Monday, May 20, 2013

Giving Life A Second Look - A Follow Up

I never receive as much comment as I would like in response to my blog postings. I truly do learn and grow as a person by considering the opinions and experiences of others; and thus, hearing from others through their responses to my postings is vital to me.

My recent post, Giving Life A Second Look only garnered two comments. I was hoping for many more, but the two comments I did receive meant a great deal to me. One was from a gay man who praised my even handed approach to bisexuality. Gay men are not big fans of bisexual men, so to find favor with a gay man in my writing is a real accomplishment. I hope to remain worthy of his trust.

The second comment was from Bob, a married bisexual man who found my response to Geoff caring and supportive. To be honest and yet caring and supportive in my writing is a constant imperative. To have that imperative recognized means a great deal to me. It is especially welcome in this instance since I have not heard back from Geoff. As I wrote the response to Geoff I was constantly revising it to try to keep its tone caring and supportive; and, at the same time, frank and tough enough to impress Geoff with the need to listen to his own words and set his life's priorities in order. Bob has dealt with the same issue as Geoff and he found the letter's tone to be "caring and supportive." But Bob dealt with the issue and overcame it while Geoff is still very emotionally involved in his fight. It makes a difference, so I am still afraid Geoff might not have recognized the response as a supportive one.

English is one of the richest languages in the world. It can convey almost any idea or concept well; yet because of its very richness, the message one intends can be misconstrued because so many English
words have many different connotative meanings which are subjective and understood differently in various cultural and emotional associations. Much of what we hear is interpreted based on what we are seeing, and we trust what we see much more than what we hear. When we read, we are deprived of sight and the help it can give us in interpreting what is being said. Thus misunderstanding the intent of the writer is always a possibility. With the advent of the "Instant Message," there is an attempt to address this problem through the use of emoticons, the "smiley face" and all his emotional friends. Such devices help, but even they are not always successful.

In a blog, the only real way to handle the problem is with give and take discussion, and that is why I value the comments
of my readers so much. By their comments I can confirm they have taken or not taken the true meaning of my words. When misunderstandings occur, I can elaborate in a reply to a comment in a further attempt to correct any misunderstanding. Just as importantly, a reader and I can reach a point at which we understand each other perfectly and also understand that we disagree. It is at such a point that I tend to re-examine my own beliefs to see if I want to hold on to them, modify them or change them. It is by this process that I learn and that my viewpoints evolve.

All of us do the same thing, whether or not we are aware of it. As a nation, indeed as a world, our viewpoints on homosexuality and bisexuality are evolving and changing at an enormous pace. As more and more people come to accept homosexuality as a biological and social normative life style, the pace
of change will continue to grow because all of us are influenced by accepted social norms. We don't want to be on the outside of normal. We don't want to be anti-social. It is a process which may seem questionable in the short term, but which promotes the best in humanity in the long term. Without such a process we would be stuck back in the Dark Ages.

So, to Geoff, I hope you will think about what I had to say to you knowing it was meant to be supportive and caring. To all my other readers, whether you agree with me or disagree vehemently; I hope you will take the time to comment on my blogging and give me the benefit of your viewpoint.

As a nation and as a world, we are coming to realize that social norms can encompass concepts, ideas and even institutions that at first glance seem to be directly opposed to each other. Once such institution is marriage. The old concept was that marriage is between a man and a woman. We haven't really believed that as a society in a very long time. Long ago we modified that concept to recognize marriage as between one man at a time and one woman at a time to recognize the fact that divorce and remarriage had become a social norm.

Today, we are redefining marriage again and recognizing it to be between two people who love each other regardless of gender. Isn't it great that love wins! And that is the answer to Geoff in a nutshell - love should win.

Jack Scott


  1. Jack, I think your last post to Geoff came across as supportive, but also suggesting to him that he is at a crossroads and a decision is necessary for him and for his family.

    English can be hard to communicate in, as we sometimes try to vague on purpose in order to expose the feelings of someone else. The expression "Read between the lines" really says it all.


  2. Jack,
    Even with the difficulties the English language presents, I thought your response to Geoff was well expressed. I took it as supportive, and honest. As you know, I am in a similar situation to Geoff and I often struggle with the same questions. Your words have, for a long time, been a big help to me.



I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott