When I first started writing blog posts, some ten years ago, I was mostly hoping to find others to talk to; people who were "like me," that might understand what I was trying to learn and do and be. In time, I came to feel like the people that I "met" through the comments written here, and the comments I was able to leave other places, were a community of like-minded others, and sometimes, even friends.
Communities are, by nature, distinctive. One community is not like another. Communities know what they are about. The members recognize each other, and community members know who is not part. A social community, like this one in which we all participate, is one in which people are invited to come together online to learn, educate, mentor and discover more about themselves, and one another. As most of us have learned over the years, our community works best when our interactions are easy, when we communicate in ways that make sense, when each of us feel secure and welcomed.
I've learned to value that community, and I have come to the point where I am unwilling to continue to struggle with the question of what to do about those who sometimes come here, uninvited, and impinge on what we have here. From my perspective, members of MY community, have shared my journey; they know my story; they've walked this road with me, and they have been steadfast companions. Companions, community members, don't snipe. They don't make off the cuff judgments. They don't take sides. They don't insist on some sort of retribution for perceived wrongs that have nothing to do with them. Companions, friends, listen carefully. They sit with one another. They stay for the good times and the bad times, and there is never any doubt that a friend will be there no matter what.
That's the criteria for me. From now on. This blog is a place that belongs to me; a place that I share with those of you who choose to be part of my little community. You know who you are.
Anyone else, those who are uninvited, are not welcome. I will know you by your actions, by your words. If there is any hint in what you come here to say, that you are "not a friend," I will remove all traces of your presence. I will guard and protect this place. I will preserve this small corner of the cyber world for myself, and those who choose to be here with me.