Tag Archives: kindness

comment aspirations

australian postage stampi love all your comments, people! one of the things i had hoped for in my goals for this year was to have more conversations on this blog, and i think that’s happening. thank you so much!

so with this in mind, i thought it’s time to throw together some comment guidelines. not because there are any big problems – actually, i can’t believe how few comment problems we have here on this blog (none of the trolls like me??) – but because with increased number of comments, i’d like to have a tool to manage any upcoming glitches.

here is what i propose:

last year, i wrote two posts on appreciative communication and improving on silence, both about comments in the blogosphere and beyond. taking the ideas in those posts, here are my personal aspirations for commenting:

  • comment with kindness and respect
  • listen carefully to others in order to understand their perspectives
  • take responsibility for my words
  • keep criticism constructive
  • respect diversity and be tolerant of differences
  • keep a balance between self-interest and the interests of others in the conversation
  • remember truth!
  • improve on silence: make the comment meaningful

yes, these are aspirations – meaning that i strive towards them but cannot guarantee i will always fulfil them 100%. when i don’t, i’m open to moving closer to them, and open to people pointing out to me that i could do better.

while i don’t expect commenters to have the same mindset, when i choose to challenge, edit or delete a comment, i propose that i point to these aspirations.

an example would be something that has been happening a bit lately. i’m getting more and more traffic from people who appear to be using mass commenting software. this is an interesting grey area. while i have no problem with people commenting here who also want to drive traffic to their sites, i’m not excited when that seems to be the sole motivation. in that case, i want to point out that i will either delete the comment or edit those areas that are glaringly promotional without adding much to the conversation.

practically, this means that i find it preferable when people state their names or their blog names when leaving comments, rather than calling themselves “lose weight now!” or some such thing.  similarly, i’m not fond of seeing bold face in a comment when i get the feeling that it’s done for promotional purposes.

then there are controversial topics like sex trade or the use of police force. i definitely want to invite passionate comments – but when it comes to name-calling or generally disrespect, that’s where the buck stops. if there is a problem, i think the first line of defense would be to point out that i’m uncomfortable with a comment, and why. if that doesn’t work, i’d like to reserve the right to edit or delete, with a preference for editing. i don’t like the idea of totally deleting a comment unless it’s obvious spam.

you are my commenters. what do you think? any – well, comments? additions?

(a little comment on the back-end of this post: it’s st. patrick’s day today, so phew,
i’m glad these are green birds! and what a nice coincidence:
the image is by
©2008 gareth taylor.
go to his profile, what he says there goes perfectly with this blog post)


this is a post from my old blog that never managed to make it over here, and it is very a propos:

if change therapy means to attend – to pay close attention – to change, and if we all want to have and see more kindness in this world – then why don’t we attend to changing this! boy, that almost sounds like something that brock tully would say (only he’d do it much more smoothly)brock tully

so it occurred to me that we could have a conversation about what kindnesses we have given the world lately, and what kindnesses we have received. a sort of kindness inventory!

i’ll start with three things …

(hm, this is not so easy. it feels like bragging …)


kindnesses i have received:

  • wonderful friends who helped me renovate my office
  • people at an institution who were incredibly unbureaucratic towards me
  • my daughter, who gives me these wonderful, soft “baby butterfly kisses”

and three things i’ve done:

okay … why don’t you write down what you’ve done? you can post anonymously if you wish …

why is this a propos? because brock, mr. kindness himself, is up to good again. on november 19 and 20, he hosts, again, the world kindness concert. brock is one of the sweetest, kindest and most socially conscious people i’ve ever met, entirely and joyfully dedicated to making the world a better place.

the world kindness concert here in vancouver features musicians equally dedicated to change: shari ulrich, ABBA cadabra, stefan mitchell, michaela slinger, leora cashe, bill henderson, ivan boudreau, leon bibb, ron irving, melissa delosada, steve elliott, heidi klassen and myrna rabinowitz.

so if you’re in vancouver that week, and you’d like more kindness in this world and have fun at it, join us at the world kindness concert!