Last weeks post honoring the memory of the amazing Jamie Dyer Dordek had many unexpected consequences. On the vibrant bright side, it was a comfort to her mother, brother, family members and friends.
Here's what Jamie's Mom had to say.
Hi Eli, This is Jamie's mom and your column today is such a pleasure to read and those of us who knew and loved her. It is the first morning I have awakened and smiled. I hope this reaches people and teaches at least one of them to live each day to it's fullest with wit, charm and the zest for new experiences that Jamie had. I hope people will stop and look at the view, call a loved one or someone they have been meaning to call and eat bacon.
I have read your article and every comment over and over all day ...I will cherish this forever. Her family and friends have sent this link out everywhere and we have been receiving e-mails and phone calls all day...I thank you for her day in the Huff Post XOXO
Another added benefit was that I got to discover that I was wrong. Wrong about Twitter. I got to meet many of Jamie's on line Twitter family, some of whom where gracious enough to help me walk through my resistance to yet another reason to be in front of a key board and not digging in my garden. Another plus was that I got to experience the community of support which is so profound. A special thank you to the wonderful Jason Mannino HuffPo blogger for jumping into the fray.
On what I would describe as the venomous dark side, two commenters posted heartless comments. (More about that in a moment.) Thank you to the staff of Huff Po for ultimately removing those comments.
Grow Up Or Shut Up
Jamie loved full out. You can feel the love as you read the comments about her. As crazy as it seems to me, one of her loves (the love of all things bacon) brought out a string of angry responses. These comments punctured the tribute to this wonderful woman who died two weeks ago.
I was appalled and don't care how much of a vegan you are...hogs can't read. Just because you know how to type does not mean that you need to comment. Jamie's Mom, brother and family were reading "every comment over and over all day."
My hearts pounded as I read comments that were a slap in the face to a woman who would never be able to defend herself. I had just spent the weekend at The University of Santa Monica Spiritual Psychology program. Its focus is Soul centered learning which in my case is all about learning to love more, judge less and getting cutting edge tools to create more of what I want. I'd spent 25 hours learning to be more loving. Within 3 minutes all my spiritual psychology was a limpid puddle on the floor.
Cue the 70's Sci Fi Music
I wanted to put on my badge of The Comment Police jump into my computer screen, slide down through the slick Internet corridors find those two idiots and throttle them. Once I found those yutzes I would spring out of the computer like Athena from Zeus¹s head.
"Grow up or shut up." I would snarl.
"And stay away from my columns. And my friend's columns. That's it. You cretins are banned from the Living Section all together." Once I vented, I would leave in a puff of hazy purple mist.
Hmmm. With a response like that I realized that I sure had a lot of learning to do in the kindness and compassion arena. Seeing my out of balance response to comments about bacon brought me back to my Kansas roots.
Wake Up and Smell The.... Bacon
I grew up on a farm in Bucyrus, Kansas where folks take their opinions and their pork products very seriously. Mr. Mouser, our 7th grade science teacher at The Barstow School in Kansas City was an icon. Why? Day in and day out he would talk about the dangers of eating under cooked bacon. He was obsessed.
Bad bacon could kill you. The only bacon worth eating was bacon that could pass what he termed "The Mr. Mouser Bacon Test." To pass the test bacon would need to be well cooked enough to balance on your finger like a piece of wood.
This was an excellent opportunity to play with food. So, as a teen I would put any bacon within arm's reach through The Mr. Mouser Bacon Test. It didn't matter whose plate it was on. As I thought about my rabid response to the comments on my column, I realized that perhaps Mr. Mouser's test was teaching us something far more profound.
The Bacon Balance Test
I did not pass the 'balance test.' Regardless of your opinion of bacon can you stay centered? Here's a quick test.
Do you need to be right and make someone else wrong?
Do you need to be in control?
Can you use the situation for upliftment, learning or growth?
Can you respect the person even if you disagree with them?
Can you put yourself in someone else's shoes?
How do you maintain your balance? I'd love to know. Hey, if you had science with Mr. Mouser I'd love to have you share any more details of that bacon test.
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Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized executive coach and motivational speaker. Her book, "Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for the Savvy, Sassy and Swamped", (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards. Eli is a reinvention catalyst, who can transform your professional and personal life from Funky to Fabulous with her ten, trademarked Turnaround Techniques that create rapid and remarkable results. Check out her blog at http://funkytofabulous.blogspot.com/