Consequences

Actions and reactions and all that they bring.

There is a saying that I heard first on the shortlived television program, Line of Fire.

There are rules and there are consequences for breaking those rules. You abide by the former or you pay the latter.

The spanking scene has its own set of rules, you misbehave and you get spanked. Simple. But sometimes the consequences are not so simple or pleasurable. Sometimes the consequences are not in the play world but the real world. The following is a story that, I think, illustrates that.

It’s about a person you know as Radagast. Yes, me. Back when I was first online, I was much less diplomatic in the way that I behaved. Although people think of me now as a person who is not afraid to say whatever he feels like saying, imagine that person multiplied by a hundred and nastier. That was me. On several forums and Usenet newsgroups, I would be only too happy to mix it up with all comers. I allowed my ego to be so inflated that any preceived insult was to be met with a massive uneven response. It was the equivalent of someone stepping on your shoe and you shooting that person. Disproportionate to say the least.

As time went by, the flamewars got worse and worse eventually culminating in several nasty threads containing the ugliest of remarks, all of them fueled by my desire for revenge. It wasn’t long after that that I discovered what a consequence was. I had gotten to know a nice group of people and had even met with them at what would now be called “meetups”. One by one, those people stopped contacting me and let it be known to me that I was behaving in a way that reflected poorly on them. They did not want to be associated with me at all because of the way I was acting. Eventually, I became persona non grata in every one of those places and inevitably withdrew from them.

I spent more than a few years in the wilderness after that as I lived with the shame of how I had acted. I made it a point that if and when I came back to online conversations, I would never again allow my emotions to control me to the point of no control at all. I found it was most important to cultivate a public persona that took into consideration other people’s feelings and do my best to empathize. I have a great deal of empathy for people, sometimes to a fault, but I think it’s certainly a more humane way to be than what I was years ago.

A volatile person can be amusing to some — up to a point. My actions back in the day were akin to someone strapping dynamite to themselves and blowing up their target and everyone else that’s standing nearby. It was one of the most important lessons I ever learned.

One note about any comments below: Any references to specific people other than the author, even when relating personal stories, will be removed or redacted by me. We do not out people here. Thanks.

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4 Responses to “Consequences”

  1. I hear you.

  2. Hey Rad,
    I think at one time or another we all do something along those lines. I know I have a quick temper and I have said things and done thing in the past that were not in the best interests of anyone.
    What I have found with the internet is that when I read something depending on my mood I can put a twist on it and that was not the path the writer was going down. We all learn by our actions and the reactions they get. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad. It is what the person does with the information that is important.
    Kiss kiss have a happy!!

  3. Rad,
    I can appreciate your article so much, I’ve been there and have acted like such an ass. I look back now and just cringe. I can only tell people that with age comes wisdom and hopefully maturity. If I had only known and realized at 20 what I know know in my late 40’s my life, and some of the people around me ,would be so much better. I guess there is a reason we have to learn some lessons the hard way.

    All I can say, my good friend, is that you are such a special person and someone I care a great deal about. Whatever trials and flames you went through to get to the person you are today have made you the great guy you are today.

  4. Like Lynn and you and countless others – been there – done that – wish I hadn’t.

    What’s important now, Rad, is that you are who you are. Had you not gone through that tumultuous time, you might not be the person you are today. And I for one (and apparently others) are so glad that you are here.

    Happy New Year!

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