Current events have brought forth an interesting question to my mind; when have you fulfilled your obligation to uphold frith? When is it acceptable, within the boundaries of modern Heathenry, to put aside unity to answer an offender? My gut suspicion says that insults to your own person should usually be ignored, while insults to kin are to be answered clearly and without compromise. As with any ethics question however, take a look at a rules of thumb just points out the loopholes.
Quite recently, I was maligned. I’m not linking to the statement in question, nor am I answering any of the flights of fantasy it contains; I’m not turning this into a pissing contest, and I’m getting to old for this shit. I bring it up only to provide context to help color in the lines of my question.
The statement was made about me, not my family. Now, let us say that there are people who know who the offender is, and have enough context of the situation to identify what they’re talking about. These people will fit into one of two categories. If they’re a person worth my time, they’ll either know the truth, or they’ll get my side before make any sort of judgement. If they’re not worth my time, they’ll think whatever they like. In either case, the matter is settled. If the insults are read by someone who doesn’t know they are attached to me…well, why do I care? In the end, all disputes prove to be inconsequential. Outside of a moment’s annoyance, I can move on and not bat an eye.
However, the person who maligned me was someone my wife was beginning to think of as a friend. Moments before this baffling insult, this person also snapped at my wife over a trivial matter…a matter that this person connected to her defacement of my character. This deeply hurt my wife’s feelings, and incited feelings of betrayal in her.
So here and now, is my moral dilemma. The mud has been slung squarely at my head, but the damage is being done equally to my family. In actuality, my wife is more offended then I am; these words don’t mean anything to me. Hypothetically speaking, what happens now? Do I ignore a meaningless insult to my character, or do I answer someone who has hurt my wife?
I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, but I do know what I’m going to do; I’m putting the line in the sand.
I am going to go over here. I’m going to pretend this person does not exist. If they want to make all of these bogus claims, resort to ad hominems, and misdirect their rage at me? They can be my guest. It’s not that I cannot retort; I know this person well enough to go down the list, line for line, and flyte the ridiculousness of every statement they make. However, when I consider doing this, I have to ask myself a very important question.
What would be the point?
I have no reason to malign people to even some nonexistent score; an eye for an eye makes the world blind, after all. If painting a false picture of me somehow gets someone through the day? They can have themselves a good old time; I’m going to be over here, ignoring their continued existence until Ragnarok takes us all. I will wish them well and that their gods will watch over them. The matter, as far as I am concerned, is finished.
All of this comes with a simple warning: When it comes to my family, all bets are off.
Insult my wife, demean my step-daughter, or say a word about my unborn child? Then I will show the offender what the word “flyte” is. The laissez-faire, “who cares” attitude is about me and only me; the moment someone utters a word of judgement about my family? It gets very ugly, very fast.
Now, the internet is a hyperbolic place so let me put a full disclaimer here; I do not physically strike unless physically struck. I don’t believe in unwarranted attacks of any nature, and this is not a threat of physical violence. Period. End of discussion. This is not a legal disclaimer, made with a winking nod to the camera; it’s my real life, real world philosophy. I wish I didn’t have to spell this out, but this is the world we live in.
So people of the world, have a fun time. Share hospitality with me if you can. Lie about me if you must. Leave my family the fuck alone or you will learn some very harsh lessons, and you will learn them very fucking quickly.
Have a nice day! 😀