1. Abby

      This post wasn’t really about asking for advice on how to incorporate serious social commentary stories into my blog. I was making a statement about how I choose to use my public forum, and the sacrifices I make on a personal level to maintain my voice here. I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think you get what I’m saying at all.

    2. Anonymous

      Well said brother Walt…

      Abby, to add to my FB post, I would also say that you have some talent. You can’t realize your potential without pushing your limits. Take risks. As a writer, you have to find the courage to leave yourself wide-open to every critic with a rock to throw. It really does not matter what the topic is. You’re worried about political commentary? It’s just another genre in which to hone your skills. In the end, write what you know and what you feel, including your social and humanitarian views. Be selfish…Please yourself first. Ayn Rand had a few things right…

      Chuck

    3. Abby

      Thanks for your comment!

      Do I have to include my personal and political beliefs on my blogs in order to be a good writer? I don’t know if that is the case. I can write about everything else under the rainbow and still be considered a member of the writing community. Should I push myself to write about things that make me uncomfortable? Probably. Am I ready to do that here on my very personal, very safe place? Probably not.

  2. Angie

    Once again you prove that we are, in fact, soul sisters. I feel the same way. I have a very pointed opinion and I’m sure you know where I stand on many issues because of my facebook posts — but every time I post something that I strongly believe in I feel like I have to pose myself for a fight. I don’t like to fight. I am a peace loving individual. I just want my opinion to be heard, and am I’m fine when being faced with making the points and arguing my side but when I’m feeling attacked I start to clam up. Then I too feel like my voice is being stolen because heaven forbid I say something that someone doesn’t agree with and it starts a fight. I’ve lost friends over my stance on gay rights, now with the election coming up I don’t feel like I should campaign for my candidate because it will cause even more hostility. Great post, Abs. You’re awesome <3 Angie

    1. Abby

      Thank you Angie! I have never been good at confrontation, especially when it’s about something I am so passionate about. I wind up taking opposing opinions personally, and I carry that anger with me throughout my day. That’s why I keep it off of my blog. I like to be able to come here knowing it’s a neutral playground. Especially since other social media sites have been so volatile lately.

  3. MrsJenB

    Just be who you are. This is YOUR blog. Yours. Write about the color underwear you choose to sport today if you feel like it. Seriously. Don’t let yourself get swept up in what’s going on. Write for you, about what makes you happy. Just be you. And instead of getting swept up, just remember that it’s never, ever worth it unless you truly feel compelled to do so. Otherwise just be true to you, and that’s more than enough.

    1. Abby

      FINALLY, someone who gets it. :0) I know you understand what it means to have a blog feel like sacred ground, and I hate to sully it by inviting argument here. It’s my space and I’ll treat it how I want to, right?!? Thanks for your support, and for making me realize I’m not alone!!

  4. Laverne Smith

    I don’t think you sacrifice anything. I think it is fine that some people what to share their views on everything. Some people always welcome a fight. They enjoy getting a rise out of people. They enjoy the controversy or even the controversy is the only way they can get attention. I also think that sometimes it is easy to get pulled into certain topics ceveryone is talking about it maybe I should say something about it too (you struggled with that with the ChicFila thing). I have struggled with that too but you know it is just not me. I don’t write about that stuff because I do not enjoy controversy or arguing. I don’t want to argue. I want to have my stance and I want you to have your stance and I want us all to get along and love and like each other even if we feel completely different about topics.

  5. Laverne Smith

    Sorry about the double comment but my screen froze and I have bit more to say ( you don’t mind….right?)… I also think it is important to stand your ground as a blogger and be exactly who you are and who you want to be and be creative in your way. I also think that it is soooo important to use your creative talents to express yourself the way you want to

  6. Laverne Smith

    Yes me for a third time… screen freezing. Be who you are. Do what you love to do. Create what you love to create. Quite frankly that is what I love most about you. You are you to your core and you are fantatic and beautiful and just you!!! And I love that about you!!! -sent free from controversy sitting in my princess dress while listening to shrinkidinkidoooo XOXOXO

    1. Abby

      I love you, Laverne. I really, really do. Thank you for totally understanding where I’m coming from, and for posting your support here for me, and others, to read.

      Abby Gabs was never intended to be a controversial, politically-fueled place. To be told that I’m not reaching my full potential if I’m not blogging about politics, quite frankly, ticked me off quite a bit. I write what I know, and what I love, and what makes me feel happy. Inviting debate—and potentially mean-spirited comments–is NOT what my blog is about. And I appreciate your support so much in that endeavor!!!! XOXO

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